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Posted on: October 31, 2011
Here at Environmental Compliance we can provide your business with a comprehensive and competent Legionella risk assessment. Our trained consultants can come to your premises and conduct a full Legionella risk assessment and / or review existing risk assessments and management systems to ensure that as a company you are minimising your risks.
But what is Legionnaires disease?
Legionellosis is an infection caused by bacteria of the genus Legionella. At least fifty species of Legionella have been described and twenty have been associated with disease in humans. The predominant cause of legionnaires’ disease is L. pneumophila. Legionella spp, with these are opportunistic pathogens of humans and normally inhabit warm moist or aquatic environments where they grow in association with other organisms. Their predilection for warm water means that they are capable of colonizing artificial water systems and equipment containing water. Legionnaires’ disease is not transmitted from person to person, but is of environmental origin and usually contracted by inhaling the organism in an aerosol produced from water contaminated with the organism. Aspiration of water containing Legionella spp. can also cause infection, particularly in hospitalized individuals.
The ubiquitous occurrence of Legionella spp. means that all water systems are susceptible to contamination with legionellae via the water supply or dust entering the system. It is therefore normal practice to assume that a system can become contaminated.
Overview of UK Employer Responsibilities.
Suitable and sufficient assessment of risks allows appropriate control measures to be put in place to protect the health and safety of employees and members of the public who could be affected by work activities and Legionella is no different.
It is a legal requirement under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, to make specific requirements for risk assessment. These regulations apply to the control of Legionella and are embodied in the Approved Code of Practice and guidance document, “Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems”, otherwise known as ACoP L8. (See also BS 8580:2010 Water quality. Risk assessments for Legionella control. Code of practice)
It is the responsibility of the duty holder to ensure that an assessment is carried out to identify and assess the risk of exposure to Legionella from work activities and water systems and to put in place any necessary precautions.
The duty holder appoints a person to take day to day responsibility for controlling any identified risk from Legionella bacteria. The appointed “responsible person” needs to have:
1. Sufficient standing and authority within the organization (e.g. a manager or director) and competence and knowledge of the system to ensure that all operational procedures are carried out in a timely and effective manner
2. A clear understanding of their duties and the overall health and safety management structure and policy in the organization.
If the duty holder is competent, they may appoint themselves responsible person i.e. the person who will undertake the risk assessment.
On completion of the risk assessment the duty holder remains accountable for implementing the recommendations.
The simple answer to this is NO. It is one of the most common mistakes or misconceptions that employers make in relation to the control of chemicals.
A good safety data sheet (SDS) does not substitute for carrying out and recording a COSHH risk assessment. Gathering SDSs is only the first stage in the assessment process. The SDS will provide information on the hazardous properties of the substances you are using, any health effects associated with its use, how likely it is to get into the air or onto the skin, and what risk reduction measures you should use to control exposure to an acceptable level. However, it will not be specific to your workplace and cannot take into account the particular environment you work in. The HSE publication Working with substances hazardous to health provides more information on UK requirements.
It is the responsibility of Employers to ensure that they can provide information about the hazards, risks and control measures, and instruction and training to use the control measures. All employers must carry out a risk assessment and those employing five or more employees must also record significant findings. This record needs to be accessible so that safety representatives, inspectors, etc. can examine it
Here at Environmental Compliance our experts can help you through this process by providing the following services:
• COSHH Risk Assessments;
• COSHH Monitoring;
• Local Exhaust Ventilation System Testing & Inspection (HSG 258 Second Edition, 2011)
• Legionella Risk Assessments;
• COSHH Risk Assessment Training;
• COSHH Risk Assessment Proformas;
• On site compliance audits.
Please call 0844 9841900 or contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Posted on: October 26, 2011
See link to Chris Huhne’s speech at the Renewable UK Conference.
Posted on: October 25, 2011
A guide to heat recovery www.lexisurl.com/iema11005 and how it can be applied to the various systems and processes carried out in businesses has been produced by the Carbon Trust. Heat-recovery techniques can significantly reduce energy consumption, running costs and carbon emissions, says the trust, which also advises adopting these techniques as part of an overall strategy to reduce energy, cost and carbon emissions.
Interested parties can also access a webinar on heat recovery www.lexisurl.com/iema11006 that first aired on 8th September and which focuses on appropriate systems for light industrial facilities and warehouses.
Defra has updated its core guidance www.lexisurl.com/iema11002 on the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
The latest version (3.2) updates guidance originally produced for the 2007 Regulations. It explains how the Government and the Welsh Assembly Government expect the Regulations to be applied and how particular terms should be interpreted in England and Wales.
The Environment Agency has published draft guidance for installations and mobile plants that undertake thermal desorption – a remediation technology that uses heat to increase the volatility of contaminants so they can be more easily removed or separated.
Thermal desorption is a Part A (1) activity listed in Schedule 1 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations. The draft guidance aims to set out the additional indicative best-available-techniques requirements that it expects regulated facilities to meet for these activities.
Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft. (Please follow the link below)
The Planning Act 2008 (Commencement No.7) Order 2011 brings into force key provisions of the Act, mainly in England and Wales, but also in Scotland, so far as they are not already in force. The provisions cover nationally significant infrastructure projects (s.14); hazardous waste facilities (s.30); and Schedule 6 changes (above).
The Single Use Carrier Bags Charge (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 amend the 2010 Regulations.
Changes include ensuring the 5p charge includes VAT.
Posted on: October 21, 2011
The Energy Act has become law setting in stone the legal framework for the Green Deal, which will be launched in Autumn next year.
The Green Deal will revolutionise the energy efficiency of the nation’s homes and businesses. It will help people insulate against rising energy prices, creating homes which are warmer and cheaper to run.
DECC’s new “Housing Energy Fact File”, published today, highlights that more than half of homes in Great Britain don’t have sufficient insulation.
It shows around 50% more energy is used to heat and power homes than is used to power UK industry. It is vital, therefore, that action is taken to address home energy efficiency.
Click on the link below for the statement from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.