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B&ES Publications urges compliance after legionnaires deaths

The legionella outbreak in Edinburgh last month has again forced buildings’ maintenance and health & safety standards into the spotlight. Two people have died and many remain in intensive care from legionnaires disease, which investigators apparently believe originated in one or more cooling towers in the area.

The incident demonstrates the seriousness of poor maintenance in failing to control legionella in a building’s water system.

B&ES Publications is urging businesses and building owners to follow a strict programme of maintenance to ensure compliance with statutory obligations and prevent penalty and prosecution.

Alan Gregory, chairman of the B&ES service and facilities group, said: “Our industry is acutely aware that legionella bacteria are always present, just waiting for the right set of conditions to allow them to manifest. This cannot be ignored. As building owners, managers and contractors, it is our responsibility and we must act now.”

Would your business survive the implications of failing to meet its legal requirements, which could include an unlimited fine and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment?

Past cases of legionella outbreaks include cider maker, HP Bulmer, and its water treatment contractor, Nalco, which were prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and fined over

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