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Legionella death highlights need for new training approach

Legionella death highlights need for new training approach

20 September 2017

Leading training and consultancy specialist Develop Training Ltd (DTL) has called for a new approach to tackling Legionnaires' disease following the death of a woman who contracted the illness in a Shropshire hotel.

The victim, in her 60s, stayed at the Feathers Hotel in Ludlow in July. Another hotel guest, a woman, in her 70s, was also diagnosed but has since recovered. Laboratory tests showed links between the legionella bacteria found in the hotel’s water samples and the two women. The hotel has closed temporarily on advice from Public Health England and Shropshire Council.

Steve Braund, DTL’s marketing manager, says hotel operators and other building managers need to review training and compliance policies so that the risks are continually monitored and essential maintenance is carried out.

Train more effectively in systems maintenance

"Modern training techniques, such as those delivered by DTL, can ensure that responsible persons are trained more effectively in the maintenance of systems than with traditional, classroom-only training," he explained. "This, coupled with new competency qualifications and compliance processes, gives management flexibility over how and where training is delivered."

Mr Braund added: "The serious dangers of legionella continue to be a problem as this case demonstrates, and organisations should remain vigilant to the dangers and be up-to-date with current legislation to prevent further accidents. Effective training can play a huge part in reducing the risks."

Real risk for any facility

He pointed out that legionella bacteria, found in air conditioning and water systems, present a real risk for any facility, regardless of industry sector. Recent years have seen outbreaks in hospitals, manufacturing facilities, leisure establishments and garden centres.

"It’s vital that you put in place the right steps and measures to protect both your staff and any visitors from the dangers that surround exposure to Legionella," said Mr Braund.

DTL’s recently published whitepaper – 'Controlling Legionella' – provides an in-depth look at the factors which give rise to the disease and practicable advice on what actions should be taken in workplaces to mitigate the associated risks.  Download it by clicking the button below:

Download DTL's updated Legionella whitepaper