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NEWS | Reading Borough Council fined for Legionella death

NEWS | Reading Borough Council fined for Legionella death

25 January 2016

A 95 year-old pensioner has died from pneumonia after contracting legionella at a care home in Reading.

After an investigation from the HSE, Reading Borough Council has received a large fine after a man in their care died from the disease. They admitted breaching regulations of the Health and Safety Act and were subsequently ordered to pay £100,000, plus £20,000 damages at Reading Crown Court.

The elderly man was staying at The Willows care home to receive intermediate care after breaking his leg. He began complaining about feeling unwell and after being admitted to hospital, it was confirmed that he had caught Legionnaires’ disease; sadly he died shortly after from pneumonia.

A history of legionella problems

The HSE has claimed that the council’s management arrangements were not robust enough to eliminate the risk from the deadly bacteria, and that the staff members at the home were trained significantly below the standard required.

They commented: “RBC’s failings were systemic and continued over a period of time. There was a history of legionella problems at the home”.

All businesses should be remaining vigilant to the dangers of legionella and be up-to-date in current legislation to prevent further accidents.

The serious dangers of Legionella continue to be a regular problem in the UK. Ineffective management of water can encourage the growth of legionella bacteria which can then become airborne in water droplets. If this water is inhaled, it can lead to the contraction of legionnaire’s disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.

We recently published Controlling Legionella: Training and compliance for air conditioning and water systems maintenance – our brand new in-depth whitepaper looking at the causes, how artificial water systems allow bacteria to thrive, strategies to prevent legionella in air conditioning and water systems, and the business benefits of legionella training from Develop Training (DTL).

Click here to download your FREE legionella whitepaper

Training courses for Legionella prevention

We can offer courses covering the following areas of Legionella prevention:

  • Hot and Cold Water Systems
  • Cooling Towers
  • Air Conditioning Equipment
  • Risk Assessments
  • Roles of the Responsible Person

DTL has reported several similar incidents already this year and they only serve to highlight the need for sufficient training. Click here to view our range of legionella courses.