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Why Water Hygiene Training is Essential for your business

22 September 2022

Why Water Hygiene Training is Essential for your business.

If your business premises has an on-site water source with potential risk of bacterial contamination, you are legally required to be ACOP L8 compliant. 

This involves creating a water safety plan and regularly carrying out risk assessments for your water systems, as well as recording and monitoring the results.  

Water hygiene training is essential for your business to ensure your workforce is knowledgeable of all the practical measures required to follow a water safety plan. 

In this article, we explore what water hygiene training involves, why it is essential for ACOP L8 compliance, and how it benefits your business. 

What is water hygiene training? 

To maintain ACOP L8 compliance, a business is required to select a ‘responsible’ person to carry out a risk assessment, as well as create a water safety plan.  

A water safety plan involves a selecting competent employees to make regular checks and assessments that span across all your systems and equipment.

This ensures that the necessary safety measures are carried out at every level of the building’s water system. 

It’s imperative that your water safety plan is executed and recorded correctly, which means you need to ensure that your team know what they’re doing – more specifically, that their methods and procedures comply with the latest HSG274 and ACOP L8 (including COSHH) regulations.

That’s where water hygiene training courses come in! By providing members of your workforce with the requisite knowledge and training, they’re able to act as your own on-site operatives, handling day-to-day water hygiene tasks.

It’s crucial that members of your team involved in your water safety plan have a thorough understanding of the following: 

  • How to identify possible sources of risk of contamination, including a site survey and schematic diagram.
  • How to form a written scheme of how the business will inspect their water systems and monitor the results
  • How to monitor the condition and performance of the water system and to identify any issue that could lead to contamination or damage
  • How to correctly maintain the record of the findings and what the records need to cover, such as any maintenance carried our that could alter conditions inside the water systems, as well as which members of staff are responsible for routine checks. 

Which businesses require water hygiene training?

To determine whether your business would benefit from water hygiene training you have to first assess whether your site is at risk of contamination from legionella and other waterborne pathogens.

While any business whose premises uses or stores significant amounts of water should have a trained water hygiene operative, it’s especially important in the following industries: 

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Hotels/Leisure
  • Maintenance

The perfect conditions for legionella and other harmful bacteria are places where water temperatures reach between 20c – 45c, with a source of nutrients for bacteria to feed on and grow, including rust, scale and algae.

It is also worth noting that your site is at a much higher risk in places where warm water can spray and contaminated droplets can be inhaled. 

While your team may already be well acquainted with your water management processes, it never hurts (especially when it’s a legal requirement) to top up their knowledge and ensure that they have a deep understand of water system management in relation to legal compliance. 

How does water hygiene training benefit your business?

ACOP L8 and HSG274 compliance

If you are landlord or employer of a premises with water sources at risk of contamination, you have a legal duty to protect your tenants, customers and employees from potentially fatal bacterial infections. 

And as ACOP L8 has legal status, it means that if any illnesses or infections do occur through contamination from you premises, you can be prosecuted for breaching health and safety law. 

However, if you followed ACOP L8 guidance, you can prove that you complied with the law and can protect yourself from prosecution. 

While HSG274 is not compulsory by law, it is still the standard that health and safety inspectors hold you to when they inspect your premises, so it’s worth using their guidance to ensure your methods and procedures are up to scratch. 

Workplace safety  

Nobody enjoys a potentially fatal lung infection. 

Comprehensive training is the best way to help keep everyone in your building(s) safe.

Not only will you be able to provide proof of your ACOP L8 and HSG274 compliance, but you can be confident in the knowledge that you have done everything you can to prevent the risk of Legionnaires’ disease for you and the rest of your team. 

Water hygiene training courses from H2O Hygiene

At H2O Hygiene, we offer a range of tailor-made water hygiene training courses for your team, providing your people with a thorough and practical understanding of contamination risks relevant to your building, as well as the skills and know-how to manage your site effectively. 

We deliver practical, task-based training, ensuring that your team can be vigilant against the ever-present threat of legionella. 

To find out more about our industry leading training courses, get in touch and speak to a member of our team today. 


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