How Often Does Our Facility Need a Legionella Risk Assessment?

facility management risk managementLegionella, the bacterium responsible for Legionnaires’ disease, is a significant health concern in facilities with water systems. The frequency of Legionella risk assessments in the U.S. is guided by several factors, influenced by regulations and best practices.

Firstly, the type of facility is a crucial determinant. Healthcare settings, including hospitals and nursing homes, where individuals are more vulnerable to Legionnaires’ disease, should conduct risk assessments more frequently. In the U.S., guidelines from organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide specific recommendations for healthcare facilities. Assessments may be needed as often as annually or even more frequently depending on conditions and recent Legionella testing.

Secondly, any changes in the water system or its use will necessitate additional assessments. Examples of these changes include modifications to the plumbing system, changes in water temperature settings, pressure changes or alterations in the building’s processes or usage. Any significant change makes a new risk assessment advisable to ensure the continued safety of the water system.

Thirdly, U.S. regulations and guidelines vary by state and local jurisdictions, making it essential for facility managers to be aware of their specific legal obligations. Some states have more stringent requirements for Legionella risk assessment and management. See the state-by-state Legionella information and then contact your local regulatory agencies or attorneys for more specific information.

Non-healthcare facilities in the U.S. may consider conducting a Legionella risk assessment at least every two years. However, this frequency may need to increase based on the facility’s characteristics, water system changes, and local regulations, as noted above.

Continuous monitoring and maintenance of water systems are crucial in mitigating Legionella risk. This includes regular temperature checks, system cleanliness, and promptly addressing any identified risks. Ongoing vigilance is essential alongside periodic, formal, independent Legionella risk assessments from ASSE 12080 certified professionals ensure water safety and compliance with U.S. health standards and the general health and safety of your visitors and employees.

Contact Legionella Control Systems with your questions about the Legionella risk assessment frequency that may be appropriate for your facility.