With the return to the office now underway, facilities managers should turn their attention to their water systems. Many will have considered the risk of Covid, but with buildings having being left empty for over 10 weeks, they shouldn't forget legionella.
Reports that legionella has been found at Lincoln's Inn is a timely reminder that this is not a theoretical risk. Landlords and tenants should consider if additional testing is required prior to reoccupation and establish who is responsible for this.
It is important to bear in mind that failure to comply with legionella testing regulations is a criminal offence. Non-compliance may result in a fine or imprisonment, even if no-one becomes ill.
Many occupiers will have recently had cause to review their business interruption insurance policies. Disruption to business, due to a legionella outbreak, is a risk against which insurance may be available, under some policies. However, it is advisable that occupiers should further review their policies to see if legionella is covered and consider if additional cover is required.
Traces of the bacteria, which can cause deadly legionnaire’s disease, were discovered