Public Health England Report Reveals 20% of all Legionnaires’ Disease Cases Affect Londoners
The world’s leading legionella risk management experts are urging London organisations to be more aware of the risk of legionella after a recent report shows the number of cases rising year on year in the capital. The new report published by Public Health England titled “Legionnaires' disease in England and Wales 2013” has highlighted the disproportionate number of cases of this potentially fatal disease affecting Londoners.
In 2013, there were a total of 384 cases of legionellosis reported in England and Wales, with 284 of them classified as confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease. Of this number, 58 were in the London area, which represents just over 20% of all Legionnaires' cases. Worryingly, this is up on recent years, with 26 cases in the capital in 2011 and 40 in 2012.
This is not the first time in recent years that the threat of Legionnaires’ disease has been highlighted in London. The potential for a problematic outbreak of the disease in the city has been stressed before in 2012, when a leaked report from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) said that London was at risk from a “catastrophic” outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. The reason for this, the report stated, was a poor management of evaporative condensers and cooling towers near the then forthcoming London Olympic venues and busy transport hubs. The HSE report contained details of its inspections in the area at 62 sites around the city, which were completed as part of London’s preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Staggeringly, at over 70% of the sites inspected, the health and safety measures were found to be of an insufficient standard - meaning that they were not being effective as they could be in preventing an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. According to the new study published in October 2014, things still aren’t improving in London in regards to controlling legionella bacteria. The report doesn’t make any conclusions as to the reasons why people in London are at a higher risk of contracting the disease, however it seems that compliance with the law is still a problem in the London area. Legionella Control International offer an independent and impartial risk management service to clients who need to effectively manage the risk in commercial environments.
Experienced legionella specialist, Rob Boon, heads Legionella Control International’s London and South East team and is horrified by these figures which have come to light. He explains, “The findings of the latest Public Health England report highlights the fact that there is still work to be done to protect Londoners from the effects of Legionnaires' disease. Although outbreaks are fortunately fairly rare, the ramifications are real and can be devastating to those involved. It is essential that business owners, landlords, property owners and those responsible for managing properties satisfy their legal obligations to ensure that legionella is not ignored and left unmanaged within their properties.
“Fortunately, it is relatively easy to implement risk management controls to ensure that the bacteria does not get a hold. UK tenants and businesses require complete compliance in this area which is why those that fail to observe the law can face hefty fines and civil action.”
Legionella Control International, as part of its ambitious expansion plans now have a central London office to serve clients in the London and South East areas. With a dedicated team of experts, the specialists offer the capital the very best legionella risk management and compliance services, encompassing risk assessments, training, compliance auditing, expert witness and litigation support, water testing, facilities management services and more.
To find out more about Legionella Control International visit the website at: www.legionellacontrol.com
Contact: For more information contact Rob Boon.
Tel: 0203 693 3930 or 07474 998 816
About Legionella Control International: Legionella Control International are the global leaders in providing legionella risk management solutions. The company is operated by a team of experts providing independent and impartial consulting advice on all matters relating to the control, management and prevention of Legionnaires' disease and legionella associated risks.