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Exams to boost legionella protection

The British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) has unveiled a raft of examinations to test competence in legionella protection and proficiency with ventilation systems.

The legionella focused exams are aimed at those responsible for workplace water systems and covers assessing and controlling the risk of employees contracting Legionnaires' disease.

P901 Legionella – Management and Control of Building Hot and Cold Water Services and P902 Legionella – Management and Control of Evaporative Cooling and other High Risk Systems aim to provide background and an overview of the risk of legionella infection and how it can be controlled in different types of water systems. Successful completion of P901 is a prerequisite of P902.

Three other modules focus on local exhaust ventilation (LEV) design and have been created in response to inappropriate design and incorrect use of off-the-shelf products.

P602 Basic Design Principles of Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems aims to provide the basic design principles, knowledge and practical skills to design and commission LEV systems capable of adequately controlling identified hazards.

P602 complements an existing module on testing, P601 Initial Appraisal and Thorough Examination and Testing of Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems.

Anyone testing or designing an LEV system – whether an in-house engineer or an outside supplier – must be competent to do so, and the latest LEV guidance published by the Health and Safety Executive, HSG258 Controlling airborne contaminants at work; a guide to local exhaust ventilation, contains references to both of BOHS's LEV proficiency modules as one measure of competency in these areas.

David O’Malley, registrar of the faculty, said: “We hope that having these qualifications will become a pre-requisite for anyone needing to manage Legionella or LEV assessments – much as P402 is for the inspection of buildings for asbestos. Developing benchmarking standards such as these underpins much of our progress in continually meeting our basic aim to help to reduce work-related ill-health.”

The modules are usually taken at the end of a short training course. These are run throughout the year by external course providers across the UK.