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Legionella coverage at first Manchester event

The role of facilities managers has undoubtedly become increasingly complicated with the introduction of growing numbers of rules and regulations that have to be met.

Advances in technology have provided assistance in some areas, but in others has added to the workload as those involved have to be trained in its use and frequently have extra duties added to their routine as a result.

The various changes now taking place within the heating and ventilation sector have required facilities managers to adjust their thought processes in a number of areas. The drive to reduce carbon emissions and reduce energy usage has become a main priority for many.

While this requires understanding of many factors, including how to combine existing and new solutions, the essential subject of controlling legionella risk also takes on a new perspective.

There are obviously serious considerations for any building utilised by people on a regular basis, but this is further increased when users and inhabitants are listed among the vulnerable within society. Hospitals, community centres and retirement homes can all become centres of outbreaks, as can educational establishments. The task of recognising the practical and legal requirements therefore needs constant attention.

The subjects touched on above outline the reasons for establishing the H&V News Combating Legionella conference. Established seven years ago in London, the growing attention it has received from the industry has emphasised the importance of including a venue in the North of England. As a result, the first event to take place outside the capital will be held in Manchester on 30 and 31 March.

The main conference itself will take place on the first day, held at the Manchester Conference Centre. This will be followed on day two with a post-conference workshop in the form of an interactive discussion run by industry experts.

Packed programme

The programme of 30 March provides a packed agenda, with presentations from 10 industry experts, complemented by further expert advice delivered within product showcases. The day will start with Nick Phin, consultant for the Health Protection Agency, outlining the statistics of legionella, discussing new sources and additionally considering the use of PCR for detection.

Following this, Mark London, a partner with Devonshires, will explain the legal responsibilities relating to legionella. In addition to covering the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act, he will also look into the roles of responsibility in a variety of establishments, before closing with a case study of a recent legal case.

Following on, dangerous goods safety adviser at DETR Howard Gosling will consider implications for facilities that run swimming and spa pools and hot tubs, highlighting risks and defining responsible person roles.

The first session will then be opened up to the floor, with the three experts answering questions from delegates.

The remainder of the day will be equally informative, with presentations from respected professionals such as John Newbold, principal specialist inspector with the Health and Safety Executive.

He will define the use of L8 legislation, with particular emphasis on cooling towers and guidance on alternative actions. Giles Green, Tetra Consulting specialist consultant, will also explore the application of L8, this time in multi-tenancy buildings.

Further expert advice will be delivered from the Legionella Control Association’s John Smith and Dave Bebbington, immediate past chairman of the Industrial Water Society. While Mr Smith will explain the association’s perspectives on risk assessment, including understanding of the LCA audit system, Mr Bebbington will focus on the revised WMSoc Guide to Risk Assessment following publication of BS 8580:2010.

This standard will be further discussed by Dave Handley, Healthy Buildings International managing director, who will consider the responsibilities and implications, as well as highlighting common mistakes in risk assessment.

The day’s presentations will be brought to a close with a focus on renewable technologies. Dr Tom Makin, of Makin and Makin Consultancy, will outline the use of sustainable technology and controlling legionella in healthcare premises. This will include a case study of Broadgreen Hospital Liverpool, which uses a pump-free system to minimise energy and water use.

He will be followed by Barry Johnston, Solar Twin managing director, explaining how to balance the aspects of energy conservation and renewable technologies with the need to control legionella. The event will be chaired by H&V News editor Dennis Flower.

Each of the four main sessions will be followed by a question and answer session, which can then be further extended during coffee and lunch breaks. The final session of the day will also allow additional discussion, with speakers available to answer further queries from attendees.

In addition to the many advantages provided by the various strategic discussions on the day, the event will also include practical examples and demonstrations of products and services. An example of this is the launch of a web-based temperature monitoring system, described as the first of its kind by Black Box Legionella Intelligence.