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Security firm gets £1.8m fine for poor Legionella management

G4S Cash Solutions prosecuted by Harlow Council after ‘erratic monitoring’ of risks

A security firm has been fined almost £1.8 million after failing to protect its workers from the risk of Legionella, reports Essex Live News

G4S Cash Solutions Limited, a subsidiary company of G4S, was prosecuted by Harlow Council after an inspection uncovered a lack of safety measures to prevent staff from contracting the water-borne disease.

The huge fine underlines the importance of having proper risk management in place. The case is expected to fuel debate at H&V News’s forthcoming Combating Legionella conference on September 22 -23, where the responsibilities of stakeholders in a variety of sectors will be discussed.

For details of the conference programme and exhibition, and to book, click here.

Harlow Council environmental health officers inspected G4S’s Harlow site back in October 2013 after it received a report that a local resident had contracted Legionellosis.

They found that the monitoring and testing of systems was erratic, staff had received inadequate training, and there were no up to date policies or suitable and sufficient risk assessments in place to safely operate or manage the building’s water systems.

The firm did not take the steps required to reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease from its water systems and this was despite a long-standing duty, extensive guidance, advice from their own consultants and advice from Harlow Council.

G4S Cash Solutions pleaded guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety at Work back in June.

As well as the £1.8 million fine, the company will pay the council’s court costs of around £34,000.

The resident worked at the site and although it was never confirmed that the disease was contracted from the site, council environmental health officers started to uncover a serious lack of compliance in maintaining water systems at the site.

The company advised the court that they have since taken a number of measures to improve health and safety across G4S.


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