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Reminder issued on legionella risk

The Health and Safety Executive has reminded nursing homes in Wales of their responsibilities on legionella after a campaign of inspections.

The inspections were carried out to look at the management of some specific health and safety risks at nursing homes across Wales during March and April.

The management of legionella risk and the correct use of bedrails were the main recurring areas of concern.

Of 28 homes inspected, three quarters were issued with at least one enforcement notice, and a total of 31 enforcement notices were issued.

As a result of the findings, HSE will be contacting nursing homes in Wales to remind them of their duties to manage health and safety, and will be providing training resources to help homes improve standards.

HSE Inspector Steve Scott, who led the initiative, said: “The sample is a small percentage of the total number of nursing homes in Wales, and we must stress that not every nursing home we visited was issued with an enforcement notice.

“Those who did receive an enforcement notice were extremely keen to address shortcomings when they were raised. These homes were given a specified period of time to put matters highlighted right, and we are carrying out follow up visits to all of these premises to ensure that remedial action has been carried out.”

The HSE and its partners are planning to hold safety seminars for nursing home managers in the coming months. A number of interactive tools are being made available online which will provide further guidance.

H&V News is holding the COMBATING LEGIONELLA 2008 conference in September to help clients and contractors work together to learn how to avoid an outbreak and to get to grips with all the relevant legislation.