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Council fined for legionella death

Reading Crown Court has fined the local council following the death of a pensioner at one of its care facilities in September 2012.

It followed prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), with the court hearing that Lewis Payne, 95, had stayed at The Willows care facility after suffering a broken leg.

After becoming unwell with shortness of breath, aches and pains and suffering from nausea, Mr Payne was admitted to hospital on 16 October 2012, where he tested positive for the presence of legionella.

His treatment was unsuccessful and Mr Payne died from pneumonia related to legionella on 1 November 2012.

The court also heard that the council’s arrangements to minimise risks of legonella were not sufficiently robust, due to a lack of training for key personnel and inadequate temperature checks.

Additionally, shower had not been descaled or disinfected quarterly and arrangements for the flushing of little used outlets also feel short of best practice requirements.

Reading Borough Council, of Bridge Street, Reading, was fined £100,000 with £20,000 costs after admitting breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

H&V News is organising the Water Management in Healthcare Estates conference on 5 May at the Crowne Plaza, Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

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