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Edinburgh Legionnaire's health and safety investigation cost £750,000

‘Still questions to answer’ say those affected following interim report into last year’s outbreak

Those affected by last year’s Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak say that more information needs to come from investigations, following an interim report yesterday. In the outbreak 92 cases were identified - 56 confirmed and 36 probable - and the 7.1% fatality rate among confirmed cases was higher than recent UK or European outbreaks.

Elaine Russell, of law firm Irwin Mitchell, which represents families of people of those who died, as well as many of the victims who are still suffering from longer-term symptoms, told BBC News: “There is still new information being revealed over a year after the outbreak began and our clients still have so many unanswered questions.”

“It is imperative that the further investigations and full reports are completed as soon as possible to prevent ever longer delays in identifying once and for all what went wrong and why.

“There is a sense among those affected and their families that they are not being told everything and we are fighting on their behalf for information to be released.

“We have already commissioned our own experts to find the source of the outbreak as the authorities have so far just not provided enough information to those that have been affected.”

according to BBC News.

At the same time, the Health and Safety Executive is in the midst of consulting on an updated Approved Code of Practice on The control of legionella bacteria in water systems. The Consultative Document, CD258, provides an opportunity to comment on whether the draft ACOP text provides legal clarification and proportionate advice in low risk scenarios.

The accompanying guidance offers advice on achieving compliance, and information of a general nature including explanation of the requirements of the law, specific technical information or references to further sources of information.

The revised ACOP gives practical advice on the legal requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) and applies to the risk from exposure to legionella bacteria and includes information of a general nature including explanation of the requirements of law.

The key changes include:

  • Some guidance assigned ACOP status to clarify legal requirements where there is an accepted Industry method of compliance;
  • Some text changed from ACOP to guidance status where the changes do not impact on practical compliance requirements;
  • Simplified terminology;
  • Proportionality in low-risk scenarios emphasised.

RAC is supporting the Combating Legionella & Water Treatment 2013 conference organised by sister magazine H&V News on 17-18 September in Birmingham.

This year’s Combating Legionella and Water Treatment conference is packed with two days of essential updates on regulation, insight into the challenges facing the industry and extensive networking opportunities.

To secure your place today, please call Jerome on 0203 033 2664 or email Jerome.Pratt@EMAP.com.

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