Who needs a water safety plan guide, Legionella Risk Assessment advice, Plumbing services, Plumber tips
Who Needs A Water Safety Plan?
20 February 2023
A water safety plan (WSP) is a document that outlines the steps a business or organisation takes to ensure the safety and quality of the water it provides to its customers or employees. The purpose of a WSP is to identify and control potential risks associated with the water supply, and to ensure that the water is being managed accordingly in line with Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and COSHH.
A WSP should include and reference the Legionella Risk Assessment. The risk assessment is where the decision making processes are gleaned from in relation to future monitoring requirements and risk management processes.
Hotels and other lodging establishments
These types of businesses typically have complex water systems, including hot water tanks, showers, and spa and swimming pools, which can provide ideal conditions for Legionella bacteria to grow. Should the bacteria reach high enough levels, it could lead to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, which can prove to be fatal.
Health care facilities
Hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities have a heightened legal responsibility to ensure that the water they provide to patients and staff and visitors is safe, as many of their residents will be especially sensitive to disease.
Food service establishments
Restaurants, cafes, and other food service establishments must ensure that the water they use for food preparation, cleaning and all other purposes is safe.
Public facilities such as schools, government buildings, recreation centres, and other public spaces have a legal responsibility to ensure that the water they provide to visitors and staff is safe.
Industrial and commercial facilities
Industrial and commercial facilities such as factories, warehouses, and offices have a legal responsibility to ensure that the water they provide to contractors, employees and visitors is safe. A WSP helps these facilities to identify and control potential risks associated with the water supply, and to ensure that the water is safe.
Why water safety plans are important
If a business in the UK does not have a water safety plan (WSP), it may be at risk of legal and financial consequences. Here are a few potential issues that could arise.
- Legal liability: In the event of an outbreak of water-borne illness or contamination, the business may be held liable for any harm caused to customers or employees.
- Fines and penalties: Businesses that do not comply with regulations related to water safety may be subject to fines or penalties, imposed by regulatory authorities.
- Loss of reputation: A water-borne illness outbreak or contamination incident can cause significant damage to a business’s reputation, leading to loss of customers and revenue.
- Insurance claims: Insurance companies may not cover a claim, if it can be shown that the business failed to take adequate steps to ensure the safety of its water supply.
- Closure of the business: In some scenarios, a business may even be forced to close, temporarily or permanently, if it is found to be in violation of water safety regulations and an outbreak or major incident has happened.
Clearly, water safety plans are extremely important for a wide range of businesses. If your business doesn’t have one in place already, it’s imperative that you make arrangements for a WSP as soon as possible.
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