Knowing where the responsibility for water safety lies in your business is essential for compliance with L8, the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and guidance on regulations concerning legionella control. To help you understand your responsibilities we explain the difference between a Duty Holder and a Responsible Person.
The Duty Holder is the owner or operator of a water system that the public can access. This essentially means any premises that is used for business or pleasure that has water for consumption or cleaning accessible by staff or members of the public. The duty holder can be a ‘natural person’ or a company.
The role of the Duty Holder is to ensure any potential risk is assessed, and that procedures are in place should a risk be identified. This includes:
• Carrying out a risk assessment
• Preparing a written scheme of control for risk prevention
• Implementation and management of the written scheme
• Recording and checking that activity carried out has been effective
• Appointing a responsible person to manage these tasks
If the Duty Holder is a ‘natural person’, is self-employed or in partnership, and is competent, they may appoint themselves as Responsible Person. Alternatively, an employee in a managerial position (or similar) may be appointed.
A responsible person should be competent and have knowledge of the installation to ensure that all operational procedures are carried out in accordance with L8. This includes using the services of a water hygiene contractor to carry out risk assessments, maintenance and treatment.
If there is an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease and it has been proved that the Duty Holder did not ensure that the relevant provisions of ACoP L8 were followed, a court could find the Duty Holder guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
With access to SimPro, Duty Holders who utilise the water hygiene services by One Environmental can prove that L8 has been followed if Legionella bacteria is detected in water systems. In addition, Duty Holders are also assured that any action that needs to be taken can be immediately implemented.