Beneath the Surface - Part 2: Legionella Prevention
If you read Beneath the Surface – Part 1: Legionella 101, then you’ve learned the basics of Legionnaires’ disease and the risks your healthcare organization or community are exposed to without proper water treatment. But, there's a solution.
In June 2015, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) published Standard 188, which outlines a basic strategy for reducing the risk of Legionella by implementing a Water Management Program (WMP).
This requires all building owners to have and practice a WMP for water systems that could breed the organism and aerosolize it into the environment. The standard is not enforced as law in most
Standard 188 applies to:
- Buildings over 10 stories tall
- Multiple housing units with centralized hot water systems
- Housing for occupants over age 65
- Healthcare facilities
- Facilities housing or treating people with certain mitigating health factors
Does your organization fall within any of those categories? If so, it’s time to act and create a risk management program to keep your water systems top notch. Writing a WMP is site specific and requires the step-by-step process for each individual building.
The 7 steps to an effective WMP include:
- Developing a dedicated water management team to monitor the program and resolve unforeseen issues
- Describing the water system flows and diagrams within the building for accuracy
- Analyzing conditions that could allow the organism to breed
- Identifying control measures you’ll need to maintain to stay within established limits
- Monitoring water systems based on best practices
- Confirming the program is being implemented with solid verification and validation steps
- Documenting the activities, procedures, etc. on a continual basis
The best way to manage Legionella risk and ensure compliance with ASHRAE Standard 188 is to be proactive. Does your water treater survey or write water management plans? If so, they can provide adequate control measures and validate your water's safety through testing.
For more information on how to minimize risk in your healthcare organization, chat with us!
- Beneath the Surface – Part 1: Legionella 101
- The Facts on Communicable Diseases - Part 1
- Ebola: Just the Facts
- Laundry Day: Scrubs Safety
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