Nursing home fined after failing to “manage the risk” of Legionella

    Mother Redcaps Nursing Home, in the Wirral, have been fined £40,000 for ignoring to a remediation notice issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regarding the risk of legionella pneumophila (causative bacteria for legionnaires’ disease) in their water systems. Legionella poses a risk in all water systems, especially hot and cold water systems, showers and cooling towers.


    Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia which can affect anybody, but which principally affects those who are susceptible because of age, immunosuppression, respiratory problems, underlying heart and kidney diseases, smoking etc. The causative agent is a bacterium called Legionella pneumophila.


    All employers or those in charge of premises or systems have a responsibility to manage the risk of legionella bacteria within their water systems and failure in compliance may lead to legal action by the HSE or even prosecution.


    Even though there was no evidence that there has ever been an outbreak of legionnaires’ disease at, or associated with, this particular Nursing Home, the employer was still fined a significant amount of money for failing to put in place measures to control the risk of legionella.