A District Council has been prosecuted by the HSE and fined £27,000 after a “catastrophic failure” in the Water hygiene control measures at a leisure centre under their control caused a centre user to contract Legionnaires’ Disease.
The failures identified by the HSE during their investigation concluded that following a decision to bring the services in-house, the Council staff were inadequately trained to deliver the service to a satisfactory standard over a 10 year period.
The District Judge said that the council’s fine would have been 10 times higher, had it not been a public body.
The key learning from this prosecution is that competence levels for in-house staff delivering water hygiene services must be routinely monitored and audited, as all external contractor’s staff would be. To have these critical services delivered by in-adequately trained and unaudited staff, whether in-house or by an external contractor, is simply not acceptable in this day and age.