A West Sussex Council has been issued with a regulatory notice for failing to assess fire and water hygiene risks in properties it is responsible for maintaining.
The social housing regulator advised the Council that they were in breach of their statutory duty to identify and assess the risks of both legionella exposure and Fire safety and to implement measures to control them. Previously, action had only been taken after concerns were raised, plus Risk Assessments for Fire and for Legionella in water systems were not completed on a regular basis as required by regulations and guidance.
The council is reported to have since completed fire risk assessments, Legionella Risk Assessments and implemented a water hygiene control programme.
In this day and age, with instant access to information and all the publicity around Grenfell, it is surprising to find a public authority failing in their responsibilities. The bottom line is that all organisations have compliance responsibilities. If you’re not completing yours, you could find yourself in the dock when a HSE investigation finds the failings in your organisation’s processes, during an outbreak investigation caused by another company’s failings, as several cooling tower operators have found to their peril.