Council prosecuted for water hygiene failings & inadequate in-house staff training

Failures identified by the HSE during an investigation into a Council's water hygiene control measures failings concluded that in-house Council staff were inadequately trained to deliver the service to a satisfactory standard over a 10 year period.

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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.

Source: BBC

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