One: Legionella Training – be informed
Estates Managers can prepare themselves to avoid many of the pitfalls of water safety management by attending a quality training course. Water hygiene training should not only list the requirements of the various legislation and guidance but also provide a practical approach to the subject.
The process of Legionella risk assessment and review is one example of an area that is often misunderstood leading to poor management decisions - we discuss this further in tip three. The HTM04-01 Safe water in healthcare premises suggests a host of elements to be included in the training. The Water Hygiene Centre’s training courses have been developed around the requirements of L8 and HTM04, with the role of the responsible person in mind and covers all the aspects of a Water Safety Plan [WSP].
Two: Independent Advice – don’t be led by vested interest
Advisors should be able to demonstrate impartiality and integrity and be able to demonstrate sound reasoning for any proposed course of action. An independent advisor can act as an auditor to monitor effectiveness of the organisation and the performance of any contracted service providers without the competing influence of commercial interests, workload or internal politics.
Time and time again we hear about organisations who are being supported by those with vested interest and without fail we can find advice given which has not been impartial, for example, in one case a client was informed that tanks should be cleaned every 3 months!
Three: Quality Risk Assessments – spend wisely
In our previous blogs we have discussed what a Legionella risk assessment should include and what makes a good Legionella risk assessor. Choosing your risk assessment provider wisely can save money, time and effort through potentially ‘hidden’ savings.
In the first instance, a ‘right first time’ approach to risk assessment can reduce unnecessary remedial work. On one hand, through elimination of inappropriate actions adherence to a prescribed list of absolute ‘requirements’ with no consideration of risk.
Secondly, through the identification of opportunities to significantly reduce or even eliminate ongoing risks e.g. where a storage tank could be removed rather than cleaned and disinfected. In addition to these more obvious savings further advantages can be gained through the collection and provision of information that feeds logically into the WSP.
In summary, choosing a risk assessment that incorporates genuine risk evaluation and prioritisation of actions can assist with long-term budget control.
Four: Water Safety Plan – be proactive
Formulate a plan for water safety management (aka written scheme) that includes:
- A policy statement;
- Details of management responsibilities & communication pathways;
- Process for ensuring training and competency;
- A process for risk assessment and water risk assessment review;
- Description of the control strategy for safe operation of the water systems;
- Procedures for carrying out the control strategy;
- Procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of the control strategy;
- Contingency procedures for foreseeable eventualities of concern, for example where monitoring shows that the control strategy has not been consistently applied or that it is ineffective;
- A review process for reviewing the effectiveness of the control measures and management arrangements;
- Details of the documentation and records to be maintained.
The water safety plan will be the organisation’s guide to successful water safety management.
Five: Water Safety Audit – don’t be complacent
Our final tip is an often-overlooked part of a successful management system. Perhaps, it is due to budget constraints and the difficulty in assigning value to the process of an audit?
However, as we have alluded to in tips two and four, reviewing the effectiveness of the management arrangements and control measures in place is an essential part of successful water safety planning.
A Water Safety Audit completed regularly can provide assurance that matters are in hand and identify opportunities for improving effectiveness or efficiency. An audit closes the circle providing the link between what we have in place and the goals we set out to achieve.
Are you prepared for successful water safety management? Water Hygiene Centre can help.
Editors Note: The information provided in this blog is correct at date of original publication - April 2019.
© Water Hygiene Centre 2019