Legionella Death: Care home fined £3M

Published: 20 Jun 2018

Cases of Legionella outbreaks and resultant deaths have made the headlines far too often in recent times. With the implementation of the sentencing guidance now firmly embedded in health and safety culture, record fines are being issued for contraventions in Legionella management.
This has proved to be the case with a private healthcare group's residential care arm fined £3m after an elderly man died of Legionnaire’s disease at one of its nursing homes in Essex.

Kenneth Ibbetson, 86, had moved into the care home in March 2015 but soon began complaining that he felt unwell. He died on 23 June 2015 in Basildon Hospital after contracting the disease, which is a waterborne form of pneumonia.

The Care Home pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and was ordered to pay £151,482 costs.

Under the Sentencing Guidance, actual harm does not need to have occurred, the offence lies in not managing the risk.
To ensure that your business is kept safe from the risk of prosecution, the following control measures need to be put in place and effectively managed:

  1. Suitable legionella risk assessment to be conducted by a competent contractor.
  2. Significant findings to be addressed as a matter of priority.
  3. A competent person to be identified for the management of Legionella who would be responsible for monitoring of the required hot and cold water checks and descaling of shower heads in the premises. The designated competent person must also be appropriately trained.
  4. Corrective action procedures to be put in place and implemented for any defects identified in the Legionella water management system.


Contact us today if you need advice or training on how to combat exposure to legionnaire’s disease