Legionella Death: Hospice in Sydenham fined

Published: 4 Aug 2016

St Christopher’s Hospice, Sydenham, pleaded guilty to breaching Health and Safety law after a man died and a worker suffered life changing effects after contracting legionnaire’s disease at the premises in 2012. Exposure to the legionnaire’s disease resulted in the member of staff being in a coma for 18 days before making a recovery.

The hospice was sentenced to a two year conditional discharge, and ordered to pay costs of £25,000. Southwark Crown Court heard how St Christopher’s Hospice failed to put the necessary controls in place to manage the risk of Legionella.

These tragedies could have been avoided if the following control measures were 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 CSC today if you need advice or training on how to combat exposure to legionnaire’s disease