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Legionella Risk Assessment: Essential Information for Building Owners and Managers

Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia. Unfortunately, Legionella can be found in any building, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hotels, and office buildings. The good news is that there are steps you can take to identify and manage the risks associated with Legionella.  

What is a Legionella risk assessment? 

A Legionella risk assessment is a process that identifies the potential for Legionella bacteria to grow and spread through water systems within a building. This assessment should be conducted by an ASSE 12080 Certified Legionella Water Safety and Management Specialist and include: 

  1. Onsite collection of water samples for Legionella (or other waterborne pathogen) and water quality testing. 
  2. Onsite review of building water infrastructure, operations and maintenance documentation, and current water management practices to identify potential risks. Facility-specific information should also be reviewed, including occupant risk and history of Legionella detected in the water system or a past Legionella outbreak. 
  3. Report outlining the findings and recommendations for reducing the risk of Legionella. 

Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to download our Legionella Risk Assessment template for a detailed list of what an assessment should include.

Who needs a Legionella risk assessment? 

Since Legionella can colonize any type of building, all buildings with potable water systems and aerosol-generating systems (such as cooling towers) should conduct a Legionella risk assessment to determine potential risks to building occupants and potential sources of Legionella transmission. This is especially true for hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, office buildings, hotels, and any building with a water system at risk of Legionella contamination. Landlords, building owners, and employers are responsible for protecting their occupants from Legionella exposure. 

How often do you need to conduct a Legionella risk assessment? 

Legionella risk assessments should be conducted annually or even more frequently if recommended by a water safety specialist. Additionally, any changes to the building’s water system should trigger a reassessment to address Legionella risks proactively. 

What are the benefits of conducting a Legionella risk assessment?  

Regular Legionella risk assessments provide numerous benefits: 

  • Ensures the well-being of your tenants, employees, or guests by reducing the risk of illness. 
  • Minimizes the risk of legal action against you or your organization if an illness occurs. 
  • Uncovers potential issues within the building’s water system that may contribute to excessive energy consumption or water use, helping to reduce costs. 

To ensure the health and well-being of occupants and minimize risk, buildings with water systems must undergo regular Legionella risk assessments.  

Don’t wait for a Legionella outbreak to occur – contact our ASSE 12080 Certified Legionella Water Safety and Management Specialists to schedule your Legionella risk assessment today.


Download: Legionella Risk Assessment Template

Fill out the form to download our Legionella Risk Assessment template for a detailed list of what an assessment should include.

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