If your building is currently closed or has had reduced occupancy during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, there may be stagnant water in the system due to lack of use.

This increases the risk of Legionnaires' Disease. In addition, the drinking water within your building may no longer be of an acceptable quality.

Employers, the self-employed and people in control of premises have a duty to identify and control risks associated with legionella and the quality of drinking water.

Premises such as:

  • shops
  • hairdressers
  • beauty salons
  • offices
  • hotels
  • gyms
  • sports clubs
  • golf clubs
  • hotels
  • pubs
  • clubs
  • restaurants
  • camp sites
  • and any other business that has a water supply

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published new guidance to assist businesses in helping to minimise risks associated with legionella bacteria in water systems whilst in shut down and before reopening.

You should be taking action now, especially during any period when your business is closed, and before reopening.

Reopening a building without addressing the safety of its water system is unacceptable and is likely to be in breach of the law.

If you are not able to put in place a proper recommissioning process to use the water system safely, you should not reopen the building.

Further advice is available from your area Environmental Health Officer:

Environmental Health Officer

Healthy Working Lives offer free, confidential advice to businesses on safety and health issues.

Additional information is available for people and businesses in Scotland on the Scottish Government - Coronavirus in Scotland web pages.