The legionella bacteria can cause a range of health complaints that range in severity, and can lead to pneumonia that can be potentially fatal. With the outbreak in Edinburgh recently, the clock has been ticking to identify the possible sources of this latest deadly outbreak.
Now, the Health and Safety Executive has issued an Improvement Notice for a distillery for alleged failures to control the risk of legionella in one of its three cooling towers. Cooling towers require a sustained and effective biocide control program if they are to meet the standards required by the Health and Safety Executive.
In this case, the Improvement Notice does not mean that the source of the outbreak has been identified; indeed, the specific cause may never be found. It is simply part of an on-going investigation into the outbreak in Edinburgh. The company in question has responded by taking all three of its cooling towers out of operation, and it now has three weeks to appeal against the Notice.
Such Notices are served when the HSE believes that the correct procedures are not being adhered to, but that the public are not being placed in immediate danger a direct result.