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Could you be doing more to tackle legionella?

Legionnaire’s disease continues to be a serious threat, with the consequences including long-term health problems and even death. Are you doing everything you can to prevent it in your workplace?

What is Legionnaire’s disease?

Legionnaire’s disease is a potentially fatal lung disorder caused by legionella bacteria, which occurs when droplets of contaminated water are inhaled. This non-contagious disorder originates from contaminated water sources such as rivers and lakes, but can find its way into artificial systems including air conditioners. Among the symptoms reported are higher fever, muscle pain and chills, and once the infection sets in it can lead to persistent coughing, chest pains and breathing problems.

What is the scale of the problem?

Over the last decade or so, there have been, on average, 300-400 reported cases of Legionnaire’s disease annually, with a mortality rate of between 10% and 12%. HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems harbouring legionella have caused some high-profile deaths in recent years, particularly in hospitals. In the five years to June 2012, the Health and Safety Executive reported that 88% of legionella outbreaks were as a result of failings in risk assessment and scheme of control.

How can air conditioning systems be made safe from legionella?

Those responsible for the wellbeing of building occupants must ensure they have a comprehensive safety programme in place, including a suitable risk assessment. A planned maintenance programme should be implemented as part of this, with HVAC equipment regularly checked and refurbished when necessary. So are you doing everything you can to protect your building’s occupants from exposure to legionella?

Gibbons’ extensive HVAC services include:

  • Maintenance designed to fit in with your schedule and minimise disruption
  • Repair on site or at our workshop
  • Upgrade to new, more energy-efficient equipment
  • Refurbishment of worn components.

If you’re concerned and want to find out more about how Gibbons can help, call HVAC Services manager Andrew Knight on 07850 204915 or email for expert advice.

HVAC Services, Humidification


  • Date: 25 September 2014 Richard Betts
    Interesting blog and one which follows my own line of thinking -

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