Legionella Prosecution06 Aug 2018
Four people died and 92 became ill following an outbreak of Legionnaires disease in Edinburgh in 2012 but the HSE decided not to prosecute at the time. Charges are now being brought against five companies under the Health and Safety at Work Act. The risk from air cooling towers and industrial systems in venues is well understood. In 2016 G4S Cash Solutions were fined £1.8 million for failing to reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease from its water systems having pleaded guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act. The risk is less well understood for temporary water features at events. In 2017 JTF Holdings was fined £1 million after an outbreak at its front of house display in Stoke-on-Trent store led to the deaths of two men who were affected after breathing in infected water droplets from a hot tub on display near the exit, café and till points in the store. At total of 21 people were struck down with Legionnaires’ disease caused by the failure to properly maintain the hot tub. JTF pleaded guilty to breaching s.3 of HASAWA.
These cases highlight the human cost and legal consequences of failing to understand the risks from Legionella in water systems and water features.