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Legionella visits in the west of Scotland

Businesses and organisations with cooling towers in the west of Scotland are facing checks to ensure they are managing legionella risks appropriately.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities are currently visiting cooling towers and evaporative condensers in Glasgow, North Ayrshire, Inverclyde and Renfrewshire. The checks are expected to inform visits to similar sites across Britain.

The inspections follow the publication of a safety notice in July warning of the legionella risks posed by cooling towers and evaporative condensers and are part a wider initiative to promote better control of legionella.

It follows an HSE review of outbreaks in 2011 that identified cooling towers and evaporative condensers as being responsible for the majority of the most significant outbreaks in Britain in the past ten years.

David Snowball, the Director for Scotland & Northern England said:

"We are doing these visits to focus businesses' attention on ensuring they are doing what is required both to protect their workers and the wider public.

"Our research has confirmed that cooling towers pose the biggest legionella risk. If we, or local authority inspectors, find that the appropriate controls are not in place, we will take enforcement action.

"Inspections are a valuable part of our regulatory action. They are however no substitute for companies meeting their legal duties on a daily basis, given that legionella levels can increase to high levels in a matter of days or weeks."

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