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Industry urged to learn from Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak

Following reports of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease at a plastics manufacturer’s facilities, Wilo is calling on stakeholders involved in plumbing, heating and building services to avoid making the same mistakes.

The case, which took place in 2020 at the factory of a West Bromwich firm and saw five people contract the disease (BBC News), has culminated in the business being fined £50,000 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), while being ordered to pay £11,000 in costs. One person was admitted to hospital and spent two weeks in intensive care before being discharged.

Now, Wilo, the efficiency-first pump manufacturer, wants installers, specifiers and building owners to proactively manage the risks of Legionella bacteria to avoid similar scenarios in future and help better protect people. David Williamson, Sales & Marketing Director at Wilo, also advises that measures as straightforward as installing a secondary hot water circulator pump can safeguard against non-compliance while lowering energy consumption and costs.

David said: “As we’ve seen in this case that’s been brought to light by the HSE, Legionnaires’ Disease is a highly dangerous, potentially life-threatening condition that can be wholly avoided if plumbing systems are managed correctly.

“This is one of the more extreme cases that we’ve seen in the industry. However, it’s possible that many plumbing systems across both commercial and residential properties are potentially in very similar situations, especially if they are of an age.

“That said, there are some relatively straightforward solutions, and modern, innovative circulator pumps, like our Stratos-PICO Z and Stratos-MAXO Z ranges, are one way to prevent Legionella bacteria from breeding. The ultimate benefit is that people are not put at risk, but for building owners and managers, it also means peace of mind from health and safety responsibilities and energy usage.”

David said: “Modern secondary hot water circulator pumps can be installed at a relatively small cost, but the advantages they provide in the long term are significant. By simply taking a modern, smart pumps like those in Wilo’s range, they can help with compliance, enhance a firms’ reputation as a responsible employer, and save people from contracting Legionnaires’ Disease.”

 

27 July 2023

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