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Businesses are being urged to carry out vital safety checks to avoid increasing the risk of Legionnaires' disease

LOGO: West Berkshire Council

Businesses across West Berkshire are being urged to carry out vital safety processes to their water systems to avoid increasing the risk of Legionnaires' disease as they reopen following the COVID-19 lockdown, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) warns.

Cllr Howard Woollaston, Executive Member for Public Health and Community Wellbeing at West Berkshire Council, said:

"As the restrictions start to ease over the upcoming weeks and months, it's important for businesses to ensure they carry out the required health and safety checks with their water systems to ensure there is no risk of Legionnaire's disease for the safety of their customers.

"Legionnaire's disease is a serious lung disease that is caused by inhaling water droplets containing bacteria that cause the infection. It is uncommon but can be very serious.

"For businesses that have been closed for long periods of time, and had hot and cold water systems switched off for some weeks, the chances of the bacteria forming is higher.

"The Chartered Institute for Environmental Health has provided some practical advice on how to reopen safely. I would urge all business owners to read this information now while carrying out all their vital health and safety processes in order to avoid the risk of Legionnaires disease."

Read more on the guidance created by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health on Legionnaire's disease and reopening.