It has frequently been found that poor maintenance of such plant and poor compliance with the requirements of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulation’s and Approved Code of Practice on the prevention or control of legionellosis, gives rise to the potential conditions in which out breaks can and do occur.
It is because these wet cooling systems pose the most serious risk from out breaks of legionnaires’ disease if not properly looked after, that the Notification of Cooling Tower and Evaporative Condenser Regulation’s 1992 were brought into being requiring the notification of cooling towers and evaporative condensers to the appropriate local authority.
The regulation’s require those in control of premises with wet cooling systems to register them with the local authority within which they are located and to also notify changes, including when plant ceases to be in operation.
The principle purpose for this notification process is to identify where potential sources of risk are located and allow for easier identification, monitoring and inspection by the enforcing authorities.
Whilst the task of maintaining records of wet cooling systems under the regulation’s rests with local authorities, and in this particular case Fylde Borough Council, responsibility for enforcement in respect of standards of assessment and control is split between the Health & Safety Executive and local authorities, depending on the main activity of the premises.
Operators of installations should be aware that both the local authority and HSE will undertake a number of visits to their premises to ensure standards are met and will take enforcement action where appropriate.