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Revision of the Approved Code of Practice L8 (ACOP L8)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revised the Legionnaires’ disease Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) (L8), removing the technical guidance which has been published separately online.

The revision was intended to provide greater clarity for dutyholders on what constitutes legal requirements and what is guidance. Terminology has been simplified where possible.

The review provided the opportunity to update technical guidance to incorporate technological advancements and separate it from general guidance on the regulations and is now available on the HSE website.

The ACOP, which is aimed at dutyholders including employers; those in control of premises; and people with health and safety responsibilities for others, was one of several identified for review and revision; consolidation; or withdrawal, in line with a recommendation by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt in his report ‘Reclaiming health and safety for all’.

The revised publication was subject to consultation and received HSE Board and ministerial approval. It includes information on identifying and assessing sources of risk; preparing a scheme to prevent or control risk; implementing, managing and monitoring precautions; keeping records of precautions; and appointing a competent person with sufficient authority and knowledge of an installation to help take measures needed to comply with the law.

 [1] Legal responsibilities to protect workers’ health and safety are not altered by any changes to ACOPs. 

An ACOP provides practical guidance on complying with the general duties of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) or the requirements of goal-setting regulations. ACOPs are not law but do have a special legal status; if the advice in ACOP material is followed in relevant circumstances dutyholders can be confident they are complying with the law.

The revised ACOP L8 replaces the previous version, which included technical guidance. The technical guidance is 13 years old.  The HSE has worked with the Industry Review Group to revise and update the technical guidance and publish it separately (HSG274). This guidance comprises of three sections:

Part 1: Evaporative Cooling Systems,

Part 2: Hot and cold water systems (This section is an extract from the previous edition of L8 and is still under review.  This interim guidance and will remain in place until the review and revision of the hot and cold water section is complete).

Part 3: Other Risk Systems. [3] 

Contact 3C Environmental Technology for free advice and guidance on how the above changes may impact your organisation.

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