A Legionella Risk Assessment, also known as LRA, is a routine audit carried out to evaluate the potential threat of Legionella infection being present in a commercial property. This is done to notify owners and/or operators about the potential health hazards that could be brought about by the presence of this microscopic antibiotic resistant bacteria in the building or any other place where it could potentially be distributed.
This airborne pathogen has been linked to numerous health conditions and death has even been reported in young children who had come into contact with contaminated milk. The LRA has recently been made available for public use through the provision of an informative booklet that explains its diagnosis and treatment procedures as well as those recommended by healthcare organizations and medical associations. As with any disease, knowledge is the key to preventing or controlling outbreaks, which is why this booklet is highly recommended to anyone who thinks he or might have contracted Legionella and would like to know more about the infection.
The legionella risk assessment procedure is conducted after consultation from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Landlords and domestic premises operators are expected to take the necessary steps to ensure that their commercial properties and other places of work and residence do not fall within the risks covered by the assessment. In carrying out the assessment, the inspectors look for various symptoms such as cough, sore throat, asthma, wheezing and shortness of breath among others. Other signs and symptoms of infection include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, blood in the stool, redness, swelling, blisters or crusting on the skin. All these symptoms need to be present for the infection to be detected.
Based on the results of the LRA assessment, the inspectors identify potential sources of contamination such as raw sewage, storm water runoff, outdoor air and water, and storm water run off. Based on the results of the laboratory test, the inspectors then identify the sources of contamination and make recommendations regarding the measures needed to eliminate them from the domestic premises. If any of the sources are found within the commercial property, then a control plan will need to be implemented. The control plan requires the use of protective measures such as proper disinfection, elimination of any contaminated areas and the cleaning of all possible sources of infection.