Legionellae

Our site-auditing and consultancy experience in mining and industrial operations provides a focus on possible Legionella hazard and site/system-specific risk-level assessments. Our team provides assistance with design system performance monitoring and implementation of suitable control strategies. Our support in the development of your site-specific Legionella Risk Management System will maximise your due diligence and duty of care and ensure unified management system compliance with applicable state and federal regulations. Our service strives for best possible outcomes as well as incidence support and response times.

The measures for Legionella control and the prevention of Legionellosis in place throughout Australia have legislative backing, although the means of enactment varies from State to State.
Differences in regulatory approaches by Australian States and Territories to prevention of Legionellosis details can be found among:
• Legislation, guidelines and responsible authorities;
• Registration, approvals and licensing;
• Maintenance and testing requirements for cooling water systems; and
• Maintenance and testing requirements for warm water systems and spa-pools

The primary reference document used to facilitate control measures to minimise or prevent health hazards associated with air and water systems throughout Australia is the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3666 series, “Air-handling and water systems of buildings – Microbial control”.
The Standard has four parts:
Part 1: Design, installation and commissioning (AS/NZS 3666.1:2011);
Part 2: Operation and maintenance (AS/NZS 3666.2:2011);
Part 3: Performance-based maintenance of cooling water systems (AS/NZS 3666.3:2011); and
Part 4: Performance-based maintenance of air-handling systems (AS/NZS 3666.4:2011)

In 2006 an additional standard was published which relates to major evaporative cooling systems associated with power generation. The standard adopts risk-based performance measures including site-specific risk-assessments, performance validation and appropriate trigger action control protocols.
The standard has one part:
AS 5059-2006 Power station cooling tower water systems – Management of Legionnaires’ disease health risk

Legionella risk management for mining and Industrial operations represents a growing area of concern, particularly in view of some recently publicised cases of Legionellosis at Northern mines. There appears to be some disparity between various OH&S and health authorities’ approaches to Legionella risk-management where control measures may be insufficient, disproportionate, irrational or not relevant to the application. This is due in part to the fact that current Australian Standards for Legionella management focus on cooling tower and evaporative condenser units. That is, currently there are no common guidelines or standards that address management of other Legionella hazards in mining and related industries. Risk sources identified include recycled and natural source waters utilized in dust-suppression, drilling, vehicle wash-down and irrigation as well as potable reticulation systems.