Legionella Risk In Spas And Leisure Centres 14th April 2022

Legionella Risk In Spas And Leisure Centres

The Health & Safety Executive requires that managers of spas and leisure centres must be maintained and cleaned regularly. It is an explicit legal requirement.

Additionally, plants and equipment must be well maintained and regular assessments performed for the protection of staff and users.

Health & Safety in Leisure Centres

Special care must be taken in leisure centres. This is because of the humidity and air circulation around still water. Pool water and shower facilities are areas that need to be monitored.

In fact, traces of the legionella causing bacteria were found in the shower area at Hythe Swimming Pool in Kent.

Aside from Legionella risks, there are also mould risks due to the humidity and temperatures of spas and leisure centres. Illustrating the importance of regular air conditioning checks, too.

Health & Safety in Spas

Jacuzzis can be quite dangerous – they are the perfect temperature to allow Legionella bacteria to thrive. And with many people using Jacuzzis, transmission conditions are quite ideal, too.

Water in spa pools is typically heated between 30-40°C and the Jacuzzis often have added features like jet streams or bubbles. This can be a problem if the air jets are poorly managed – they may have a bacteria build-up. Due to the moisture in the rooms, there’s a great deal of aerosol droplets. Very effective for bacteria to travel, and even more effective for bacteria to reach the lungs.

Health & Safety in Swimming Baths

Of course, Legionella isn’t the only bacteria risk in leisure centres, especially public pools. There’s also risk of salmonella, norovirus, and E.coli. All bacteria which can cause bouts of vomiting and sickness, which can be extreme in some cases.

Thanks to chlorine and other chemical water treatments, though, swimming pools are generally much safer than spas.


There are things that should be done to protect the staff and users of spas and leisure centres. For example, testing and staff training. Plenty of precautions can be taken to minimise risk in leisure centres and spas.

Perhaps the biggest responsibility: knowing HSE’s Legionella risks guide cover to cover. Complying with legal requirements is incredibly important. Not just because it’s the law but because it’s there to guide managers and owners on how to protect their workers and customers.

Staff Training

Staff should be educated on the risks of Legionella pneumophilia and it’s lead to Legionnaires’ disease. As well as this, they should also be aware of updates about the pool or spa assessments.

There should really be a ‘Responsible Person’, appointed by a member with authority, appointed to the caretaking of pools. A responsible person who will be in charge of Legionella risk assessments and documentation.


Suitable risk assessments should be in place and should be performed as frequently as necessary. The HSE guidelines outline the recommendations for how often they should be undertaken.

Testing is an important part of preventing Legionella bacteria build-up and providing a safe environment to customers.


As risk in leisure centres is high, water safety policies should be in place wherever pool water is concerned.

There should be documentation recorded for all checks and assessments that have been carried out. On the pool, the shower facilities, or the air conditioning system; it doesn’t matter where as long as the checks were recorded.

This means that the findings can always be reviewed in order to see if there were any flaws previously and if every instruction was followed.


It’s important that each system or facility is being maintained in the proper way. For example, spas and pools don’t have the same treatment method. In addition to treatment, samples should be taken from each source where the treatment has the ‘lowest’ impact.

Any water suppliers in the facility (vending machines, ice machines, dispensers) should all be consistently cleaned. These will be used the most by customers, it’s important to keep them in good condition so they’re safe for use. Especially dispensers where saliva may be transmitted from object (bottle) to equipment (dispenser).

Pool floats, covers and toys should be adequately cleaned before and after use. What about the storing place? It should be clean and well-kept. That way the items won’t be getting dirty when put away.

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