SA Legislation

In South Africa, Legislation regarding Legionella is quite vague, unfortunately allowing many opportunities for avoidance of the required standards due to personal interpretation of the regulations. In most developed countries, specific legislation exists for the control of Legionella, including the provision of national guidelines (for example, the UK’s HSE Approved Code of Practice ACoP L8 document), which allows duty holders to ensure legal compliance in the event of an outbreak, and subsequent Health and Safety investigations.

Legionella is currently legislated as follows in South Africa:

  • Legionella falls under the auspices of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)Act, No. 85 of 1993
  • A component of the OHS Act is the Regulations for Hazardous Biological Agents (HBA)
  • The HBA Regulations apply to every employer or self-employed person at a workplace whether the HBA’s are deliberately or not deliberately produced, processed, used, handled, stored or transported.
  • The HBA Regulations are all encompassing, and determine the need for: Risk Assessment, Adequate Training and Information, Monitoring and Record Keeping
  • HBA’s are ranked based on their perceived potential to inflict harm to humans. Legionella is normally identified as a Group 2 HBA, however, should there be a known presence of immune compromised individuals (e.g. in hospitals), Legionella becomes classified as a Group 3 HBA
  • In addition, Legionnaires Disease is recognized as a“Notifiable Disease” within South Africa, this in turn requires any medical practitioner or individual which positively identifies a case of Legionnaires Disease being forced to notify / report the case to the appropriate local authority

SABS Guidelines:

A South African Standard has been developed which is specific to Legionella Control. Ecosafe Operations Manager, Mr Jay Moodley, sits on the SABS Committee SC 147B: Water – Microbiological & Biological Treatment & Assessment of Water. The reference for the document is SANS (South African National Standard) 893 (1 & 2)

  1. Risk management
  2. The Control of Legionella in Water Systems

All Ecosafe Legionella Risk Management Consulting is undertaken according to SAN893 (1&2) and in addition all internationally recognised Legionella Risk Management standards and guidelines.

  • the U.K’s Approved Code of Practice & Guidance Document for the Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems,
  • the “ACOP L8”, The British Standard BS 8580:2012 Water Quality – Risk Assessments for  Legionella Control – Code of Practice,
  • the US document, Minimizing the Risk of Legionellos is Associated with Building Water Systems, the “ASHRAE Guideline 12-2000”.