How Important is Record Keeping?

How Important is Record Keeping?

12th September 2019

Record keeping is a core component of a lot of health and safety disciplines and while the value in keeping them is inarguable, the depth and accuracy of the information can vary.

This perhaps poses the question, is there any value in going above and beyond the basic requirements? Well, while we can’t speak for every health and safety aspect, in terms of our specialist field, Legionella control, there certainly is and thanks to new advances within the field, it’s now easier than ever.

Basic Requirements

In order to meet the requirements laid out by the HSE for controlling the risk of Legionella, organisations with 5 or more employees must keep written records of any significant findings, including areas of risk and the steps taken to prevent or control risks.

Depending on the type of record, you’ll need to keep them for different amopunts of time. Risk assessments should be kept for as long as they are valid and then 2 years after that. Any tests, services or contorl measures that are carried out need to be recorded and kept for 5 years.

Although records need to be written down, they don’t necessarily need to be on paper and with the technological advances within the field, it’s that much easier to produce an audit trail of your efforts.

Arguably the most common record type is temperature monitoring, every month a number of outlets need to be tested to ensure effective contorl of the water system.

How Technology Helps

Monthly monitoring is a dangerous thing to get wrong or miss, as this is usually the first chance many people have to review the effectiveness of their control measures. If temperatures are out of the safe range, this increases the risk posed by Legionella, by providing one of the 3 contributing factors of the bacteria’s growth.

A very common issue we’ve found within our industry is missing or inaccurate records. It might not seem like the most important task to some people or the idea that missing a single month couldn’t possible hurt, but this isn’t the case.

Luckily, this is where the new wave of remote monitoring devices can make all the difference. Human error is perhaps the biggest cause of shortfalls in compliance work, so these devices remove the need for manual water tempeature monitoring.

These systems can operate almost completely autonomously, with bare minimum interference except for the initial install and replacing batteries.

Exceeding The Requirements

As mentioned above, monthly checks are often the first indicator that control measures are failing to effectively manage the risk and even if the results are satisfactory, it’s not necessarily the whole story.

Monthly monitoring is merely a snapshot of how the system is performing at that moment in time and might not accurately reflect the conditions within the pipework between each check.

However, remote devices are continuously attached to pipework and can capture data far more frequently. Oursystem monitors water tempeartures on an hourly basis and provides alerts for nonconformities, meaning you’re able to respond earlier and prevent issues from arising.

Aside from live monitoring, more frequent checks create a vastly more detailed record of activity, meaning you can analyse patterns and highlight potential environmental influences that are affecting your control measures.

By Simon Stone

Nant Ltd

The Development Centre,
Wolverhampton Science Park,
Glaisher Drive,
West Midlands
WV10 9RT


01902 636355