Any person working on a restricted operations sites such as service reservoirs, pumping stations, treatment works, wells, spring and boreholes and working on the network of water mains and service pipes must be in possession of a National Water Hygiene card. The same training package is delivered to both direct employees of water companies, and all contractors that work on the restricted operations sites including self-lay organisations working on new developments.
The National Water Hygiene scheme has been developed at the request of Water UK, the body representing the water supply companies across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The blue National Water Hygiene card was introduced in January 2006 to replace all water company specific hygiene schemes and removes the need for workers to undergo separate testing, health screening and to carry several separate cards for each water authority.
Subjects covered within the training session include:
- The premise that water is a food product and the public expect their water supply to have been treated properly so that it does not cause health problems.
- The importance of personal hygiene and identification of potential sources of contamination.
- Awareness of potential for contamination. Includes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the need for clean boots.
- Vehicles – vehicles need to be kept clean and tidy and tools need to be separated. Awareness of where the vehicle has been taken before entering a treatment works e.g. fields, sewage treatment works etc.
- Multi-functional working – water and sewerage working is becoming common for some companies and the associated risks must be understood.
- Fuel, diesel and chemical contamination – any of these getting into the water could have detrimental affects.
- Pets could help to spread water borne diseases e.g. dogs, cats, horses etc – ensure that individuals do not wear the same footwear for work.
- Chlorine/disinfection, both in the water itself and other usage i.e. how chlorine is used to wash boots, clean tools and in repairs, and the correct disposal of chlorine solution.
- Awareness and usage surrounding approved products. The right substance for the job
- Awareness of the sampling and audit processes in place by various bodies.
Candidates must complete a registration form, health screening questionnaire and successfully complete a multiple choice test at the end of the course.
Upon successful completion of the course candidates will be issued with a Cover Note valid for 35 days. A new EUSR National Water Hygiene Card will subsequently be issued to the candidates. EUSR National Water Hygiene Cards are valid for 3 years.
Candidates are not required to bring any equipment with them on this course.
A health screening element is carried out to ensure that operatives holding the National Water Hygiene card are not carriers of any waterborne diseases on date of training and are aware of their responsibilities towards the potable water supply. Throughout the training the emphasis will be put on the individual that it is their duty to protect public health. They are responsible for ensuring that they inform their line manager if they come into contact with any disease that has the potential to cause harm.
Which systems present the greatest risk?
Cooling towers, evaporative condensers and hot and cold water systems have been associated with outbreaks. Other potential sources where precautions might be needed include humidifiers and spa baths.
If you decide that the risks are insignificant, your assessment is complete. You need take no further action other than to review the assessment periodically in case anything changes in your system.
What are my duties under law?
Under general health and safety law, you have to consider the risks from legionella that may affect your staff or members of the public and take suitable precautions.
As an employer or a person in control of the premises, you must:
* identify and assess sources of risk;
* prepare a scheme (or course of action) for preventing or controlling the risk;
* implement and manage the scheme ? appointing a person to be managerially responsible, sometimes referred to as * the ?responsible person’;
* keep records and check that what has been done is effective;
* if appropriate, notify the local authority that you have a cooling tower(s) on site (see ?Other duties’).
If a person working under your control and direction is treated as self-employed for tax and national insurance purposes, they may nevertheless be your employee for health and safety purposes. You may need therefore to take appropriate action to protect them.
If you do not wish to employ workers on this basis, you should seek legal advice. Ultimately each case can only be decided on its own merits by a court of law.
Where are legionella bacteria found?
Legionella bacteria are common in natural water courses such as rivers and ponds. Since legionella are widespread in the environment, they may contaminate and grow in other water systems such as cooling towers and hot and cold water services.
They survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20-45?C if the conditions are right, eg if a supply of nutrients is present such as rust, sludge, scale, algae and other bacteria. They are killed by high temperatures.
Do I pay for my training in advance?
Yes you do, you can pay online when you book your course, or call 0845 872 3411 and pay with a credit card over the phone. Customers with credit terms, please call Training Plus to book your course on 0845 872 3411.
Can you cater for students with special needs?
Yes, please make us aware of your requirements and we will do our best to provide the appropriate support.
Are there any car parking spaces available?
Yes, there are a lot of FREE car parking spaces available in the area.
What accommodation is available?
There are a variety of hotels and B & B’s in the area. There is a list available to assist you with booking your stay.
Am I going to feel safe during my course participation?
Beside the fact that our staff and the environment of the school will make you feel happy and safe, CCTV is operating in most of the school’s areas.
I’m getting on a bit, is it like going back to school and will I feel out of place?
Not at all. A large percentage of our learners are mature students simply keeping up to date with current standards. Everybody is made to feel welcome in the centre.