Completing your Written Scheme (or Water Safety Plan)

An expertly written Written Scheme

Writing your own Written Scheme can very onerous and may run to 30 plus pages long. How do you know you have included all that is required to go into the scheme? Well HSG 274 gives guidance on what is required in a Written Scheme.

The scheme should specify the various control measures and how to use and carry out those measures. It should also describe the water treatment regimes and the correct operation of the water system plant. The scheme should be specific and relate to the cooling plant or hot and cold water services being operated on site, ie tailored to the cooling plant and domestic water services covered by the risk assessment. Along with the information contained in HSG 274, the following list summarises the information to include in a written control scheme.

  • Purpose.
  • Scope.
  • Risk assessment.
  • Notification of cooling towers.
  • Management structure:
    • dutyholder;
    • responsible person(s) and communication pathways;
    • training;
    • allocation of responsibilities.
  • Up-to-date schematic diagram showing layout of the cooling system(s) and/or hot and cold water services
  • The correct and safe operation of the system.
  • Precautions in place to prevent or minimise risk associated with cooling systems and/or ht and cold water systems
  • Analytical tests, other operational checks, inspections and calibrations to be carried out, their frequency and any resulting corrective actions.
  • Remedial action to be taken in the event that the scheme is shown not to be effective, including control scheme reviews and any modifications made.
  • Health and safety information, including details on storage, handling, use and disposal of any disinfectant used in both the treatment of the system and testing of the system water.
  • Incident plan which covers, eg:
    • very high microbial activity as estimated by dip slides or T\/Cs, count or repeat positive water analyses for Legionella spp;
    • an outbreak of legionellosis, suspected or confirmed as being centred at the site;
    • an outbreak of legionellosis, the exact source of which has yet to be confirmed, but which is believed to be centred in an area which includes the site.

This, therefore, is a significant document that deserves proper care and attention. It would be of no surprise if this is off-putting but fortunately Collaton Consultancy Limited are experienced at creating these documents so can help you by creating one for or with you.

If your site is a healthcare premise then the Written Scheme is called a Water Safety Plan then there are additional items that need to be considered, all explained in HTM0401.  This time there will be additional microbiological issues such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia as well as others. Again Collaton Consultancy Limited can help you create a suitable document to help your site processes.

Contact Collaton Consultancy Limited on general@collatonconsultancy.com or call on +44 (0)7958 124563.

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