Legionella and UK registered shipping

How does UK shipping have to manage Legionella bacteria on board ship? The answer is explained in a Marine Guidance Note from the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency describing the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) (Biological Agents) Regulations .

In line with previous maritime health and safety regulations, the provisions of the Biological Agents Regulations do not apply to land-based workers (e.g. contractors, stevedores and other port workers) to whom HSE’s Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended) or HSE (Northern Ireland)’s Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (as amended) apply. However the HSE Regulations only apply within UK waters or to UK offshore installations. Should a land-based worker be on a vessel when it goes outside UK limits, the HSE Regulations will cease to apply and the maritime Regulations will then apply to that worker.

The first requirement is to carry out a risk assessment with new risk assessments undertaken whenever there are changes in cargo carried; working practices etc. Where the employer’s risk assessment indicates that risks to workers’ health and safety remain despite any measures taken, the employer is required to prevent such risks as far as is reasonably practicable. Where it does not prove reasonably practicable to prevent a risk of exposure to biological agents, the employer shall reduce the potential risk of exposure to as low a level as possible by taking appropriate measures. Employers are required to put hygiene and individual protection measures in place.

As with land based regulations and guidance employers are required to provide workers and/or their representatives with sufficient, relevant and appropriate information and training.

Further information and support on how shipping is affected can be obtained by contacting Collaton Consultancy Limited using general@collatonconsultancy.com or contacting us via our website http://www.collatonconsultancy.com

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