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New risk advisory cautions employers about the risk of Legionnaires’ disease from water systems left idle during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published on: May 15, 2020

Stagnant water in idle water systems can grow Legionella bacteria. Workers and others exposed to this bacteria may be at risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease. If your building or water system has been shut down due to COVID-19, it’s important you consider this risk as you develop your startup procedures.

Legionella bacteria multiply in warm water, and can potentially be found in water sources such as swimming pools, hot tubs, water tanks, and cooling towers used in residential or commercial buildings. If water containing the bacteria becomes airborne, it may be inhaled by workers or members of the public.

WorkSafeBC’s new risk advisory, Legionnaires’ disease from water systems left idle during the COVID-19 pandemic, discusses the potential risks and outlines measures employers can take to help reduce the growth of the bacteria in idle water systems.

Learn more about managing risk.