Tendring District Council has been fined after a member of public contracted Legionnaires’ Disease having been a regular user of its leisure centre facilities.
Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard how the member of public frequently used the showers at Walton Lifestyles when he fell seriously ill and was taken to hospital where he remained for 18 days. He was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, sepsis, pneumonia and chronic kidney failure.
Water samples taken from the men’s shower tested positive for the legionella bacteria. Legionella bacteria can proliferate in hot and cold water systems that aren’t properly maintained or cleaned.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Tendring District Council had failed to adequately manage the water systems at a number of leisure centres in the district, including Walton Lifestyles, Dovercourt Lifestyles and Clacton Leisure Centre. The significant failings included not having suitable and sufficient Legionella Risk Assessments for the leisure facilities and not providing adequate control measures required for Legionella control. Staff were not adequately trained and a lack of monitoring meant these failings went unnoticed for several months.
Tendring District Council of Town Hall, Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £27,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,500.