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CDC Legionella toolkit

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1 How to Use This Toolkit Reference: ASHRAE 188: Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems June 26, 2015. ASHRAE: Atlanta. www.ashrae.org If you've never developed a Legionella water management program (a plan to reduce the risk of Legionella growth and spread), you might not be sure where or how to start. This toolkit will provide guidance to help you develop, implement, and evaluate a Legionella water management program for your building. Be sure to follow all relevant federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances. If anything in this toolkit conflicts with these policies, always adhere to the policies. Where do we start? The first step is to determine if you even need a program. You can use the worksheet on page 2 to find out if your entire building or parts of it are at increased risk for Legionella growth and spread. If you learn that you need to develop a program, this toolkit will explain what steps you should take and give several examples to clarify the process. Do we really need a water management program to prevent Legionella growth and spread? If you answer YES to any of the questions on page 2, then yes! Developing and implementing a program means that you are helping to protect people from getting Legionnaires' disease, a serious type of pneumonia (see Appendix A for more information on this disease). Is this toolkit full of scientific terms? You might come across some technical terms that are unfamiliar. The glossary on page 3 and the introduction to Legionella ecology on pages 4–5 should help you with these terms. Will this toolkit tell us everything that we need to do? No. Because every building is unique, only you have access to all the information that is needed to develop and implement a program specific to your building. An example of a building is included to help illustrate some of the steps. It's important to know that these examples are not comprehensive and you will need to create a program specific to your building water system and devices. This toolkit looks really long. What's the bottom line? You need to actively identify and manage hazardous conditions that support growth and spread of Legionella. As you work through the toolkit, you'll learn about the importance of identifying and controlling hazardous conditions that increase the chance of Legionella growth and spread. The bottom line is that you need to: 6 6 6 6 Identify building water systems for which Legionella control measures are needed Assess how much risk the hazardous conditions in those water systems pose Apply control measures to reduce the hazardous conditions, whenever possible, to prevent Legionella growth and spread Make sure the program is running as designed and is effective Is there anyone who can help us develop our program? Yes. As you'll learn in the toolkit, it's recommended that you form a water management team. Your team should include a variety of people who bring different skills to the table (learn more on page 7). You might already have all the expertise you need on staff, but sometimes you will need to get outside help. In some cases, you may need to train your in-house personnel or hire professionals with specific experience in Legionella bacteria in building water systems, such as a certified industrial hygienist, a microbiologist, or an environmental health specialist. Blueprints could come in handy, too. What do all of the gray boxes mean? The gray boxes throughout the document highlight program elements that are especially relevant for healthcare facilities. The content found outside of the gray boxes is also applicable to these types of facilities.

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