G4S Cash Solutions has been fined £1.8 million after failing to reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease from its water systems.
G4S are the largest secure solutions company in the world, and G4S Cash Solutions (UK) provide secure cash management solutions for businesses around the UK. They were recently handed a large fine from the courts due to their failure to appropriately manage legionella in the workplace.
In May 2012, an external legionella consultancy carried out a risk assessment on the water system of G4S Cash Solutions (UK)’s Sandringham Avenue site in Harlow, Essex. 17 high risk issues were identified, included design flaws which could enable water to stagnate and bacteria to grow. Little action was taken following the results of this risk assessment.
In October 2013, Harlow Council Environmental Health Officers inspected the site following a report of a Harlow resident, and employee of G4S Cash Solutions, contracting Legionellosis. Whilst it was not proven that the disease was contracted from G4S Cash Solutions’ site, it was found that they were not complying with regulations to maintain water systems. Not only were their risk assessments and training inadequate – their health & safety policy was unsigned and dated back to 2009.
G4S Cash Solutions failed to action advice on managing legionella given by Harlow Council Environmental Health Officers early in their investigation, and were issued with a written warning and later issued with an improvement notice before finally being prosecuted by Harlow Council.
In September 2016 G4S Cash Solutions were sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court with the judge fining the company £1.8 million after it plead guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and ordering that £34,000 court costs were paid.
Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia, giving flu like symptoms, and can be fatal. Are you confident you are managing Legionella in your organisation to the latest revision of the HSE guidance (L8 4th Edition – 2013)?
If not contact Navigator Health & Safety.
- Is your workplace safe?
- Are your work practices current and appropriate?
- Do your staff comply with current procedures and working practices?
If you don’t know the answer to those questions, then a health and safety audit is your next step.