8 June 2012

Improvement notice served on Edinburgh firm as LD search continues

UK: investigations into the legionnaires' disease outbreak in Edinburgh has led to the HSE serving an improvement notice on one of the city's businesses.
The improvement notice served on North British Distillery Company Ltd refers to one cooling tower at its Wheatfield Road facility. However, the company has chosen to take all three cooling towers out of operation.

The HSE points out that issuing the improvement notice does not mean that this cooling tower has been identified as the source of the outbreak and the notice can be appealed by the company within the next 21 days.

The notice was served for a failure to devise and implement a sustained and effective biocide control programme in one cooling tower.

HSE visited North British Distillery Company Ltd as part of the ongoing investigation into the legionnaires disease outbreak in the south west of the city. Visits to other companies are ongoing.

The HSE can issue an improvement notice if it believes that correct procedures are not being followed but there is not an immediate risk to workers or members of the public. It sets out what remedial action is necessary and a deadline for its completion. In this case, North British Distillers have been required to satisfy HSE that appropriate controls are in place by June 29.

The HSE has admitted that the source of the outbreak, which has killed one man, been confirmed in 28 people and suspected in 46 others, may never be conclusively identified.

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