Contaminated water is a major health and safety concern. The number of airborne bacteria and viruses that can arise as a result of contaminated water is alarming. In this article, Accident Advice Helpline takes a look at large air conditioning systems and whether or not they can be a source of contaminated water.
What are the risks of contaminated water?
Contaminated water can cause a number of nasty illnesses including E-Coli and Legionnaires Disease. It is important to avoid contact with any sources of water that may have become contaminated with these airborne particles. Legionella bacteria which can lead to the contraction of Legionnaire’s Disease thrive in warm and damp environments. Often any man-made water supply will be at risk, for example showers, baths and spas.
What risks do air conditioning systems pose?
If an air conditioning system does not contain a dehumidifier then it can cause contaminated water particles to become airborne and increase the risk of contact with contaminated water. It’s important for any artificial water supply such as an air conditioning unit to be properly maintained. Particularly at risk are large buildings including office blocks and hotels.
However, although there is a risk of contact with contaminated water from industrial air conditioning units it is important to note that there has never been a recorded case of Legionnaire’s Disease being contracted from a home air-conditioning unit which uses an evaporator.
How can the risk of contact with contaminated water through an air conditioning unit be prevented?
Owners of premises that have cooling towers, spas, baths and large air conditioning units are required by law to carry out regular inspection and maintenance of any units which may potentially pose a threat.
Legionnaire’s Disease is a major source of accident at work claims. Those who carry out the repairs and maintenance of cooling towers are most likely to be at risk to exposure to contaminated water. It’s important for any worker involved in this process to take the necessary precautions to prevent contact and reduce the chances of infection. Workers should wear a face mask at all times when carrying out maintenance and inspection.
I’ve suffered an illness as the result of contact with contaminated water. Am I entitled to claim compensation?
Accident Advice Helpline is a law firm with over 15 years’ experience in all areas of personal injury claims including public liability claims. If you’ve suffered an illness within the last three years and it wasn’t your fault then yes, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Contact us today for more information on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.
Date Published: February 19, 2014
Author: David Brown