Let’s be honest. Most people who work in facilities management, infection control, property management, safety, industrial hygiene, or engineering want to protect the people in their buildings from Legionella and other waterborne pathogens—not just in hospitals, but also in schools, hotels, nursing homes, apartment and condo properties, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities.
But, they have a plethora of other risks to manage, rules to follow, and maintenance tasks to perform — and their money, staff, and time are already like a rubber band stretched so far it’s fraying, about to snap.
Health officials are facing pressure, too. If building operators do not heed warnings and voluntarily follow ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, state agencies will be compelled to adopt and enforce regulations to protect public health. If they don’t, they could be accused of neglecting the public they are called to protect.
How did we get to this point?
Laws for Legionella prevention were established in the United Kingdom and Australia in 1991, relatively soon after the 1976 outbreak in Philadelphia that led to the discovery of Legionnaires’ disease. In the United States, however, pressure caused by insufficient action to reduce the risk of a preventable disease has been building for 40 years.