Are you compliant with HSEs ACOP L8 & HSG274 for legionella control?

The UK’s Health & Safety Executive publishes several important Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs), which covers the control of Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires’ disease in the workplace.

The documents (HSGs) provide supporting advice to help you understand how to comply with the law; explanations of specific legal requirements; specific technical information or references to further sources of information to help you comply with your legal duties.

The legal status of the ACOP L8 and HSG274 which deal with the control of Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires’ disease are explained here:


Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) L8

The HSE’s ACOP L8 which deals with the control of legionella gives practical advice on how to comply with the law.

If you follow the advice provided you’ll be doing enough to comply with the law.

However, you can use alternative methods to those set-out in the ACOP L8 in order to meet your legal obligations.

But remember… ACOP L8 has a special legal status. If you are prosecuted for breach of health and safety law, and it’s shown that you did not follow the advice given, you will need to show that you have complied with the law in some other way or a Court will find you at fault.


HSG274 Guidance

The guidance given in HSG274 is not compulsory, unless specifically stated, and you are free to take other action.

But remember… if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. Health and safety inspectors may refer to this guidance when they inspect your premises.


How we can help

HLA Services Water Hygiene division is well placed to help you meet these HSE Enforcement Expectations and provide expertise in compliance guidance.

For more information on our Water Hygiene division please visit

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