BS8580 & LCA Service Standard Compliant (ALARP)

A question we often get asked is whether your risk assessment product is BS 8580 and LCA Service Standard compliant.

Of course, we would like to answer yes, however, a recent data dive suggests that only 10 percent of assessments include reference to ALARP. The LCA service standard for risk assessment requires the definition of inherent risk, residual risk, and the risk gap to ALARP as can be seen in the service standard checklist. 

I will recap these as I see them, with apologies to the assessors who fully understand these terms.

BS 8580, the LCA service standard guided by the health and safety executive, promotes the idea of proportionality in controlling risks and taking action. Within HSG274 Part 2 there is an information box 2.2 that describes a low-risk water system (from a Legionella control perspective). HSG274 Part 1 Covers evaporative cooling water systems. If we take away all control measures, including good design, and consider the individuals exposed, we are estimating the inherent risk. Clearly, the inherent risk of a cooling system is substantially greater than the inherent risk of our low-risk water system. The key message is, failure to maintain controls in the cooling system might be fatal, while a failed control in our low-risk system has a limited impact (or put another way, assessing an inherently low-risk water system and applying high-priority/risk actions to it is typically not proportional).

ALARP – As Low As Reasonably Practical in Legionella risk assessment terms might be that there are no significant remedial/corrective actions when assessed.

The residual risk is the assessed risk with current controls and design in place. Therefore the recommendations made represent the risk gap from the current residual risk and ALARP.

L8MS offers template sentences in the Executive summary – Water Systems section. If you choose not to use our templates, which is fine, remember to add your own boilerplate words. Failure to add inherent, residual, and ALARP statements is likely to result in an LCA field assessor finding fault with your Legionella Risk Assessment.