A private care home on the Wirral has been fined £40,000 for failing to manage the risk of its residents catching a potentially deadly form of pneumonia.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mother Redcaps Care Home Ltd in Wallasey after it failed to comply with an Improvement Notice to deal with the risk associated with the legionella bacteria.
There was no system in place for managing hot and cold water at the care home, Liverpool Crown Court heard, and the firm failed to comply with an Improvement Notice served in November 2011 despite being given two extensions to do so.
The court heard up to 50 residents plus staff could have been put at risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease if the bacteria had been present, with the company still not having complied with the notice by May 2012.
Legionella bacteria can build up in water systems where the temperature is between 20 and 45 degrees Celsius if proper controls are not in place and may be inhaled when the water becomes airborne.
HSE Inspector Phil Redman said there was no evidence legionella was present but “there was a clear and inexcusable failure to properly assess and control the risk”.
Mother Redcaps Care Home Ltd, of Greenside Gardens in Leyland, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £6,525 and ordered to pay £33,475 in costs.
Copyright Press Association 2013