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Eurosurveillance, Volume 7, Issue 27, 03 July 2003

Citation style for this article: Guidelines for reducing legionella risk associated with using spa baths from the UK Health and Safety Executive. Euro Surveill. 2003;7(27):pii=2249. Available online:

Guidelines for reducing legionella risk associated with using spa baths from the UK Health and Safety Executive

Editorial team (, Eurosurveillance editorial office.

The Health and Safety Executive in the United Kingdom (UK) has produced an information sheet providing guidance for people who supply spa baths or manage premises where they are used, on the responsibilities under health and safety law to manage risks associated with use of their equipment and the spread of legionella bacteria (
  • Those responsible for managing spa baths should:
  • identify and assess any potential sources of legionella, and consider who and how these people could be exposed; in other words conduct a risk assessment;
  • prepare a plan to prevent or control any risks identified;
  • implement, manage and monitor the precautions put in place (the HSE's Approved Code of Practice and guidance can give further advice on how to do this);
  • keep records of this work;
  • appoint someone else to manage this responsibility if necessary;
  • train staff to correctly operate the spa bath - giving them appropriate information about the risks and the plans to manage them.

Spa baths are also known as spa pools, whirlpool spas, hot tubs, hot spas, portable spas, and Jacuzzi (a brand name). The legionella risk associated with spa baths is acknowledged as a problem throughout Europe (1-3).

  1. Den Boer JW, Yzerman EPF, Schellekens J, Lettinga KD, Boshuizen HC, Van Steenbergen JE, et al. A Large Outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease at a Flower Show, the Netherlands, 1999. Emerg Infect Dis 2002; 8: 37-43. (
  2. PHLS. Legionnaires' disease associated with a hotel and leisure centre in Somerset. Commun Dis Rep CDR Wkly 2003; 13 (11): news. (

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