Increased Risk of Legionella Following Lockdown

Assess and Control The Risk of Legionella Before Reopening

HSE has issued a stark warning for business owners to assess for the risk of legionella before they reopen their doors in June.

The government has announced plans for schools and some places of business, including car retailers to reopen from June 1st, with other non-essential retailers expected to follow suit by June 15th. If your business has been closed for several weeks, then the Health and Safety Executive advises that these commercial premises might be at an increased risk of having developed legionella during the lockdown.

How Is Covid-19 Related To Legionella?

The coronavirus is not related to legionella bacteria at all. However, the impact of the social distancing measures that we’ve been following, including closing numerous workplaces, will have left water systems in a state of stagnation. This is precisely the type of environment that legionella bacterium thrives in. If contamination of your water systems has taken place during the lockdown, then HSE warns that all occupants of the building will be at risk once they’re present on the premises once again.

What Are The Risks of Legionella?

Legionella is a deadly bacterium present in some manmade or natural sources of water. In a manmade setting, it is often found within air conditioning units, water tanks or other heating and cooling systems. If the bacterium is inhaled, then it can cause a severe respiratory illness known as Legionnaire’s disease, which is similar to pneumonia.

Legionella Risk Assessment

HSE explains that employers, self-employed people and anyone in charge of a building, for example a landlord, all have duties to protect against the risks of legionella. The first step in providing protection is to carry out a detailed legionella risk assessment. You should already be undertaking and documenting regular risk assessments to mitigate the threat of this bacterium. However, those who are reopening their business following a period of closure or reduced occupancy should review their risk assessments to determine what, if anything, needs to be managed.

This must happen before resuming using air conditioning units or water systems.

Wearing Appropriate RPE

If you are personally in charge of checking your water systems for the presence of legionella, then it is essential that you are wearing the correct respiratory protective equipment to do so. Exposure to legionella can be fatal, so it is critical that you guard yourself from the possibility of inhaling any airborne particles which may be contaminated.

Typically, it would be advised that you should wear an FFP3 mask, but these are in short supply due to the needs of medical staff treating those with Covid-19 symptoms. As a result, HSE advises that you might use a reusable half or full-face mask with a P3 filter, a powered respirator with a hood class of at least TH2 or 3, or a full-fitting face mask with TM3.

It would be advisable for companies to turn to specialists to carry out their legionella risk assessment and to carry out any necessary professional control measures such as tank cleaning or repair work. Unfortunately, the severity of legionella means that if you’re not able to adequately assess and control the associated risks of this bacterium, then you should not reopen for business until you are able to commit to these steps. The HSE offers full guidance on this matter if you require further information.

Academic Transcription Services for Students and Teachers

Audio to text transcription is an extremely valuable tool that is utilised by people across various industries from those relating to law, pharma and medical to TV, media and the corporate sector.

One of the other areas that transcription services can be extremely valuable is for people involved with academia – such as students, teachers, professors and academic researchers.

What are audio to text transcription services?

Audio to text transcription services are the process of ‘transcribing’ or converting spoken words into written words. This can be done from a video or audio recording of anything from a speech, dictation, conference, conversation or meeting into a text document.

What are some examples of how academic transcriptions can be used by those attending or teaching in an educational setting?

  • Transcription of lectures
  • Note taking
  • Thesis transcription
  • Dissertation transcription
  • Academic interviews
  • Research interviews
  • Educational interviews
  • Verbatim Transcription
  • Proof Reading
  • Meetings
  • Conference transcription
  • Intelligent verbatim
  • Speech transcription
  • Presentation transcription
  • Group discussions
  • Accreditation reports

What subjects and departments can transcription services work for?

Professional academic transcription services are able to handle highly sensitive or technical information across a variety of subjects and departments such as;

  • Business Schools
  • Policy Units
  • Social Research Institutes
  • Geography
  • Criminology
  • Environmental Science
  • Veterinary Schools
  • Epidemiology and Public Health

What are the benefits of using academic transcription services?

Improved Comprehension – this benefits both the teachers and those they are teaching. Trying to retain information in a lesson or seminar can be difficult and the amount of information students are expected to retain can be overwhelming.

Teachers can provide transcribed documents of key lessons to students to help them better understand the material as well as being a helpful tool for future classes or for sharing with students unable to attend lessons that day.

Students can have recordings transcribed themselves to allow them to fully focus on listening and being present, rather than worrying about taking comprehensive notes for later. The written material can be great for referring back to and to support essays or used to help revise.

Convenient

Easy to read transcripts provide every detail in an easy to read format and eliminates the time consuming process of listening to audio again themselves in order to gain the information they need.

Searchable

If you have an audio recording of a seminar for example, and remember that there was a particular point relevant to something which you’d like to hear again, you have to repeatedly listen to the audio until you find it.

If you have the audio transcribed into text format, then you have a document that allows you to search for particular keywords quickly and efficiently to find the information you were looking for.

Time Saving

Both teachers and students know how valuable time is. Whether you are busy teaching or busy learning, utilising audio to text transcription services can be an invaluable tool in helping you to make the most of your lessons, lectures and seminars.  

Transcribing audio files yourself is extremely time consuming with it taking even a professional transcriber around 4 hours to transcribe a 1-hour audio file. With professional transcription services you can save yourself precious time that can be better spent elsewhere.

Whether you are looking to improve your offering to your students or be more efficient whilst researching for your thesis, audio to text academic transcription services can be a great way to help you save time and work effectively.