The competent person plays a key role in carrying out a risk assessment of cooling water systems, and documenting it in a Risk Management Plan (RMP), on behalf of the occupier.
The occupier can engage a competent person to perform part of their role.
The Public Health Regulation 2022 (the Regulation) defines the competent person as having appropriate training or practical experience (or both) in the installation, operation or maintenance of cooling water systems, sufficient to provide safe and satisfactory performance of these systems.
A person acting under the supervision of a competent person may prepare an RMP (Approved Form 1), provided that the competent person reviews and approves the RMP.
The Regulation requires a competent person to undertake an effective risk assessment, in order to identify and document measures to limit the growth and transmission of Legionella bacteria.
The competent person should:
To do so, the competent person should:
Yes. The occupier may carry out the role of the competent person if they meet the definition in the Regulation.
Yes. The duly qualified person who operates or maintains the cooling water system should have a sound understanding of the day-to-day management of the system. It is appropriate for this person (typically employed by a water treatment or mechanical services company) to carry out a risk assessment – if they meet the definition of competent person in the Regulation.
The competent person must document the risk assessment in the RMP. This covers:
The RMP includes a Certificate of RMP completion.
The occupier must provide the certificate to the local government authority within 7 days of completion of the risk assessment.
The occupier may engage another person, such as the competent person or duly qualified person, to make this notification on their behalf.
A competent person should carry out a risk assessment at least every 5 years.
More frequent risk assessments are required if:
A competent person must complete a risk assessment before a newly installed system commences operation.
The NSW Guidelines for Legionella Control in Cooling Water Systems explain the new requirements in detail, including the risk assessment process.
This series of factsheets summarises the key information for each stakeholder. The full set of factsheets can be found on the NSW Health website.
NSW Health has developed the Legionella Control in Cooling Water Systems training program together with TAFE NSW. Competent persons are encouraged to complete this training.
A licence from NSW Fair Trading may be required before any design, installation and maintenance of cooling water systems can be carried out. Further information can be obtained from NSW Fair Trading.