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Safety improvements demanded from Edinburgh distillery

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on Friday served an Improvement Notice on an Edinburgh firm for alleged failures to adequately control the risk of legionella in a cooling tower.

The Improvement Notice served on North British Distillery Company refers to one cooling tower at Wheatfield Road in Edinburgh. However, the company has chosen to take all three cooling towers out of operation.

It was served for a failure to devise and implement a sustained and effective biocide control programme in one cooling tower, the HSE said.

HSE visited the firm as part of an ongoing investigation into a Legionnaires disease outbreak in South West Edinburgh. Visits to other companies are ongoing.

What it means

Issuing the Improvement Notice does not mean that the cooling tower has been identified as the source of the outbreak. The source of the outbreak may never be conclusively identified, based on our experience from previous outbreaks.

HSE can issue an Improvement Notice if it believes that correct procedures are not being followed but there is not an immediate risk to workers or members of the public. It sets out what remedial action is necessary and a deadline for its completion.

In this case, North British Distillers has been required to satisfy HSE that appropriate controls are in place by 29 June.

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