Legionellosis or Legionnaire’s Disease in Spa and wellness centre

Are you the owner or manager of a spa, hot tub or pool, or do you provide showers and air conditioning for your clients? Make sure you are fully aware of the dangers of legionnaire’s disease and the risks to your clients, and understand what your legal obligations are.

What exactly is Legionnaire’s Disease?

legionella

Legionnaire’s disease is a serious disease caused by a tiny aquatic organism which thrives in warm, damp environments. It can be inhaled in fine droplets, leading to pneumonia and a high fever. As the disease takes up to 10 days to develop many other people may be infected before it is realised that anything is amiss. Air conditioning systems, humidifiers, nebulisers, ornamental fountains and many other types of equipment containing water may also be sources of legionnaire’s disease.

How can it be prevented?

 

A spare swimsuit for pool to keep the pool clean.

Because of its long incubation period an outbreak is easier to prevent than to control and there are strict regulations in place to safeguard public health. The essential feature is a controlled system of regular testing and keeping water systems clean. Although legionella bacteria can be found in many sources, including fresh water, it becomes dangerous when slime is allowed to develop and when the temperature reaches 35-45 degrees centigrade.

What are my legal obligations?

According to www.hse.gov.uk, under general Health and Safety law you are obliged to maintain your water systems in good condition and assess the risk of a problem developing. This means drawing up a risk assessment, identifying potential sources of legionnaire’s disease and preparing a course of action to monitor that risk. You must keep accurate records and be able to prove you are taking your responsibilities seriously.

The Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations state that if you have a cooling tower or evaporative condenser on site you must notify the local authority in writing. Contact your local Environmental Health department.

 

What should I do on a daily basis?

disposable flip flop for pool and spa

If you employ five people or more, you must have a written risk assessment and keep careful records of your monitoring of the water system. Make sure you have a responsible person do this and that all your staff know the correct way to use equipment.

Keep the system and the water clean, and avoid a situation where an outbreak could develop. Keep the water too hot for the bacteria to survive or add an antibacterial solution to prevent growth.

Consider employing a firm of consultants to check your supply.

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Recycling and Respect for the Environment Surge in the Hotel Industry: Three Simple Ways to Save Money and Earn the Respect of Guests

In the cutthroat hotel industry, price and the bottom line often trump other concerns, especially those for the environment. However, must it be this way? With three innovative and brilliant ideas, industry leaders such as Travelodge, the Crown Spa Hotel and the Accor Group are showing how changes from the smallest detail (light bulbs) to more major ones (construction materials) can both make a world of difference and save unbelievable amounts of money. Now, both Mother Nature and your bank account can smile at the same time!

Starting from Scratch with Recycled Building Materials

 

from Caractère

Uxbridge Container Hotel

First, the hotel’s construction can be rethought of as a method of recycling. Sushil Cheema of The Wall Street Journal reported at the end of 2008 about a new innovation in hotel building design: the first hotel ever built in the UK entirely out of former shipping containers. While most people cannot imagine spending a night inside of an empty tin box, Travelodge found a method to renovate the containers in Shenzen, China (their place of origin), ship them halfway around the world and assemble them together in a solid structure in Uxbridge, a suburb of London. Instead of the roughly fifteen month to two year construction period that a traditional hotel of this size would take, the company managed to finish the project in a matter of four months, including the time it took to pour the foundation. Once the site was ready, it only took 20 days to piece together the 86 containers into a coherent design. A spokesman for Travelodge, Greg Dawson, commented that this new method eases concerns about disturbing the surrounding area during construction. With pre-fabricated units, the contractor, Verbus Systems, just snapped them together “like giant Lego blocks,” without interrupting shoppers at the nearby high street.

 

from Caractère

Interior of the Container Hotel

Despite the fact that the company accomplished major savings by choosing this unconventional building method, they can charge the same prices for rooms as at any other location, and eco-friendly or design engaged tourists may flock to the site just to learn more about how it was built. For Travelodge, which plans to open a new hotel in the UK once a week for the next ten years, the shipping container idea will help the chain achieve its growth targets without worry. Uxbridge’s location was nothing more than a test site: the company completed a similar project at Heathrow Airport later that year.

Read more about the “Hotel Made of Shipping Containers Opens in England,” at http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2008/08/27/hotel-made-of-shipping-containers-opens-in-england/
For an interesting collection of pictures of container re-use, see http://xhadong.wordpress.com/

Together, Several Small Changes Can Go Quite a Long Way

Second, if your establishlment is already built, don’t fret, because it’s not too late! Adapting exisiting buildings and their infrastructure to new developments in the energy and appliance industries can lead to profound changes in the site’s energy use – and deep savings for your pocketbook! Managers have found that many guests tend to leave the lights or a TV on when they leave the room in order to feel more welcomed when they return. Even more guests forget to turn off the heat or air conditioning when they check out, augmenting energy bills to acclimate an empty room. EnjoyEngland.com, in partnership with The Telegraph, points out that Scarborough’s Crown Spa Hotel has retrofitted its 116 rooms and suites with an automatic switch that turns off non-essential lights and appliances the moment one leaves the room. Of course this change took some initial investment, but even simple changes at the four star establishment — like replacing conventional light bulbs with LED lights in parts of the building — have provided incredible energy savings. In fact, starting in 2011, the hotel will see a quarter of a million pound (£250,000) reduction per year on its annual energy bill.

 

from Caractère

Crown Spa Hotel

Aside from energy savings, the hotel also started collecting rain water from the roof to wash its linens and flush toilets, began composting kitchen waste and switched to a wood-burning stove to heat the lobby. The staff has been told to turn off computers and lights while on break or lunch, and the caretakers added a special, non-toxic, heat-insulating chemical to the pool to reduce overnight cooling. After this series of little changes, the hotel has already seen dramatic cuts in CO2 emissions, and aims to halve its emissions by 2015. The hotel’s administrative director, David Frank, commented he’s an “evangelical ‘greenie’ and [that he’s] proud to be one… We don’t ram our message down people’s throats but sustainability is efficiency and it makes good economic and business sense to think about sustainability.”

Read more about “The Crown Spa Hotel’s green credentials impressed the Enjoy England judges enough to pick up the Sustainable Tourism Award,” at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/travel/enjoy_england_trips/7658371/Enjoy-England-The-Crown-Spa-Hotel.html

Special Events to Transform Consumer Consciousness, Brand Perception and the World’s Quality of Life

Starting this Friday, the Accor Group of hotels will innaugurate the fifth edition of its annual Earth Guest Day. David Woods of HR Magazine writes that the holiday was created in 2006 with eight guiding principles:

  • Contributing to local development
  • Fighting against epidemics
  • Promoting balanced food
  • Managing energy consumption
  • Conserving water
  • Producing less waste
  • Protecting biodiversity

Locations and staff across the 90 countries with Accor locations, including the 160 hotels in the UK, will celebrate the occassion with a series of events, such as tree plantings in parks, gardens, schools and other public areas across the country to bring attention to its Fruits for the Children campaign, a partnership between the charity Plan UK and Accor’s Plant for the Planet foundation. The goals of this particular campaign include the following:

Fruits for Children is a project to improve the nutrition of 4,000 school children from 8 schools in the Machakos district of Kenya through planting fruit trees to provide a steady year-round supply of nutritious fruits to improve their diet. The project also aims to develop children’s knowledge of their environment, and their skills and techniques in fruit production, improving their standards of living as the acquired skills are transferred to their families and communities. The trees also help to reduce the problem of soil erosion and the fruits produced provide a source of income for the participating schools.

 

from Caractère

An Accor Ibis Hotel

Through the previous years’ efforts, Accor already raised more than £100,000 in the UK for Fruits for the Children. Plant for the Planet dates from 2009, a program instituted by the chain’s headquarters to finance the replanting of depleted forests worldwide. Thus far, over 1.7 million trees have been planted, with the UK Accor locations financing the planting of 30,000 trees in 2010 alone. The system is rather simple, but will leave a lasting impression on the plant, animal species and families who call these forests home, in addition to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Every five times guests reuse a bath towel without requiring its wash, the company vows to plant a tree. The goal for 2011 in the UK is an astounding 50,000 trees, nearly twice as many as last year.

Read more about “Accor Hotel Group employees gear up for global environmental initiative,” at http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/news/1019312/accor-hotel-group-employees-gear-global-environmental-initiative

Lessons Learned

As you can see, everything from minute changes in supplies or practices to ways to rethink construction methods can reduce a hotel’s environmental impact, in addition to the charges it must pay. At Caractère, we celebrate the efforts of the hotel industry to reduce its environmental impact by guaranteeing that all of our products, such as the famous bed mattress covers, sanitary headphone covers, and salon products like sandals; are reusable, recyclable or biodegradable. We design our products with ecological pricipals in mind so they are manufactured out of mostly plant-based materials with a minimal amount of chemical treatments and dyes.

In addition, over the coming months, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint by relocating our offices to a location much closer to our shipping providers, and also easier for our staff to make the commute via mass transit. The world is constantly evolving, and just like you, we care about the envionment too!

What is Non-Woven Fabric? How does it differ from woven fibres? How is it used? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

from Disposable-Linen.co.uk

Sanitary Headset or Earphone Protection Covers made of nonwoven fabric, from Disposable-linen.co.uk

Non wovenfabrics are sheets or networks of fibres, bound or tangled together via mechanic, thermal or chemical means. As opposed to traditional materials, such as cotton, linen, wool, and silk; non-woven fabrics do not necessitate weaving or knitting during
production. This means there is no time or energy spent spinning the individual fibres into yarn. Instead, they can be produced quickly and efficiently, all the while preserving very high standards of quality, softness and resilience. The binding process usually occurs through the pressing of fibres together with an adhesive, chemical binder, heat, ultrasonic pattern bonding, water combination and/or by interlocking the fibres with serrated needles. This technological development for the fabric industry is often applied in either flat sheet form or thicker slices for various purposes, including to absorb or repel liquids, resist against wear, to add a quality of stretchiness or softness, to increase comfort or strength, and to prevent the spread of flames or bacteria, especially in sterile and single-use products.

from Disposable-Linen.co.uk

Another example of non-woven fabric, a work gown/smock/dress from Disposable-Linen.co.uk

from Disposable-Linen.co.uk

One example of a non-woven product, a washcloth from Disposable-Linen.co.uk

Non woven fibres have many uses. According to the Association of Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, these can range from paper products like tags, envelopes and labels; to bathroom essentials such as sanitary or anti-bacterial wipes, diapers, adult incontinence prevention and feminine hygiene products; to medical solutions that include bandages, caps, face masks and surgical scrubs and gowns; to filters for water, coffee, tea, gas/oil, vacuums and HEPA air filters; to consumer products through padding, packaging, insulation, carpeting, upholstery, disposable towels, fabric dryer sheets, earphone protection covers and disposable textiles; to construction and petrochemical industry uses in manufacturing insulation, wall coverings, civil engineering and roofing materials.

from Disposable-Linen.co.uk

Another example of a non-woven product, a sanitary handwipe from Disposable-Linen.co.uk

Industries and consumers tend to favor non woven fabrics for their ease of customization, cost, attractiveness, durability, ventilation, weight, disinfectant-carrying and filtration capacity, ecological awareness (because they do not harm animals or the Earth during production, unlike traditional fibres, and can always be recycled), and because they ensure hygiene with each use. However, due to the fact that they often cannot be washed or reused, non woven fabrics necessitate the proper disposal facilities to treat and then recycle their fibres. Depending on their manufacturing process and intended use, they can also be thinner and therefore less durable than other products that are destined for reuse, but this attribute of course accompanies their affordable production and distribution.