ASSE 12080 & Other Certifications To Look For
In early 2020, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) adopted important standards and certifications in an attempt to end Legionella outbreaks that were identified in 1976. A standard proposed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), 188-2018 Minimizing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems, was adopted in 2015. Most recently, in April of 2020, ANSI adopted the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)12080 – Professional Qualifications Standard for Legionella Water Safety and Management Personnel.
Waterborne pathogens in systems can contaminate water features, fountains, showerheads, faucets, building sprinklers, and delivery pipes. When stored, left to sit, used intermittently, or held in pipes, inactive water is subject to the creation of biofilms. Biofilms are hard to remove and allow bacteria to grow and multiply in a protected shell until eventually released and are aerosolized through various point-of-use devices.
With the global pandemic and variants of viruses being spread via aerosolized and aspirated droplets, water safety is more critical now than at any other time in history.
Protecting People At Risk
Water safety is more than testing and chemical treatment. Water Safety Programs are designed with the goal of preventing people from getting sick and immune-compromised people from getting sicker. If visitors to your building include any of the following, you need an effective Water Safety Program.
- People 50 years or older
- Current and former smokers
- People with chronic lung disease (like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema)
- People with weak immune systems or who take drugs that weaken the immune system (like after a transplant operation or chemotherapy)
- People with cancer
- People with underlying illnesses such as diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure
- Patients recovering from major surgery
ASSE 12080 for Legionella Water Safety & Management Personnel
Maintaining and operating a healthy and disease-free water system goes beyond the regular application of chemicals. Knowing a system is safe and thinking a system is safe are two very different circumstances. The ASSE has created a certification program that clearly defines a new standard:
ASSE International product performance standards, developed through industry consensus, set minimum education and performance requirements for professionals who test, install, inspect and maintain our buildings’ water and sanitation systems.
Why ASSE Certifications Are Important for Water Safety & Water Management Plans
As an advocate for Legionella prevention for more than 30 years, it’s reassuring and gratifying to finally have a standard that provides uniform and measurable Legionella knowledge requirements for water safety programs. An ASSE-certified professional has been trained in the knowledge necessary to develop Legionella water management plans. Certification to the ASSE water management specialist standard means the job will be done right.Janet E. Stout, Ph.D., President of Special Pathogens Laboratory and member of the ASSE 12080 Working Group
Garratt-Callahan has been leading the effort to provide the level of expertise as defined by ASSE and the level of trust that only certified professionals can deliver. We have ASSE 12080 Certified team members who can assist you in the implementation of the ASHRAE 188-2018 water management program. And we are convinced that this level of trust is so important we are dedicating resources to training over 200 of our technicians to be certified under the ASSE 12080 program.
Criteria for ASSE 12080 Certification
The ASSE 12080 certified specialist shall be able to demonstrate general knowledge of the following:
- Legionella, Legionnaires’ Disease, and Pontiac Fever
- Other Waterborne Pathogens
- Environmental Testing
- Water Safety and Management Programs
- Mitigation Approaches
- Construction and Renovation
- Case Investigation
- Building Water Systems
Working With Certified Professional Essential to Safety & Compliance
Assessment & Recommendations
The Garratt-Callahan Water Safety Management Team will execute the proper protocol for the collection and testing of water samples and system analysis. Utilizing a third-party CDC-Elite Lab for testing, you can rest assured that you are obtaining fair and non-prejudiced results.
Consultative Approach to Risk Management
G-C water safety and management programs include:
- Risk management approaches for water systems
- Origin and scope of ASHRAE Standard 188
- Differences between guideline, standard, and regulation by identifying how each is related to Legionella management
- Compliance with AAMI ST108 medical device treatment standards
- All elements of a water safety and management program
Why Expertise & ASSE 12080 Certification Matters
Garratt-Callahan ASSE 12080 certified specialists have basic knowledge of building water systems, be able to plan, conduct, and advise on a risk assessment of a building water system, and have knowledge of local, state, and city risk assessment requirements and knowledge of mitigation and remediation methods.
Knowledge of environmental testing approaches for conducting a routine risk assessment, validating a water safety and management program, or as part of a case or cluster investigation. Describe the requirements for the environmental assessment in support of a case investigation.
In addition, your G-C-certified specialist understands the impact of construction and renovation work as it relates to water safety.
Certifications to this standard are through the ASSE, a nationally recognized third-party certification body.
Trusted Partner Since 1904
Experience, expertise, and practical knowledge are essential to address water treatment and the hazardous nature of pathogens and infectious diseases that play dangerous roles for commercial buildings, communities, Healthcare, Food Processing, and many other industries.
Garratt-Callahan has over 100 years of trusted partnerships in our industry, has maintained a deep-rooted commitment to client relationships built on fairness, honesty, and integrity by thoroughly understanding their needs and challenges and engineering solutions that work. Our Water Safety Management Team is trained and certified with the implementation of ASHRAE 188-2018 and ASSE 12080. Before the end of 2021, we expect to have over 200 G-C employees trained on this new standard of excellence.
The one-of-a-kind ASSE 12080 certification and the overall ASSE Series 12000 sets minimum criteria for the training and certification of trades craftspeople and employers on safer methods to assess, control, and work in environments with potentially deadly diseases and how to develop water risk management programs for buildings.
The combination of the AHRAE 188 mandate, and now the ASSE 120280 certification, completes a much-needed picture in the proper execution and qualifications to perform the measures required for overall building code and CDC compliance. They describe the largest areas of impact as:
The intended audience includes people who maintain and manage building water systems, including systems for potable (water used for drinking and showering), non-potable, and recreational water. This includes building owners and managers, as well as people who operate, maintain, and repair existing buildings, and people involved in the design, construction, and commissioning of new buildings. The standard may also be used by health departments or other governmental or regulatory entities to make recommendations about the prevention of Legionnaires’ disease or in the writing and enforcing of local codes.Centers for Disease Control
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