The UK’s biggest bingo club chain prepared for the re-opening of its clubs following the Covid-19 lock-down by signing staff across the country up to take Eton’s online legionella awareness course.

All 91 clubs operated by Buzz Bingo are undertaking the course.

Launched in 2017, the course is aimed at helping businesses with premises that have not and cold-water systems understand more about their legal responsibilities and the health risks created by legionella bacteria.

In Buzz Bingo’s case, this was particularly important as all of its clubs were closed during the national Covid-19 lock-down. There’s an increased risk of Legionella bacteria forming when hot and cold water systems are not running, so as well as having legionella risk assessments taken at all its clubs prior to their re-opening, Buzz Bingo wanted to go one step further and ensure staff at its clubs received legionella awareness training.

Richard West, Head of Maintenance at Buzz Bingo, said: “There’s nothing more important to us than the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and customers, so as well as making our clubs Covid-19 secure, we also wanted to ensure we continued to understand and manage the risk of legionella as per our legal responsibility.

“The Eton legionella awareness course was recommended to us and all our clubs are now undertaking it online.

“It will give them an even greater understanding of legionella and we are receiving very positive feedback from those who have completed it to date.

“They say it’s very accessible, secure, easy-to-understand and they like the fact they don’t have to complete it one sitting.”

The Eton course is fully online and divided into three modules – an introduction to legionella, legal responsibilities and managing legionella in water systems. Each section has multiple choice questions to answer.

The course takes around two hours to complete but there are no time limits so people can save their progress and return to at a later point. At the end of the course, one they have passed (the test can be taken as many times as needed) they are then able to download a certificate.

Adam Benson, Eton Group Commercial Director, said: “Since we launched the course in 2017, hundreds of business and individuals in charge of commercial premises have underwent the training.

“Buzz Bingo is our largest single customer to date, so we’re delighted they are finding the course useful.

“Each year, in the UK, there are around 400 cases of Legionnaire’s Disease and the majority are caused by workplace exposure to legionella bacteria found in man-made waste systems, particularly hot and cold-water systems.

“Our course is only £15 to take per person, so when you weigh this up against the potential financial penalties of not complying with the law, not to mention health risks to staff and customers, we believe it is £15 well spent!”