Taking the Loss Out of Risk

by David J. Dybdahl, Dir., Envir. Risk Mgmt. Services; Corroon & Black, One Plaza East, Suite 1400, 330 East Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 10, Pg. 70-72

Document Type: Feature article


Since Superfund was authorized in 1981 and 22,000 hazardous waste sites put on notice, funds for remedial action have peaked with $20 billion annual clean-up budgets projected. But to date, only a few remedial action engineers and contractors have been able to afford to take advantage of this growing market. Today, an insured party involved with hazardous waste risks policy cancellation or non-renewal. By combining available insurance coverages, client indemnification and DPA indemnification under the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, engineers and contractors can put together an insurance package that will protect them from the liability hazards of hazardous waste work. Developing a risk management program can also help firms rule out those jobs which are too risky to tackle. Risk management entails identifying risks related with each specific job and then deciding how to finance any losses which may occur. Generally, engineers retain less severe losses by paying losses out of operating profits or reserves. The other option for severe but infrequent losses is to transfer the risk to someone else, by signing an indemnification agreement with an insurance company.

Subject Headings: Occupational safety | Hazardous wastes | Insurance | Risk management | Waste sites | Remediation | Contractors and subcontractors | Waste treatment

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