PHILADELPHIA — The ACE Group announced the release of an environmental advisory entitled, “Legionella: Minimizing the Risk during Construction.” The advisory discusses the potential risks of legionella that contractors may encounter during renovation or construction projects that involve heating and cooling systems or any water-containing source. The advisory examines opportunities to help mitigate the risks of legionella and describes how contractors can meet higher standards of care and take a proactive approach to risk management in order to help minimize the potentially harmful effects of pollutants during construction.

“Emerging environmental risks are challenging contractors and often impacting their projects,” said William P. Hazelton, executive vice president, ACE Environmental Risk. “ACE’s Environmental Risk Practice understands these risks and has developed this advisory to provide useful information that can help contractors be better prepared when undertaking a construction project.”

The advisory was co-authored by Diana Eichfeld, assistant vice president, ACE Environmental Risk, Gerry Rojewski, vice president and North America product line manager for the ACE Environmental Contractor Program, and Frank Westfall, vice president, ESIS Health, Safety and Environmental Services.

The advisory explains how contractors may face legionella risk factors stemming from new, old, or partially completed construction projects. “Contractors can help avoid pollutant challenges during construction or renovation projects by starting with a proactive risk management strategy,” said Westfall. “Failure to take the appropriate precautionary measures or create a thorough risk management strategy when dealing with risks like legionella can jeopardize the health of workers, tenants, and others at a construction site leading to potential litigation, decontamination, and restoration costs.”

In conjunction with a proactive risk management plan, the advisory references expert resources that contractors can look to for guidance, such as ASHRAE.

The advisory also discusses insurance considerations for contractors. “Contractors should consider a pollution liability insurance program that covers legionella as well as other environmental pollutants when putting together a proactive risk management strategy for a particular project,” said Rojewski. “It’s important for contractors to purchase a policy that can be tailored to suit their needs.”

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Publication date: 11/26/2012