Containment Liability: Choosing Assurance Or Insurance

By Jason Ott, Flow Sciences

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Engineering controls designed to mitigate exposure and create separation between the operator and the toxic material are available in many different forms, all with their own unique advantages and risks. This article will look into various forms of containment while asking the question, is your liability assured or insured?

Assurance is defined as a positive declaration intended to give confidence— a promise. We know that nothing is guaranteed in this industry due to the variables involved, but assurance can be provided based on known factors and containment is provided to the level of current risk. On the other hand, insurance is defined as a thing providing protection against a possible eventuality. That is an interesting term, a possible eventuality, as it is an oxymoron. The difference in these terms is the timeline and scope: assurance is limited to known factors in the present, and insurance is both known and unknown moving forward.

In the world of increased potency and operator risk, how can you trust that what will protect you in the present will protect you in the future? Is assurance enough, or is insurance required?

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