Ecclesiastical Insurance recommends steps to manage and mitigate the risks associated with construction

Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

TORONTO, April 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The devasting fire that destroyed much of the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is a tragedy of global proportions that has traumatized us all.

Whilst the cause of the fire is still unknown, officials are investigating a potential link to the extensive renovation works taking place at the cathedral.

This tragic event is a stark reminder that whether your organization is planning to build a new facility, add space to an existing structure or is simply undertaking roof repairs, it is essential to understand the risks associated with construction and to take appropriate steps to both manage and mitigate them.

Whatever the size or scope of your project, identifying and managing risks are defensive measures that can serve to prevent a ruinous loss.  Procedures and standards should be clearly defined, and adequate resources allotted to the prevention of fires and construction related accidents. Most importantly, detailed quality control measures – along with who is responsible for implementing them – must be understood and clearly outlined in any contract.

Finally, selecting the most appropriate contractor is critical, so choose your contractor carefully! No other decision will have a greater impact on the success, or failure, of your project.

Ecclesiastical’s Risk Control team recommends the following when selecting an appropriate contractor for your project and in managing the inherent risks associated with this work:  

  1. Check the qualifications, skills and experience they have for completing the type of work required
  2. Are they members of a recognized trade association or professional body, and has an independent assessment of their skills and competence been undertaken?
  3. How do they ensure compliance with the appropriate Occupational Safety and Health regulations in your jurisdiction?
  4. What health and safety information and training do they provide for their employees?
  5. What arrangements are in place for supervising the work, especially any hazardous operations, such as “hot work”?
  6. Will they be using subcontractors and if so, how do they check that the subcontractors are competent and supervised?
  7. What insurance coverages do they have, including the amount of general commercial liability coverage in place? Always secure proof of adequate insurance coverage
  8. Request a method statement for the work detailing the way the task or process is to be completed including a step by step guide on how to do the job safely?

Finally, be vigilant at all times, but particularly at the end of the working day and always designate a responsible person to oversight the contractor.

More detailed advice can be found in Ecclesiastical Insurance’s “Construction Hazards” white paper. To request a copy please email

About Ecclesiastical Insurance

Working with broker partners across Canada, Ecclesiastical Insurance provides customized insurance solutions to faith communities, educational institutions, retirement and long-term care facilities, unique and heritage properties, cultural institutions, registered charities and non­-profit organizations, funeral services providers, as well as select commercial enterprises. Owned by a charitable trust, Ecclesiastical is committed to protecting those who enrich the lives of others. For more information visit

For information about Ecclesiastical’s specialized products or Risk Control services, please contact:

Colin Robertson
Vice President, Risk Control
(416) 484-3984