The Commercial Line

3-D Printing: Potential Insurance and Legal Implications

On Earth, an engineer transmits the schematics for a wrench needed by the astronauts, floating weightless 249 miles above. Instantly, the machine whirs to life. At the speed of light, the intangible computer program reaches low-earth orbit and emerges from the wondrous machine as fully-formed tool. This is not science fiction.

Combustible Dust Poses a Serious Threat

Combustible dust is comprised of fine particles that can stay suspended in air and under the right conditions will cause an explosion. Combustible dusts can be found in many manufacturing situations and can occur from a variety of different particles, including aluminum, wood, pharmaceuticals and grain.

Standby generator installation and maintenance

Having a generator available to provide standby power can be a great convenience during extended power outages. Improper installation or maintenance, however, can create hazards. The following are some tips that may help you avoid losses caused by your standby generator.

Ammonia Refrigeration Hazards & Controls

Because of the recent push to “go green” and conserve energy, many companies whom require refrigerated environments (e.g. food processors, cold storage facilities, etc.) are changing out their old Freon-based equipment for “mechanical refrigeration” systems that utilize ammonia (NH3). Ammonia systems have a significant cost advantage over Freon, however, the hazards are also significantly higher.


During the past few decades, there has been increased use of “sandwich panels” in construction. They are cheap, lightweight, easy to erect, hygienic and able to provide an excellent thermal barrier. While they do not start fires, they have been implicated in rapid fire spread caused by a hazardous operation.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA)

In June 2013, an article was published in Westfield’s The Commercial Line blog outlining some of the main points included in the “most sweeping reform to the food production industry in 80 years.” The overall goal of these reforms is to shift to a proactive response to food contamination, rather than a reactive one. This is being done with the addition of prevention-based controls across the industry.

How To Manage the Risk of Fire in the Manufacturing Sector

Manufacturing businesses have inherent hazards due to the use of flammable and combustible materials used during the manufacturing process, or as a result of the nature of the finished goods. The potential for fire, due to the use of heat sources and the presence of flammables, requires that manufacturers be proactive in implementing measures to prevent and mitigate loss.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 48 million Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases.