'Hold Harmless' Article Garners Valuable Reader Response

On December 12, 2016, SBC Magazine published the article, ”Do You Indemnify & Hold Harmless Your 'ICC Report' Author?” We received a number of responses, one of which was from an ‘ICC Report’ service provider and author mentioned in the story (for a full listing of ‘ICC Report’ providers please click here). In late December, Mr. Michael Beaton, Vice President, Certification Services, Intertek/ATI Building & Construction wrote the following:

“I want to point out to you some misinformation in this article (LINK) and am asking you to correct it.  The article points to a web page for General Terms and Conditions at http://www.intertek.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=14264, however these are for Intertek’s Commodities Division and are not related to the Terms and Conditions that are used for our Building & Construction certification projects so it gives the reader incorrect information about our programs.

In the B&C business, we do not make our Terms and Conditions available publicly so there is no link I can provide for the article.”

We have corrected the original article to make it clear the link pertains to Intertek’s Commodities Division. However, it is instructive to note Mr. Beaton points out that in the case of Intertek/ATI, which provides both ‘ICC Report’ services and third-party ISO/IEC 17020 quality assurance inspection services, the contractual provisions of one division of their company are different from another. Understanding contractual provisions is further complicated when the language can change between company divisions even when they are under a common corporate legal department. This is an important concept to keep in mind when evaluating the contractual shifting of risk that may be taking place, and whether it fits within your risk management procedures and processes.

This also underscores a key message of the original article: it is always worth reviewing the fine print of any contract before signing, even if it’s with a company you have done business with over a long period of time. Are you getting the value you expected?  Further, it helps to thoroughly understand the risk shifitng strategies the contract provider is employing, particularly as it pertains to written indemnification and hold harmless clauses.

To help shed light on a few of these types of contractual provisions that are in the public domain, please find a sample of the following third party product/design evaluators and quality assurance inspectors: