The countless perils of US product liability law

Therefore people, whether the worker in a factory who has to change bearings on a machine or the consumer who has bought a product at Home Depot or Wal-Mart need more and simpler instructions today more than ever before.

And, they need proper warnings in accordance with the ANSI Z535.6 standard (unless a law, standard or regulation requires something different).

There is a lot of work for manufacturers with regard to their manuals but also a lot they can actually do to reduce their product liability exposure. They have to provide better manuals. This means clearer instructions, better illustrations and more comprehensive well designed and formulated safety messages. Expert advice in this field is therefore as much needed as it will be in case of a product liability law suit.

Competent advice and guidance early on can, however, reduce the risk of litigation substantially because in general manuals are so bad that with relatively little effort, professional guidance and advice they can be dramatically improved. There is a lot of bang for the buck to be had.

Good advice is, however, relatively hard to come by because it is multidisciplinary and it involves legal, technical as well as linguistic aspects. There are few people who are fit in all three fields. I am.

My manta when reading or evaluating a manual always is: “Tell me what I need to know in a fashion that a simple man can understand.”