RE: Fw: Why do we put so many warnings in our manuals?

Subject: RE: Fw: Why do we put so many warnings in our manuals?
From: letoured -at- together -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 19:06:16 -0400

In <7CC0B3E267DAE54988BEB110E3E8572A2D817E -at- NSTMC005PEX1 -dot- ubsgs -dot- ubsgroup -dot- net>,
on 07/30/02
at 01:54 PM, Daniel -dot- Glovier -at- ubsw -dot- com said:

>> Sorry, but when I spill coffee on my lap pulling out of
>> McDonald's, it's
>> MY fault. Whether it was an accident or not. Whether it was
>> stupid or not.
>> Whether I'm badly hurt or not. My fault, ergo it's my problem.

Do you (the original poster) buy coffee with the expectation that if you spill
it on your leg -- you will need to be hospitalized and have skin grafts on
your legs before you can walk again?

>Rave on, brother, rave on. Individual responsibility is almost a thing of the
>past, and that's just a shame. That's why we can no longer have those cool
>steel trucks I had when I was kid (and still have) or play lawn jarts. Bah.

Do you think parents buy toys with the expectation that if they don't watch
toddlers every single second -- that the child, if he falls (a common thing
toddlers do) will be scared for life?


>Someone was replacing a switch, and was injured as a result of a mistake on
>his part that was clearly covered by the warnings. He sued and won a decent
>amount from my company? Why? Oh, there was a manual that one had to read
>before they were allowed to work on these things that was chockful of
>warnings against the particular injury he suffered. The switch itself not
>only had a warning on it, but the box it came in had a warning, and there was
>a "warning flyer" inserted on top of the switch. However, the pole that they
>used to replace the switch did not have a warning label properly located on
>it. It was on there, in plain view, but it was about 2-4 inches away from
>(for lack of a better term) where it "should be."

>So, despite approximately 4-5 warnings that he saw, because a warning label
>was positioned incorrectly only by a few inches (still very visible, mind
>you), he won his case.

I'll bet there is more to it then you describe, like was the work in the dark
and rain, or snow and 10 above, was the unit identical to every single other
one the manufacturer has made, etc?

Its a given that the manufacturer knew better, after all he decided 4 or 5
warnings were needed and where they should be placed. He obviously knew of
the danger, and he knew of the human factors involved -- since he had
standards for the warning placement, e.g., he know how people using his
equipment think -- or he had conditioned them to think -- to expect the
warning -- if it was needed to be in that one place.

Rephrased: The worker had probably done the same thing many times before, and
had been "trained" by the manufactures own behavior to expect the warning, if
it was valid for that equipment to be where it had always been before. If it
wasn't there or was different -- the expectation of danger was not
communicated. That is why the manufacturer paid.

letoured -at- together -dot- net

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RE: Fw: Why do we put so many warnings in our manuals?: From: Daniel . Glovier

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