RE: Warnings at front of document

Subject: RE: Warnings at front of document
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: "David Tinsley" <dtinsley -at- ndigital -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2006 16:20:09 -0500

David Tinsley said...

> I would like to gather some consensus on a small point.
> In the prelim. pages we list all the warnings and cautions that appear
> in the body of the manual. I can see no reason for this and I am
> considering dropping the practice. Before I do I thought I would tap
> into the collective experience of this list just to make sure I am not
> about to make a legal blunder!

If you haven't already, the very FIRST person or group you should ask is
your company's legal department. If the company lawyers have decided
that the warnings need to be in the documentation and in the front of
the document for liability or other legal purposes, then that's the end
of the discussion. It doesn't matter if you like it, it doesn't matter
if it seems silly, it doesn't matter if it seems overly cautious--if
there's a legal reason for the warnings, then the company lawyers will
win that battle every time.

If you've already contacted the legal department, then at least I need
to know a little more about the product you're documenting before I can
say what I would do. In general terms what kind of product are you
documenting? If you're documenting something like an automobile, a
firearm, or a power tool that could cause serious injury if someone
misuses it, then I would probably leave the warnings. If, on the other
hand, you're documenting something "mostly harmless" like pop-tarts,
then I might be inclined to agree you could toss out the warnings.

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