RE: Safety manuals and credentials

Subject: RE: Safety manuals and credentials
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Kathleen MacDowell" <kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com>, "Milan Davidovic" <milan -dot- lists -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 15:23:34 -0400

Kathleen MacDowell observed:
> I'd check with them to clarify what they are thinking about,
> especially
> their worst case scenario.
> In every situation I've worked where there was a real risk
> (here in the
> states), the company had engineers, a safety committee,
> and/or lawyers who
> vetted the content. In my experience, tech writers look for
> areas where
> people should be warned, help word the warnings and make sure
> descriptions
> are complete, but I've never heard of a tech writer being
> responsible for
> the legal aspect. Perhaps some are, though, especially if
> they started from
> the tech side.
> I'm not a safety specialist and don't have UL certification
> or training. I
> wonder how many tech writers do, especially independents.
> Sounds like it
> would be a highly specialized field, and the liability
> insurance would be
> incredibly expensive.

That would also make the specialized, insured writer's fees incredibly high, of necessity. So that should be Gérald's cue
to ask the company why they would want (or expect) to need more of such qualified people than they currently require - and presumably have on payroll or retainer - for other compliance/certification reasons. Document liability doesn't occur in a vacuum.

Either they've got people on staff whose job it is to vet every aspect of their project/product, including the docs provided by Gérald-the-contract-writer, or they don't. But then they have to hire someone for all the other compliance and verification - either as staff or contractor or external service company, so they still don't need Gérald to hold such expensive qualifications (for which he would need to charge expensively).

Besides, in cases where liability rears its ugly head, it's _always_ better to have other pairs of experienced and qualified eyes review the docs. Do I hear an "amen" from all the editors and engineers on the list?

- Kevin
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Safety manuals and credentials: From: Gérald Bourguignon
Re: Safety manuals and credentials: From: Milan Davidovic
Re: Safety manuals and credentials: From: Kathleen MacDowell

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