Re: Avoiding Disaster

Subject: Re: Avoiding Disaster
From: Geoff Lane <geoff -at- GJCTECH -dot- FORCE9 -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 13:40:06 +0100

On 29 May, Darran Bogden wrote:
| Thanks, Dan! I've been avoiding this thread because the original
| premise (paraphrased to "why bother being clear") seems absurd to me.

I couldn't agree more.

| I write Nuclear Power Plant Control Room and Field Operating Procedures.
| If everyone wrote their procedures like their customers lives depended
| on them, we'd have much less misunderstanding in the world. All the
| clocks, on all the vcrs, would read the correct time.... <grin>

What about the legal position? In my understanding, the instructions
must adequately cater for all foreseeable eventualities, including possible
misuse. If they do not then the supplier is liable for any and all damages
incurred (at least, that's the case under EEC legislation).

Some time ago I heard that someone used a microwave cooker to dry out a
prize-winning poodle. Needless to say, the animal expired. The
manufacturer was found negligent because he had not stated, in the
instructions, that the device was not to be used for such purposes. The
point here is that ambiguous or incomplete instructions could be hazardous
to your client's financial well-being (and yours, if you're a

Geoff Lane
GJC Technical Ltd.
mailto:geoff -at- gjctech -dot- force9 -dot- net

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