Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Manufacturers Responsibility

     There are times where a product is found to be potentially harmful to customers before reaching production to the public; this is something that all businesses will run into at some point in time. When this time comes, a choice has to be made about what to do.  Redesigning, replacing, and reworking all become factored into how much it would cost to fix the issue.

     This process makes sense to me. What doesn't make sense, is how the potential-harm-done is weighted.  I understand the the technical process of determining liability costs based on what the doctor or hospital treatment would cost given different injuries, but what I don't understand, on an ethical level, is how that becomes acceptable standards to use. My thought is that you CAN'T put a dollar value on a hand, limb, or human life.

     To say that your product will likely hurt "x" number of people and to STILL BE ok with it seems beyond me.  I know that the numbers can show one thing, but people aren't numbers. The life and experiences of human beings cannot be measured or quantified and to attempt to do this, especially in order to save yourself a buck, seems ridiculous.  There have been many cases where products have severely harmed and even killed great numbers of people, such as the Ford Pinto and the Chevrolet Corvair.  Somehow though we still see and hear of cases where people are harmed from manufacturers making a wrong decision of releasing a dangerous product.  All injuries can't be predicted or prevented, but it seems to me that any case where danger is recognized before production that the product should be modified.

     I feel like most people would tend to agree with me that it is the manufacturers responsibility to only distribute products that would cause harm during regular use, but I'll leave it open; do you think most people agree, or would you say I am the minority?


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