Friday, November 9, 2012

Product Liability and It's Effects on Production

In my mind product liability plays a very abstract role in the design, manufacturing and use of a product. However I recently learned that product liability must be considered at every stage of the service or product development. It is included from the conception of the primary design and is extended through all stages including the development  testing of prototypes, manufacturing, negotiations with suppliers, packaging, labeling, instructions, product service and distribution. Regardless of the work you are trying to accomplish or the product you are producing or service you are providing product liability will play a role in at least one if not all stages of the development cycle.

Sure, having a safe product or service that is of high quality, easy for anyone to use, and safe is import but are legal terms and precautions truly necessary? After my research and study, the answer is yes. Even if you remove the philosophical aspect out of the equation and remove the good of the many for the injury, harm, or neglect of the few you are still impacted by moral and ethical decisions that in most cases has high cost and legally implications. Why would you be willing to be responsible for any harm indirectly caused to one of your customers or the pain and suffering. Personally, I would prefer to not have to worry about these harmful aspects of a design and would prefer to just design them out, eliminating all possible injuries from ever occurring in the first place.

For this reason I would conclude that product liability is extremely necessary and if you ever have any doubt I would suggest you ask McDonald's Managers or the Engineers of the Ford Pinto for whether or not the customer's safety needs to be considered during design. In both of these examples I am almost positive that from their experiences, product liability is a much needed consideration for any work you plan on implementing, product you are designing or service you are suggesting to provide.