03 - Technical Design Management / Research & Development

Design responsibility refers to the degree of the manufacturer’s responsibility for the design of the product in combination with the products’ exposure (measured by production volume). The primary concern of the design function should be to design reliable products that can be used with reasonable safety during normal foreseeable uses including service and maintenance. This is an extremely important area of product liability prevention because the greater the responsibility of product concept and/or design, there is a greater need to include design reviews to address defects in a product at this early stage.

What do we look for?


  • Totally responsible for product design
  • Improper material for intended use
  • Noncompliance with standards and codes
  • Defective Design.


  • Formal reviews of all design elements
  • Product designed to customer specification
  • Undertaking a Safe Design approach - controlling risk early in the design process
  • Prototype testing, destructive testing and  accelerated life cycle testing.

Risk improvement ideas

  • A product design should be reviewed for hazards several times during the life cycle of the product. It is recommended that a product go through a three-tiered design review process at pre-selected points (milestones) during the development phase, i.e., Preliminary Design Review (PDR), Intermediate Design Review (IDR) and Final Design Review (FDR).

Risk topics

Product Design

Type: pdf (100Kb)


Tampering: A "foreseeable possibility"

Type: pdf (116Kb)