12 - Instructions, Warnings & Declarations
Warnings are not substitutes for a safer design alternative, however warnings help to avoid unsafe use of a product, whereas instruction provide direction for proper and safe use of the products. Warnings and instructions should be written for ease of use and readability of the targeted user profile.
What do we look for?
- Over reliance on instructions and warnings to overcome poor product design
- High geographical spread, exposure to mass litigation and class actions
- High consumer exposure
- Low to no skills product user group
- Multi language users.
- Product instruction / user manuals take fully into account the expertise of the expected users and describe all handling and maintenance features of the product as well as safety relevant misuse
- Warning labels are legally reviewed and comply with governmental requirements
- Warning labels are durable and visible.
Risk improvement ideas
- Warnings should contain an appropriate signal word (danger, warning, caution)
- Warnings should be legally reviewed to ensure compliance with applicable regulations and industry standards (i.e. ANSI Z-535
- Warnings and instructions should be written in various languages according to the user profile.