In the last issue of this newsletter, I listed four key questions that must be answered when conducting a warnings review. Answers to these questions, as well as following the detailed steps I now provide, should help you determine whether or not you need to warn or, if you already warn, whether or not your warning(s) is/are adequate.
1. What hazard(s), risks and dangers that are known or likely to be known to us (the manufacturer) exist or are likely to exist with the use of our product(s)?
A meeting among the key engineers who have designed the product and the marketing personnel who must sell the product (and any other relevant personnel, e.g., industrial hygienists, lawyers, etc.) should be held to discuss the details of:
3. If the hazards exist and are unknown or hidden to the user, how can we best communicate with or warn the user about these hazards, their consequences and how to eliminate or reduce the risk of exposure to these consequences?
Although we will devote several future issues to this question, for now, it is important to understand that an effective warning must be seen, read and understood so that the user can decide how to proceed safely and avoid injury from product use. Most warnings should, in a clear, conspicuous manner, communicate the following information:
The next issue of this report will provide more information about how best to communicate product warnings and some of the factors that may influence their impact. Feel free to pass this newsletter on to any of your friends and colleagues.
Dr. Gerald M. Goldhaber, the president of Goldhaber Research Associates, LLC, is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of political polling and warning label research. His clients include Fortune 500 companies, as well as educational and governmental organizations. He has conducted hundreds of surveys, including political polls for candidates running for U.S Congress, Senate, and President. Dr. Goldhaber also served as a consultant to President Reagan's Private Sector Survey for Cost Control.
Dr. Goldhaber has written and edited 10 books and is a frequent international lecturer on the topic of communication. He writes numerous articles on a variety of issues for publication in journals and newspapers across the country, and has served as a political analyst for numerous radio and television shows. He has been selected as a member of Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.
See Dr. Gerald Goldhaber's Profile on Experts.com.
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