Safer by Design: A Guide to the Management and Law of Designing for Product Safety, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Safer by Design

A Guide to the Management and Law of Designing for Product Safety, 2nd Edition

By Howard Abbott, Mark Tyler


352 pages

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Product safety begins with design or formulation whether it is for a complex engineering product or a simple household article. Those who suffer damage from a design defect can win compensation without having to prove negligence. Manufacturers, suppliers and importers can all be responsible for ensuring that their products are safe. To help protect them against prosecution, customer dissatisfaction and commercial loss requires a programme of risk reduction, which begins with the management of design. Design and product development require a balanced approach to the new realities of the legal situation, both for companies and individual designers. Part One reviews the strategy needed to manage design in the fresh legal climate and includes guidance on techniques that can be used. Part Two is a jargon-free guide through the difficult area of international product liability law. It has been entirely rewritten to reflect the many recent changes to influence European law and a designer's personal liability. Part Three brings home vividly the physical, legal and commercial risks of product defects and demonstrates ways in which they could be prevented. There are over 20 real life, fascinating and instructive case histories, many of them new, ranging from exploding office chairs to ro-ro ferries and from washing powder to aircraft. Safer by Design is exceptional in providing management and risk assessment advice, coupled with legal guidance and actual practical lessons.


'The case histories make for a gripping read. This book is essential equipment for product designers and managers, manufacturers, suppliers and importers.' Occupational Safety & Health 'It is an essential text for product manufacturers and is of particular relevance to designers.' Health and Safety ' …recommended reading, especially for those coming new to the subject, or those who seek an intriguing mixture of the law courts, the design office, the boardroom and the insurance world.' Reinsurance 'The easy flowing, clear style makes the book a pleasure to read. Free from technical and legalistic jargon, it is comprehensive to the ordinary layperson.' Australian Product Liability Reporter 'It is a very readable book, especially the case studies which make fascinating reading. There is a wealth of good practical advice in these pages and it will be quite an easy task to adapt the principles and concepts to fit your particular niche activity.' Disaster Prevention and Management '… contains a wealth of case studies including riveting analyses of how product design failures have had disastrous consequences for many parties.' Journal of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health 'I strongly recommend this book. It is informative and reader friendly. … an excellent introduction to the subject. Chemistry and Industry

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword. Part One The Management of Design Risks: The management strategy; Product databases; Identification of risks; Reducing design risks; Design review systems; Residual risk transfer; Risk retention. Part Two The Legal Background: Legal developments in Europe; Product liability in the United Kingdom; Liabilities in export markets; Personal liabilities of designers. Part Three Case Histories: The lessons from history; Consumer products ; Motor cars; Industrial products; Aerospace; Ships; Greek mythology; Glossary; Appendices: Council decision concerning modules for conformity assessment procedures for CE marking; Consumer Protection Act 1987 Part 1; Index.

About the Authors

Howard Abbott is a consultant with years of international experience in product safety management, including working for ITT and Unilever. He is a regular conference speaker and has written many articles and books, including Product Liability - An Exercise in Corporate Survival, Safe Enough to Sell? Managing Product Recall, and Product Risk Management. Mark Tyler is a partner of McKenna & Co solicitors and a specialist in the law of product liability and health and safety. He is consultant editor of Health & Safety - Liability and Litigation.

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