Labeling—What Does It All Mean?

Consumer product labeling is often misleading. If a product is sold and its safety is not known, federal regulation requires specific labeling with the following statement: "WARNING: The safety of this product has not been determined."

Marketing materials should not be misleading, inaccurate, or "use only as intended," or contain a disclaimer, servicing information, or contact information.


In summary, the process of developing a safe product carries with it a commitment for cost at each stage of development. The cost of designing a new product usually includes safety hazard analysis, tooling, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, product liability, and extra hired expertise as needed to assure a safe product. The cost of an unsafe product can and often is more expensive in the long run. These costs are also bad for business. They are as follows:

  • • Loss of credibility
  • • Cost of recalls
  • • Loss of vendors
  • • Loss of customers
  • • Retooling cost
  • • Remanufacturing cost
  • • Decreased profits
  • • Cost of legal expertise
  • • Cost of technical expertise

This could be avoided by initial development of a safe product.

Further Readings

Goetsch, D.L. Occupational Safety and Health for Technologists, Engineers and Managers (Fifth Edition).

Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005.

Kohn, J.P. and T.S. Ferry. Safety and Health Management Planning. Rockville, MD: Government Institutes, 1999.

Lack, R.W. Safety, Health, and Asset Protection: Management Essentials (Second Edition). Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers, 2002.

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