Arts and Humanities
Technical Communicators design and execute communications between the manufacturing industry and end-user consumers. Manufacturers depend on the expertise of technical writers to effectively, completely, and clearly draft product documentation that meets the needs of the end-user consumer. Therefore, technical communicators are the conduits of information between industry and consumers and, as such, their work is held to the same legal standard of care as the manufacturer in product liability claims. Documentation that fails to meet the needs of the end-user consumer can cause injury or property damage leading to product liability claims. Product liability law is complicated and because a significant number of the cases brought under this law are attributed to problems in documentation, the technical communicator needs to understand how to develop documentation that meets these standards. Consumers demand that the products they use are safe, and that any information provided with those products is accurate, complete, and sufficient for the average consumer to understand and safely use the product. The technical communicator's role is crucial to end-user experience and, as such, they have a specific responsibility to clearly warn potential users of possible dangers with the product or its use, and to clearly and effectively communicate instructions. If they fail to do so, the company they work for may be accountable under the product liability law. For a technical communicator this is a large task and requires a basic understanding, at a minimum, of when problems might arise and it further requires the application of preemptive measures.
Master of Arts in English, Technical Communication Option
Rezac, Jill, "Product Liability Law: The Legalities of Defective Documentation Where Problems Arise and How the Technical Communicator Might Take Preemptive Action" (2014). Technical Communication Capstone Course. 5.
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