Start Date: 6/16/2020 12:00 PM PDT
End Date: 6/16/2020 1:00 PM PDT
Washington Defense Trial Lawyers
1 CLE credit
Hosted via Zoom
When Your Product Goes to Work: Occupational Safety and Health in Product Liability Cases
When a workplace injury or fatality involves a product, both the conduct of the employer and the conduct of the product manufacturer are often scrutinized. Worker’s compensation laws forbid most injured workers from suing their employers, but claims against manufacturers of products used in the workplace are common. Such claims often raise complex questions about interactions between the product, the workplace, and the workers. These questions can involve product design, usability, marketing, warnings, instructions, and maintenance requirements, as well as workplace safety management systems (SMSs). Issues involving SMSs specifically include, but are not necessarily limited to, policies, procedures (e.g., for operations, maintenance, and emergency response), and other administrative controls, (e.g., checklists and permits); employee and contractor training; enforcement of safety rules and procedures; and contractor management issues. In this talk, we will discuss how human factors professionals with expertise in occupational safety and health evaluate the conduct of employers, workers, contractors, and product manufacturers in these contexts. We will also present illustrative case studies involving industrial equipment, control software, and chemical products. These issues will be informed by our experience in applying human factors and behavioral neuroscience principles, assisting in the development of SMSs and product-related information, leading incident investigations, and supporting clients in litigation.
Chason J. Coelho, Ph.D., CSP, CFI
Julia K. Diebol, Ph.D., CSP, C.P.S.M.