Failure to Warn, Warnings for Equipment and Facilities
DANGER should be reserved for the most severe of hazards, at a minimum a hazardous situation which if encountered could lead to serious injury or death. The intent is to use this word sparingly. It has been suggested that if it is expected that a person, within a high probability, will be permanently injured or killed if he encounters the hazard, DANGER would be the proper term because this is the most severe result from a hazard.
  Hazard Signal Word for a Warning  ●  DANGER  ●  WARNING  ● CAUTION
  The generally recommended Hazard Signal Words, are as follows:
ANSI 535 defines the Signal Words listed above for use with Warnings. ANSI 535 in its several parts defines the use of these words, for the specific conditions under which they are used. However, since the typical user of a product is unlikely to have read these standards, or even seen them, the probable visceral effect of the word on him is the most important consideration, however noting that it is very wise to conform to the ANSI 535 standard, even though the user will probably not know of it.  The noted standard judges that DANGER is the most urgent word and CAUTION is the least urgent word. This seems very reasonable considering the probable visceral effect on users. The most urgent word, DANGER, is the most appropriate for the most serious hazards. The least urgent word, CAUTION,  is the most appropriate for the least severe hazards.
 NOTICE       is a word that should never be used as a signal of a hazard.
Hazard Signal Words serve the purpose of drawing the attention of the person at risk to the Warning, for the purpose of engendering a visceral reaction to alert this person to the probable severity of the hazard, as quickly as possible. These Signals Words are extremely important to start the process by which a Warning alerts a person to a danger and engenders a reaction that prevents that person from encountering the hazard and potentially being injured or even killed.
  The recommended background colors for Signal Words are as follows:
  • DANGER - for the most severe of hazards 
  • WARNING - for very severe hazards, but a lesser hazard than a hazard with "DANGER
  • CAUTION - for a less severe hazard, a significantly lesser hazard than a hazard with "WARNING
  DANGER
  CAUTION
  WARNING
WARNING is for a lesser hazard than a hazard with the word DANGER, but also a hazardous condition which if encountered could lead to serious injury or death. The intent is not to restrict the use of this word. It has been suggested that if it is expected that a person could be permanently injured or killed if he encounters the hazard, but it is not assured, with high probability, that such a person will be permanently injured or killed if he encounters the hazard, WARNING would be the proper term because this is a severe result from the hazard but not the most severe result from a hazard.
CAUTION is for a lesser hazard than a hazard with the word WARNING, specifically a hazardous condition which if encountered will lead to a minor or moderate injury. This can be considered to be an injury from which a person can fully recover within some period of time, and which would not result in permanent disfigurement, pain or disability.
ANSI 535.2 and 535.4 offer assistance in choosing the best Signal Word. It is in an Annex called "Risk Estimation and Signal Word Selection".
In a group of Warnings with different hazard levels, the Warnings must be put in groups that match the applicable Signal Word, or listed individually under the applicable Signal Words for each hazard. It is not safe to list Warnings with different hazard levels under the same Signal Word. If the Signal Word is excessive for certain of the hazards, their presence in the group can bring into question the validity of the Signal Word for other hazards which are correctly located with the Signal Word, which can undermine the effectiveness of the Warnings in communicating hazard levels. If the Signal Word is not adequate for some hazards in the list, these hazards will be downplayed in a manner that could cause them to be underestimated with potential serious results.
  Choosing the most Applicable Hazard Signal Word
  Grouping Hazards under Hazard Signal Words
  Using a Hazard Signal Word for a non-hazard
Using a Hazard Signal Word for a non-hazard is never acceptable. Such "hype" only undermines the credibility of hazard Signal Words.
 NOTICE is not a Hazard Signal Word
    DANGER    - red - accompanied by "!" in a triangle     
  CAUTION    - yellow - accompanied by "!" in a triangle    
  WARNING  - orange - accompanied by "!" in a triangle    
Although NOTICE has been used differently at different times in a peripheral relation with safety and hazard, it should be clear that a typical user is unlikely to consider that this word, Notice, conveys urgency about hazards, since it could mean many other things unrelated to hazards or safety, and is commonly used in circumstances with no relation to safety or hazards.
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phone: 440-838-1191 fax: 440-838-1192
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The use of Warnings is based on knowledge from Human Factors and is a requirement in Safety Design. Warnings are enshrined in many generally accepted Codes, Standards and Recommended PracticesWarnings and Safeguards are used in prescribed manners related to the safety of the use of one or the other in particular circumstances. These subject areas are all closely related.
  Warnings - section 1 of 5 sections
The use of Warnings is based on the knowledge from Human Factors and is an integral part of Safety Design. There is a long history of use of Warnings, and many Warnings that are routinely used have a history in use in various particular circumstances. Warnings are among other safety components enshrined in generally accepted Codes, Standards and Recommended Practices
  Relationship of Warnings to Human Factors, Safety Design, Safeguards, and Codes and Standards
The choice of Warnings as the design solution to safety hazards is based on the principles of the Safety Design and particularly the Safety Design Hierarchy, which is the accepted system for design of safe equipment, systems, products and facilities. The Safety Design Hierarchy requires that safety hazards be designed out of the equipment, products and facilities when possible. The Safety Design Hierarchy also requires that if the hazards cannot be designed out, safeguards are to be used to protect against the hazards if this is possible. Only if hazards cannot be designed out and Safeguards are not possible are Warnings used as the sole response to hazards, to warn of the hazards.  
The information that follows is not intended to be exhaustive. Warnings is a large issue with many publications covering various aspects of the subject. The coverage below is intended to introduce the subject. The organization of the materials below is one way to look at the details regarding Warnings and their effectiveness as safety devices. The choice to use Warnings, and the specifics of the design of any particular Warning requires analysis of many factors in the areas of Engineering Design, Human Factors and Safety Design.
In particular the Safety Design Hierarchy requires that Warnings not be used in place of designing out hazards or using Safeguards if designing out hazards is possible or Safeguards will protect against the hazard. If Safeguards will protect against the hazards, Warnings are often required as an adjunct to the Safeguards, not as a substitute for Safeguards. Safeguards and Warnings are not interchangeable. 
  Among the key aspects of an effective warning are the following:
  • The correct location if only one Warning is provided is a location where the Warning will be seen      whenever the hazard could be encountered.  
  • Additional Warnings can be placed in manuals, brochures, etc. in the order listed in the next section below, but such Warnings cannot be in place of Warnings at the location where the Warning will be seen whenever the hazard could be encountered.
  An effective Warning is conspicuous - among the requirements to be conspicuous are the following:
Warnings can be contrasted to Safeguards by noting that Safeguards prevent or physically deter persons from contact with hazards while Warnings notify persons of hazards under certain, but not all, circumstances. For Warnings to be effective in the safe use of items and facilities with hazards, persons must observe a Warning, recognize it as a notice of danger to them and then take the appropriate action to avoid the hazard. 
  Contrasting Warnings and Safeguards
  Requirements for a Warning to be an Effective Safety Device
  Key aspects of Effective Warnings 
  • it must be observed by the person in danger of contact with the hazard
  • it must be recognized as a notice of danger by the person in danger of contact with a hazard
  • it must be understood by the person in danger of contact with the hazard to the degree necessary to avoid the hazard
  • it must be followed by the person in danger of contact with the hazard to the degree necessary to avoid the hazard
Among the criteria a Warning must also meet to be effective as a safety device in the circumstances where a person could encounter a hazard, are the following, in addition to those listed above:
  Among the criteria a Warning, as designed, must meet to be an effective safety device are the following:
  • it must be accurate
  • it must not mislead
  • it must not suggest unsafe actions
  • a written Warning must be complete in content and construction, as further described on this web page
  • locations of the warning
  • presence and effectiveness of a hazard signal word
  • conspicuousness
  • applicability to the item associated with the Warning
  • communication
  • completeness
These key aspects of an effective Warning are further described in the sections below.
  Locations of  Warnings
 Suggested locations of warnings in order of effectiveness are the following:
  • first (required location) ▪ where the Warning will be seen whenever the hazard could be encountered
  • second ▪ near the main Warning in the area of the hazard with additional information, when needed
  • third ▪ in a manual with only safety instructions and the related operational, maintenance and construction features required to reasonably understand the warnings to match the source of the hazard   
  • fourth ▪ in an operations manual, for an item whose operation would expose a person to a hazard
  • fifth ▪ in a maintenance manual, for an item whose maintenance would expose a person to a hazard
  • sixth ▪ in an manual covering many subjects, as long as this includes operational and/or maintenance subjects to match the nature of the hazard
  • in the general area of the hazard but at some distance away for the hazard to serve as a warning of a hazard at a distance, effectively a warning to look for a warning in closer proximity, and to be alert to the  requirement to read this warning when more closely approaching the hazard
Other locations of Warnings that might serve some function, should be used only in addition to, and should not be used as a substitute for, locations that are more effective for the warning function, include the following:
Warnings may be thought of as limited to written items, such as writing on signs and on and in booklets and manuals. However there are other types of warnings, including graphics and symbols, auditory warnings and visual warnings other than writing and symbols. Auditory warnings include bells, whistles, undulating tones of various types. Visual warnings other than writing and symbols include flashing lights of various types and flashing signs. Graphics and symbols are used with written warnings, in addition to written warnings and also as the sole warning. 
  Purposes of Warnings
  Among the purposes of Warnings are the following:
  • to interrupt persons from their activities to receive a message about a hazard
  • to inform persons of a hazard or remind those persons of a hazard
  • to inform or remind persons of the possible, and probable, consequences of encountering the hazard
  • to inform or remind persons of what to do to avoid the hazard, including when to use personal protective equipment and what personal protective equipment to use
  • to inform or remind persons what not to do (what to avoid) to avoid the hazard
  Conspicuousness of a Warning
  Communication of a Warning
  Completeness of a Warning
  Effect of Omitting a Warning where One would normally be Expected
Where a Warning is normally provided, some users, in some cases all users, may be expected to consciously or unconsciously interpret this to mean that the hazard normally warned of does not exist. This is most crucial in road signs where most motorists have expectations of no exceptions to normal warning signs. However, it can be an issue whenever an expected sign is omitted or removed. In regard to road signs, for example, the absence of a Stop Sign at an intersection which is not otherwise controlled (such as by a traffic light or Yield Sign) can be expected to be interpreted by the approaching driver as a positive sign that he has the right-of-way through the intersection, and that the conflicting traffic must stop at the intersection to let him pass. A less 'black and white' example would be notice of a limited sight distance, which has been provided for many miles on a road, and now is omitted. A motorist can be expected not to take the same precaution at the area with a limited sight distance without a Warning even it he has been taking precautions at areas with Warning signs.
  Reminder Function of Warnings
  Among the requirements for the locations of Warnings for effectiveness are the following:
  • when it is the practice to always provide a Warning, such as for certain traffic warnings signs in certain      areas, where persons will have come to expect a warning sign if there is a hazard 
  • when persons encounter the hazard infrequently
  • when persons encounter the hazard while engaged in distracting activities
  • when persons encounter the hazard while engaged in repetitive "mind-numbing" activities
  • when persons encounter the hazard while engaged in activities requiring high concentration
  • particularly, a combination of any two or more of the conditions listed above
  Among the conditions under which the reminder function is important are the following:
When the reminder function of Warnings is very important it probably is in order to re-analyze the hazard for the possibility of designing out the hazard or using Safeguards to protect against the hazard, or to consider altering the operations so that the Warning and its reminder function are not so important.
The use of a Warning sign for a hazard that would not be normally be warned against does create an expectation that this sign will be used where this hazard exists, even if there is not normally a Warning sign for the particular hazard. This means that a decision to remove a Warning sign, or omit a Warning sign where in the past it would be used, say for a minor hazard not normally warned against, is best dealt with by initially installing a new Warning sign that notifies of the omission of the traditional Warning sign, but that the hazard, to whatever degree, still exists, unless there is actually no hazard to be encountered.
A written warning should perform all these functions well and very thoroughly. An auditory, visual or symbolic warning may need augmentation in the form of a written accompaniment to perform these functions well and thoroughly. Certain auditory, visual or symbolic warnings may function as well as, almost as well as, or even better than, a thorough written warning, due to their commonplace presence and commonplace education about their meanings. Examples of such commonplace non-written warnings include the backup signal of a truck, the siren of a police car, ambulance or firetruck.  Some symbols may fit this description also, especially if they show the possible, or probable, injuries (or death) graphically, such as a person being electrocuted. Also in a similar category could be the skull and cross-bones on materials containing poisons.
  Warnings and Codes, Standards and Recommended Practices
There are Codes and Standards and Recommended Practices that cover Warnings recommendations under certain circumstances and for certain items and presentation methods. These are probably not all-inclusive, but are currently intended as recommendations for Warnings for a very broad range of items. They tend to define preferred colors, preferred words, preferred symbols, and preferred presentation for specific Warning items, such as labels. There have been some changes in specifics over the years.
For more information on Codes and Standards see the                                                       . 
  Warnings - Written, Symbols, Auditory, Visual
For more information on Safeguards see the                                           . 
  Warnings and Highways and Roadways
The use of Warnings on highways and roadways - in the whole traffic system - is regulated by legislation and codes and standards for traffic applications. These take into consideration the more restricted role that Safeguards can take in use with highways and roadways compared to, for example, stationary machinery. These also take into consideration the significant role that drivers, other users of the roadways and persons who encounter roadways, play in the traffic system. These also take into consideration the long history of the use of written signage, auditory warnings (for example, bells at railroad crossings), symbols on signage and roadway surfaces, and visual control devices (for example, traffic control lights), and the expectations that this long history brings from the public. Of particular concern is the fact that for this traffic system to be fully effective it must be learned by all drivers, in most cases at a relatively early age, and changes cannot be easily communicated to all drivers over the subsequent decades, once they have learned the system.
  Warnings and Chemicals
This makes chemicals with incomplete Warnings or Warnings which are erroneous to one degree or another, a particular hazard, particularly with chemicals sold outside industrial commerce. Chemicals sold outside industrial commerce can be very dangerous. These chemicals are sold to the general public for personal use and in their homes and gardens, to professionals who use them in their work activities, such as in cleaning, maintenance and construction, to farmers and to others for various uses. Chemicals sold to the general public, farmers, professionals and others outside industrial commerce include cleaning products, maintenance products (for example, pool chemicals), pesticides, herbicides, building materials, etc. 
For more information on Traffic see the                                                     . 
The use of Warnings with chemicals is regulated by legislation and codes and standards with requirements for providing significant safety information in prescribed forms. These requirements take into consideration the very restricted role that Safeguards can take in use of chemicals particularly by the public and professionals outside industrial commerce. Often the most important protection available is personal protective equipment. This is a form of safeguard. However, Warnings are required to inform the user as to when such protection is required and what specific protection is required. Warnings also must perform well in the areas of informing the user of the consequences of contact and chemical interactions, on how to avoid contact and chemical interactions, and what to do if they come into contact with chemicals.
Only very rarely is a chemical pure when sold in commerce. Essentially all chemical products are mixtures of chemicals, both chemicals desired to be in the mixture and chemicals which are too difficult or expensive to remove from the mixture. This is true of chemicals sold to the public and chemicals sold to professionals and industry. A particular concern with chemicals is that the exact hazard is usually cloaked in mystery until the exact composition of the chemical is known. From a practical standpoint this information can only come from the supplier of the chemical in the form of a Warning. 
For more information on Chemicals see the                                       . 
A Warning, or group of Warnings in total, must cover foreseeable serious safety hazards which are not protected against by Safeguards.  For a product that may be installed by a user, or a person not familiar with the potential safety consequences of the installation, the Warnings must anticipate the effects on safety of incorrect installations, and provide Warnings of the consequences of incorrect installations. For a product that can impact the safety of other products by its interaction with them, particularly by making the older products unsafe when they were previously safe, this potential hazard must be covered in Warnings associated with the product that can change the safety of other products.
  Other Subjects Associated with Warnings
  • must communicate effectively, by using words and symbols which are easily understood by all who      might need to the alert to a hazard that is conveyed by the Warning
  • must communicate quickly
  • the meaning of the Warning must be clear and unambiguous without any specialized knowledge beyond that knowledge that the user would have separately from the Warning. 
  • must explain why the Warning is given.  
  • must specify the actions to be taken 
  • must specify the actions to be avoided 
  • must explain the potential consequences of not adhering to the warning, to the point that the user      will understand the significance of the warning
  Among the communication requirements for an effective Warning are the following:
  • A Warning must be capable of attracting attention
  • A Warning must be in easily readable condition
  • The readability of a Warning must be maintained 
  • A Warning must be grouped appropriately, or not at all, so as to not diminish its impact
  • A Warning must stand separately from non-Warning material
  • A Warning must be a brief as is possible while still maintaining the required completeness
  Applicability of a Warning to the Item Associated with the Warning
It may seem elementary that a Warning should be applicable to the items with which it is associated. However, sometimes there is an effort to use Warnings from a previous model or similar piece of equipment which are not identical in regards to the hazards. These Warnings are a problem when they do not cover all the hazards. These Warnings are a problem when the Warnings if followed would leave the user exposed to an hazard, even if the hazard is identified.  These Warnings are a problem when they give instructions that are not applicable to the equipment, but harmless, because this undermines the credibility of all the Warnings provided with the item. All Warnings should be designed for the equipment with which they are associated. 
The signs and symbols on this page do not necessarily meet current standards for Warnings. See if you can pick out the Warnings that best meet the requirements. Which would work best with you personally?
The signs and symbols on this page do not necessarily meet current 
standards for Warnings. See if 
you can pick out 
the Warnings that best meet the requirements. Which would work best with you personally?
The signs and symbols on this page do not necessarily meet current standards for Warnings. See if you can pick out the Warnings that best meet the requirements.
Which would work best with you personally?
  Capable of attracting attention
The ability to attract attention is largely controlled by the presence of the appropriate Signal Word in a distinctive size and style of type, accompanied in most cases with symbols that convey the importance and level of urgency of the Warning. For the Warning located near the hazard, the Signal Word must be easily read at the distance between the Warning and the user at the time that the user would have to respond to the Warning to avoid the hazard.  
  Readability
The readability of a Warning is largely controlled by the size, style and clarity of the type, and the color of the type contrasted with the color of the type background.  For the Warning located near the hazard, the Warning must be easily read at the distance between the Warning and the user at the time that the user would have to respond to the Warning to avoid the hazard.  
  Maintaining Readability
Readability is usually maintained by simply cleaning the Warning to prevent the typeface from being obscured, and replacing the Warning when the type can no longer be maintained in readable condition by cleaning.
  Grouping Warnings correctly
A Warning must not be mixed in with Warnings of different hazard levels. A Warning must not be mixed in with non-Warning instructions unrelated or only peripherally related to the Warning. A Warning must not be mixed in with instructions and/or Warnings inapplicable to the item for which the Warning is provided. A Warning must not be mixed in with a large number of Warnings, especially lengthy Warnings
  Standing separately
A Warning can be made to stand separately by a number of techniques when a Warning is a manual or some other publications, as opposed to being on a label on a piece of equipment. Among the techniques is the use of a lot of 'white space' around the Warning, or using boxes around Warnings, or grouping the Warnings together in a Warnings section. To be avoided are long paragraphs with Warnings and non-Warning material intertwined or interspersed, with little or no separation. 
A Warning may have to be effectively split between more than one location, to provide proper coverage while still being brief enough to be easily read near the hazard to inform quickly of the hazard and how to avoid it, while more information for long-term informed safe use may have to be provided in an associated label or a manual or manuals where brevity is not as critical as at the position of the hazard.  
There are many other subjects that could be discussed about warnings. These include overuse of Warnings and the desensitizing of users to Warnings, the best use of Warnings as an adjunct to Safeguards, the use of symbols, lights and sounds as Warnings, how to keep a Warning brief and complete at the same time, to name a few subjects. 
Phone: (440) 838-1191
  Warnings - section 2 of 5 sections, continuation of discussion of Warnings
discussion of Warnings is continued in the next section below
discussion of Warnings is continued in the next section below
  Warnings - section 3 of 5 sections, continuation of discussion of Warnings, 
        with discussions of Key Elements of  Warnings
  
discussion of Warnings is continued in the next section below
  Warnings - section 4 of 5 sections, continuation of discussion of Warnings,
        continuing discussions of Key Elements of  Warnings
discussion of Warnings is continued in the next section below
  Warnings - section 5 of 5 sections, continuation of discussion of Warnings
For more information see  >>                          
By contrast Safeguards passively protect persons, without necessity of meaningful involvement on their part, once the Safeguard is in place. Safeguards should provide more dependable safety to persons than Warnings, when Safeguards can be used. Warnings to be effective as safety devices must be accurate and complete, and also observed, and also recognized as a notice of danger to a person, and also not mislead or suggest unsafe actions, and also must be followed by the person, through taking appropriate action to avoid the hazard. In the absence of the achievement these requirements, a Warning is not an effective safety device. 
Safeguards do not require observation, recognition or appropriate action on the part of a person to be an effective safety device. Safeguards only require that a person does not disable the Safeguard once it is in place.
Many of these chemicals are contained within other materials (for example chemicals in wall board, chemicals in concrete). Many of these chemicals are dangerous, either when in contact with body parts and/or from violent interactions with other chemicals sold outside industrial commerce, as well as chemicals sold within industrial commerce. Warnings are extremely important for the safe use of chemicals and materials that contain chemicals.
discussion of Warnings is contained in this section and the 4 sections above this section
earned the Professional Engineers license (P.E.) by taking the National Council of Engineering Examiners' examination in Fundamentals of Engineering and the Mechanical Engineering and Chemical Engineering sections of the National Council of Engineering Examiners' (NCEE) examination in Principles and Practices of Engineering
earned 2 Engineering degrees, Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering, and took additional credit coursework post-degree, taking coursework in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering mechanics, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and normal psychology
at the start of forensic work, completed refresher and additional post-degree college credit coursework and continuing education coursework in mechanical engineering, metallurgy and materials
designated a Diplomate Forensic Engineer by the National Academy of Forensic Engineers in accordance with the standards of the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB)
  
  
  
  
  attended engineering seminars presented by the National Academy of Forensic Engineers
regularly attend additional technical courses and seminars each year to meet the requirements for continuing engineering education for the Professional Engineer's license
  over 40 years of engineering experience, with: 
  17 years experience in industrial operations, engineering design and construction assistance 
  30 years experience in forensic engineering, including:  
  working on over 1000 cases
  issuing over 600 reports and over 60 affidavits
  testifying in over 90 depositions and over 75 trials
  
  Experience and Qualifications of James D. Madden, P.Ein regard to Warnings
as part of the Bachelors and Masters degrees in Engineering, took extensive coursework in Engineering 
  minored in Normal Psychology as part of the Bachelors degree work
  
Combined, Engineering and Normal Psychology are the scientific bases of Human Factors and the related studies of the human-machine interface and human-facility interface, which comprise a significant part of the foundation for Safety Design and Safety Design Analysis. Human Factors and Safety Design are the bases for the requirements for Warnings as well as Safeguards. James D. Madden, P.E. has specific education in Engineering and Normal Psychology, as follows:  
as a forensic engineer for over 30 years, routinely analyze Warnings and Safeguards (physical guards, light curtains, dual operating buttons, safety instrumentation, etc.), and the requirements for Warnings and Safeguards, often analyzing to determine whether there is a need for Safeguards and/or Warnings, and to determine whether Safeguards and/or Warnings which are present met the needs for safety, and are the correct choice for safety.
during 17 years in industrial operations and engineering design specified Warnings and Safeguards as part of the engineering design of equipment, systems and facilities, with analysis of Safeguards and Warnings as part of safety assurance
  
during 17 years working in industrial operations and design engineering, made extensive use of Human Factors and Safety Design, the bases for Warnings, as an integral part of engineering design, including acquiring personal knowledge of the human-machine and human-facility interfaces while working in industrial operations
as a forensic engineer for over 30 years, routinely use Human Factors and Safety Design principles, the bases for Warnings, in engineering analysis of accidents, and equipment and facilities involved in accidents
during 17 years as a design engineer and for over 30 years in forensic engineering, have made extensive use of Codes and Standards and Recommended Practices, including interpretation, inclusive of requirements for Safeguards and Warnings
  
  
  
  
  
The  signs and symbols on this page do not necessarily meet current standards for Warnings. See if you can pick out the Warnings that best meet the requirements. Which would work best with you personally?
  Our Work with Warnings in Our Forensic Engineering Work
In our Forensic Engineering work, Warnings are routinely analyzed, particularly relative to Safeguards, whether present or not. Safeguards and Warnings are closely related, but generally used for different conditions. The safety requirements for Warnings and/or Safeguards are used to determine whether there is a need for Warnings and/or Safeguards, and to determine whether Warnings and/or Safeguards, if present, meet the needs for safety. If a requirement for Warnings or Safeguarding is determined to exist, the analysis includes determining whether either Warnings or Safeguards are the correct choice for safety, or if both should be provided.
Warnings may be written, whether in a manual or other document or on a sign, or auditory, such as bells and sirens, and non-written visual, such as flashing lights or lights of a particular color. Warnings may combine more than one of these techniques in a single warning. Warnings are provided specifically to inform persons of a hazard. Warnings should do this in such a fashion that that person has the knowledge to avoid encountering the hazard,and also understands the level of criticality associated with the hazard.
Residential, commercial, industrial, manufacturing and construction equipment, and components associated with this equipment, and associated facilities, are analyzed for the need and correct application of Warnings. This analysis includes consideration of the role that Safeguards might also serve for the installations analyzed. 
Consumer products and residential, commercial and industrial facilities, considered separately from equipment, are also analyzed for the need and correct application of Warnings. This analysis includes consideration of the role that Safeguards might also serve for the installations analyzed. 
click for discussion of many of the considerations for the engineering analysis of Warnings and for their need and use with equipment, products and facilities (discussed in the following 5 sections)
<< click for a description of the typical activities and work performed
<< 
Our work with Warnings includes engineering analysis to determine the adequacy of the Warnings used in industrial and commercial operations and construction activities, and used with consumer products and industrial and commercial equipment. The purpose of this work is to determine whether these Warnings were designed and used in a manner that would assist persons in the safe use of these items and in these activities, and to what extent these Warnings would provide assistance. The purpose of this work is also to determine whether the Warnings were chosen according to the requirements of the Safety Design Hierarchy, and the Warnings, and their use, met the requirements of applicable Codes, Standards and Recommended Practices.
Warnings  ● are presented through sounds, visually in symbols and lights, and in writing on signs and in manuals   ● are used to assist persons in avoiding hazards, including in the workplace, on the road, in public places and at home  ● are used to assist persons with safely using equipment, facilities, chemicals, products and other items, as new instructions, or reminders, of the requirements for safe use.
Warnings, Failure to Warn - Table of Contents - links to content on this page
Warnings by Categories - Table of Contents - links to content on this page
The categories listed below are provided for the convenience of the user of this webpage in finding different types and aspects of Warnings. The categories listed are not all-inclusive. 
Warnings, Failure to Warn
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Madden Accident Analysis & Forensic Engineering, through its Senior Forensic Engineer, James D. Madden, P.E., a licensed professional engineer, has performed Accident Investigations, Engineering Analyses and Accident Reconstructions routinely for accidents, incidents and cases located in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New York, in the technical areas which are noted in this website, as well as providing expert reports and testifying in court proceedings in these states in the capacity of an Expert Witness, including depositions, arbitrations and/or trials, with Forensic Engineering work also performed in, and/or for cases in, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Vermont and Utah. 
Madden Accident Analysis & Forensic Engineering, through its Senior Forensic Engineer, James D. Madden, P.E., a licensed professional engineer, has performed Accident Investigations, Engineering Analyses and Accident Reconstructions for accidents, incidents and cases in the metropolitan areas of Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Toledo, Warren, Youngstown, Mansfield, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Lima, Findlay, Marietta and Steubenville, as well elsewhere throughout Ohio, and the metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh and Erie, as well as elsewhere throughout western and central Pennsylvania, and the metropolitan areas of Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint and Port Huron, as well as elsewhere in southern Michigan, and the metropolitan areas of Buffalo and Syracuse, as well as elsewhere in western and central New York state. In many of these areas James D. Madden, P.E. has provided expert reports and testified in the capacity of an Expert Witness in court proceedings, including depositions, arbitrations and/or trials.  
Madden Accident Analysis & Forensic Engineering, through its Senior Forensic Engineer James D. Madden, P.E., is available for Accident Investigations, Engineering Analyses, Accident Reconstructions, and testimony in deposition, arbitration and trial, for cases located throughout North America.
Contact us for more information  ▪  ph 440-838-1191 ▪  info@maddenforensic.com
Madden Accident Analysis & Forensic Engineering
30 Years Investigating, Analyzing, Reconstructing and Testifying about Accidents
Consultation is available before starting a case. We invite you to
consult with us. There is no charge for an initial phone consultation.
Call us, or if you prefer we can schedule the consultation in advance.
Consultation with James D. Madden, PE, a Professional Engineer, and Forensic
Engineering Consulting and Testifying Expert Witness, is available to the client at all
times during the work - before, during, and after the investigation,
engineering analysis, reconstruction, report, and any other work on the case.
Phone: (440) 838-1191
Download a Summary or Detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) / Resume' for James D. Madden, P.E.,
email us, and bookmark this website. 
  Qualifications of James D. Madden, P.E., Senior Forensic Engineer
  Downloads and Links -  Curriculum Vitae, Email and Bookmark
For mailing addressphonefax and email address click a button below the Fee Schedule section.
Contact us by phone, fax, mail or email for a copy of the Fee Schedule for charges for engineering
and consulting services and testimony.  Click a button below for contact information.
  Contact information
  Fee Schedule
Phone: (440) 838-1191
Over the last 30 years we have regularly worked on accidents which occurred in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York and nearby, including inspections of accident sites, equipment, and facilities, with reports and testimony. During these 30 years we have also worked on accidents which occurred in other states, and equipment and facilities located in other states, with inspections of accident sites, equipment, and facilities, from Utah and Kansas to Vermont and North Carolina, with reports and testimony for these accidents, when applicable.
  Geographic Area of Practice - North America 
Contact us to discuss your case by phone at NO CHARGE
This consultation can be scheduled in advance to meet your schedule.
  verbal reports, by telephone or in face-to-face conferences
We present the results of our investigations, engineering analyses and reconstructions in 
the client's choice of any, or all, of the following: 
  Presentation of results of our work
Our work investigating, analyzing and reconstructing accidents, and presenting the results, may include any 
or all of the following, depending on the needs of the case: 
  Our Typical Work Activities and Products, when warranted by the case
  written reports and affidavits
  deposition testimony, including video deposition
  trial testimony and arbitration testimony
James D. Madden, P.E., while performing Forensic Engineering work full-time for over 
the last 30 years, for both plaintiff and defendant, has to date:
  Forensic Engineering Work by Senior Forensic Engineer James D. Madden, P.E. 
  completed over 1000 cases
  written and issued over 600 reports                  
  testified in over 90 depositions
  written and issued over 60 affidavits
  testified in over 75 trials                               
See details of the pre-forensic work on the Employment Page and the Engineering Design Page.
See details of the forensic work throughout this website, and a summary on the Employment Page.
See more about qualifications of  James D. Madden, P.E. on the Qualifications Page.
For more on qualifications see the Qualifications Page<<< Click on the underlined text
The qualifications of James D. Madden, P.E., Senior Forensic Engineer, Consulting and Testifying
Forensic Engineer and Accident Reconstruction Engineer, are listed on the Qualifications Page and the Specialties Work Page.   <<< Click on the underlined text.
Use the Search Box at the left to search the whole website.  
Use Control F, 'Ctrl' + 'F', to locate specific words on this page.
Bookmark this site by typing Control D ('Ctr' + 'D'). 
  Our Work with Warnings, and its involvement in Our Forensic Engineering Work
  Our Forensic Engineering Work - number of ● Cases  ● Reports  ● Affidavits  ● Testimonies  
  Warnings Discussed
  Warnings by Category*

  Experience & Qualifications
  Our Typical Work Activities & Products
  Presentation of Results of Work
      click on the underlined squares to link to the subjects
  Relationship of Safeguarding with Human Factors, Safety Design, Warnings and Codes & Standards
​■  Geographic Area available for work
  Contact Us by Phone, Mail or Email      
  Consult, before and after assignment

  Fee Schedule availability
  Curriculum Vitae and additional Qualifications
  Links to Other Pages (left sidebars)
*to Table of Contents for Warnings by Category
​■  Warnings - Written, Symbols, Auditory, Visual
  Contrasting Warnings and Safeguards    
  Warnings and Codes and Standards
  Warnings and Highways and Roadways
  Warnings and Chemicals
​■  Purposes of Warnings
  Reminder Function of Warnings 
  Requirements for a Warnings to be an Effective Safety Device
  Key Aspects of Effective Warnings
  Locations of Warnings
​■  Hazard Signal Word for a Warnings ● DANGER ● WARNING ● CAUTION
  Choosing the most Applicable Hazard Signal Word
  Grouping Hazards under Hazard Signal Words
  Using a Hazard Signal Word for a non-Hazard
  NOTICE is not a Hazard Signal Word
​■  Conspicuousness of a Warning
  Applicability of a Warning to the Item Associated with the Warning
  Communication of a Warning
  Completeness of a Warning
  Effect of Omitting a Warning where One would be Expected
  Other Subjects Associated with Warnings
      click on the underlined squares to link to the subjects
Phone: (440) 838-1191
Phone: (440) 838-1191
Specialties Pages
Page Links
General Pages

for more information, 
click on subject listings below 

Senior Forensic Engineer's

for more information, 
click on subject listings below 

  inspection of the accident site, such as a roadway, outdoor facilities, building or industrial facilities
inspection of the involved equipment, in current condition, including in damaged condition (such as crashed vehicles); and when available for operation, during operation (such as industrial equipment)
  interviewing witnesses (often during the inspection of the accident site, product and/or equipment)
coordinating or interfacing with others while they are preparing specialized exhibits such as video animations and videos of demonstrations
review and study of case documents, evidence and applicable codes, standards, regulations and recommended practices
  written reports and affidavits, and exhibits
drawings, calculations, graphical analyses, computer analyses, etc. as required to analyze and reconstruct the accident, and to present the engineering analysis and reconstruction
  testing accident items and exemplar items (such as consumer products)
  photography and/or video of the accident site and involved equipment
  testimony in deposition, trial and arbitration