32nd Annual Product Liability Conference

See upcoming dates

Course Overview

Learn current and emerging product liability prevention practices from experienced product safety management professionals including consulting engineers, product safety standards experts, and a defense attorney.

Who Should Attend?

Product safety and risk management professionals from industrial and commercial equipment manufacturers along with insurance providers will benefit the most. Past attendees stating they received valuable information include:

  • Product safety management managers
  • Risk management managers
  • Product development managers
  • Design engineers
  • Technical writers
  • Product liability underwriters
  • In-house attorneys who deal with product liability

Course Outline

In order to better protect the health of conference attendees and presenters, the 32nd Annual Product Liability Conference will be delivered online and will be an abbreviated version of the traditional in-person conference. The conference will have six live presentations, two per day, delivered from 9-11:30AM CDT.

Day 1: Tuesday, September 29

8:30-9:00 AM CDT – Login

9:00 AM CDT – Welcome and Introductions

9:15-10:15 AM CDT

On-Product Warnings: Standards and Trends for Domestic and Global Markets
“Failure to warn” and “inadequate warnings” continue to top today’s product liability allegations. Angela Lambert will present key elements of labels and instructions as defined by the ANSI Z535.4 and ISO 3864-2 standards, and noteworthy trends in creating effective warnings for U.S. and international use. The discussion will include the most recent updates to standards, and those anticipated in 2021, as well as warnings considerations for our COVID-19 world.

Angela Lambert, Head of Standards Compliance
Clarion Safety Systems
Milford, Pennsylvania
Chair, ANSI Z535.1 Safety Colors

10:15-10:30 AM CDT – Break

10:30-11:30 AM CDT

Buggy Whips, 8-Track Tapes, and Floppy Disks. Are Manuals Next?
Dr. Robinson will address the question many manufacturers have been debating in recent years, “Does my product need a printed manual?” She will review a manufacturer’s current legal duty and potential options for conveying crucial information.

Patricia A. Robinson, PhD, President
Coronado Consulting Services, LLC
Sonoita, Arizona

11:30 – Adjourn Day 1


Day 2: Wednesday, September 30

8:30-9:00 AM CDT – Login

9:00 AM CDT – Welcome Back and Introductions

9:15-10:15 AM CDT

When to Warn and What it Means When You Do
Mr. Burhans will lead a high-level discussion of how to make decisions about when to provide product safety warnings. Based on 20 years of experience, he will illustrate how the decision to provide a warning can influence other aspects of product safety management. He will also show how you can assess the acceptability of risk within your product context, identify changing safety expectations and find the balance between efficient warnings and information overload.

Charles Burhans, Senior Consultant
Applied Safety and Ergonomics
Ann Arbor, Michigan

10:15-10:30 AM CDT – Break

10:30-11:30 AM CDT

Engineering and Human Factors Considerations in Product Liability

Dr. Scheibe and Dr. Coelho will present their perspective on engineering and human factors considerations in product liability matters, and will show illustrative case studies to augment their approach to safer design of products and processes.

Chason J. Coelho, PhD, CSP, CFI, Senior Managing Scientist
Robert R. Scheibe, PhD, PE, Senior Engineering Manager
Exponent, Inc.
Bellevue, Washington

11:30 – Adjourn Day 2


Day 3: Thursday, October 1

8:30-9:00 AM CDT – Login

9:00 AM CDT – Welcome Back and Introductions

9:15-10:15 AM CDT

Hot Topics in Product Liability
Mr. Burnton will provide an overview of recent product liability cases and verdicts, discuss lessons to be learned from those cases, and recommend what manufacturers might do to avoid similar situations.

Cal Burnton, Partner
Steptoe Johnson
Chicago, Illinois

10:15-10:30 AM CDT – Break

10:30-11:30 AM CDT

Auditing Your Product Safety Management System Before It's Too Late

Are your products behaving the way your designers thought they would? Are your new designs leveraging your field experience? Mr. Hall will discuss how feedback loops and systematic audits of product development and safety management processes can help answer these questions. Using recent experiences, he will demonstrate the value of identifying and closing gaps before problems occur. 

Steven Hall, Senior Consultant
Applied Safety and Ergonomics
Ann Arbor, Michigan

11:30 – Final Adjournment


Upcoming dates (1)

Sep. 21-23, 2021

Madison, WI
Enroll Now

Program Director

Jeff Oelke