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The safety and reliability of a consumer product is one of the key ethical issues engineers, inventors, and companies face when deciding if a product is ready to be released. Are there any applicable industry or safety standards that should be considered during the design process of your product? Has your product been tested thoroughly enough for its intended market?
In the United States, product liability law determines the conditions under which a manufacturer or seller is required to provide financial compensation for injuries caused by defective products. The important piece of product liability to pay attention to is the responsibility of the engineer to voice safety concerns to their managers and company before a product goes to market.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation and telecommunications must comply with requirements for accessibility for individuals with special needs. Other laws require that all web sites developed by federal, state, and local governments be accessible to individuals with special needs, such as members of the public with impaired vision. Are there ways to design your product or web site so that it is more easily accessible to all members of the public?
These case studies look at issues such as product reliability, safety, and making products and buildings accessible for individuals with disabilities.