How can we reduce unintended use and misuse of products? It’s a question product safety experts need to ask themselves, says industry consultant Tim Rhoades.

Rhoades, a co-founder of Applied Safety + Ergonomics, Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will wrap up AEM’s Product Safety and Compliance Seminar with his presentation, “Addressing Barriers to Desired Outcomes.”

The seminar will take place April 18-20 in Rosemont, Illinois.

Rhoades notes that product designers are very familiar with the concept of using various forms of barriers, such as guards and interlocks, to enhance product safety.  His presentation will consider some new barriers needed in the future, and also consider other barriers unrelated to product design that can obstruct safe use of well-designed products.

“In the future, we’ll need to look at ‘barriers’ more broadly than in the past,” Rhoades said. “This means moving beyond physical barriers to address social barriers that may impede desired use of a product.”

Use of the public health concept of barrier analysis can help identify “outside the box” approaches to reducing product misuse, he said.

Rhoades is a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE), a Professional Engineer, and holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan.

He will also address AEM’s Product Liability Seminar on April 21 regarding product warnings and how to explain in court why you said what you said.

How to Register

Visit the AEM website to register for the Product Safety and Compliance Seminar and/or the Product Liability Seminar.