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Do warning labels work?

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2020 | Injuries |

Warning labels are everywhere on every product you use. If you are like many people, you may glance at them but otherwise not give them much thought, and that is a problem. 

The Morning Call explains that warning labels have become overused in the U.S. Because people see them on everything, they become desensitized. Furthermore, many warnings are so minor that people start to think these labels are useless. 

The problem

The excessive use of warning labels is due to a culture of business where the fear of litigation is high. Companies load products with warnings in an attempt to try to cover every possible situation and provide them with a defense should a consumer sue. Overuse makes all warning labels less effective. 

The problem is that issuing warning labels for every possible thing takes the focus off the more serious warnings. In addition, the wording makes every risk seem like it is equally serious with no distinction for those that are the most serious. You probably end up not reading any of them, which means you miss the important ones. 

The solution

One of the ways to fix the issue could be to reduce the number of warning labels. If companies only use them to warn against the most serious risks, it could help make them effective again. 

A change in wording would also be helpful to allow you to know the exact risk and how serious it really is. It would highlight the most important ones. 

It also would help if warning labels got a redesign so they were more about informing you as to the risks and less about trying to scare you.