1980-04-01

Incentives vs Demands in Off-Road Machinery Product Safety 800693

After 10 years of intense effort with product liability litigation and government regulations, this country has discovered that neither can be counted on to bring about a general reduction in personal injury accident rates. On the contrary, each in the name of safety, has imposed misdirected demands, has added to the injustice of hopelessly clogged court agendas, and has precipitated two more crises for the U.S. Congress. -These lessons are costly and inflationary, but perhaps worst of all, each has a destructive impact in the effort to build cooperation and credibility between government and the private sector. Improved safety and health must be a prime objective of private industry and government, but government’s role has been seriously distorted through paternalism. -Government must set realistic goals and then establish an incentive climate of reward and penalty in which the path to these goals is left primarily to the ingenuity of the private sector. A large part of this climate can come from a new code which focuses the moral and legal obligation of safety warning communications on manufacturers and users alike.

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