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Product Safety Consultant

Show manufacturers how to make their products safer for customers.

What does a Product Safety Consultant do?

A Product Safety Consultant is primarily responsible for identifying any possible dangers — mechanical, physical, chemical, electrical, or other — associated with the use of a particular product, anything from compressed gas systems, hydraulic systems, firearms, chainsaws, and agricultural equipment to ladders, punch presses, power shears, metal working equipment, and front-end loaders. In this job, the first task of the Product Safety Consultant is to recognize any hazards before they hurt a customer or end user.

To accomplish this, Product Safety Consultants must know a lot about product design, manufacturing, financial analysis, human factors, safety management, product liability, and OSHA regulations. Product Safety Consultants will most often develop and conduct tests designed to determine the limits of a product’s function. But you may also investigate possible causes of reported accidents or injuries, or any other problems related to use of the product you’re evaluating.

When you find a danger or problem, you devise ways to reduce or eliminate it, and also help write or design precautionary labels and instructions for the product.

But users are under no obligation to use a product as designed, or to follow instructions. So part of your job is to outguess the fools who circumvent “foolproof” product designs, discovering all the stupid, wrong-headed, or just plain crazy ways to use the product. You eliminate or reduce the dangers that result from any of these “misuses.”

Apart from these tasks, you may consult on product concepts and safety during the early stages of product development. You may also be asked to train others in product design and development matters.