TAG! You’re dumb!


I meant to post this months ago, but the task escaped me. I am glad I finally ran across the images on my SD card; they gave me yet another chuckle.

We bought a fake tree before xmas this year; one with lights already installed on the branches to, you know, be a more realistic imitation of a live tree. The tree comes disassembled in 3 main segments densely packed in a small box (props). Each of these 3 segments had an electrical cord to power the lights. Critical as I am, I noticed an excessive amount of warning labels on the cords. Pictured below were the safety tags on just one of the 4 cords (one per tree portion and one junction).

Electrical cord with too many warnings

One of four cords on the tree.
The other 3 were just as bad.

I counted 24 warning labels total on all of the electrical cords; not including the instruction manual or box… just the cords. What did they say?

excessive warning label text

blah blah… don’t be a friggin’ moron… blah blah…

So this got me thinking: why are these here in such abundance? What do-gooder requires these warning tags in their misguided effort to ‘keep us safe’? Or does the tree manufacturer think we customers are stupid? But how can THEY be so stupid to think tags will prevent error? Who reads this crap? Especially with 24 to read!?

And there is the answer: the tags are not for OUR safety. The tags are for THEIR safety: the manufacturer. CYA (Cover Your Ass); these tags are not intended to be read and followed, they are a documentable (look what I can do CPSC) warning to improve the manufacturer’s legal footing when sued after someone hurts themselves… because they always find a way… regardless of labeling. And it is way too easy in this country to get rich by suing others for your own mistakes.

TAG! You’re dumb (the legal system).

About Ed

This Engineering Dude is a contract Mechanical Engineer with 12 years experience in comprehensive electro-mechancial product design. His consumer and OEM products have been sold worldwide in the laboratory, medical, clinical, and research markets. He has also designed orthopedic rehabilitation hardware, firearms, pneumatic weapons, mountain bikes, and even furniture.
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