Service, Maintenance, and Rental Liability
Service and Maintenance
Liability extends well beyond the manufacturer, owner or employer. Tort reform, workers comp, and federal/state OSHA legislation has caused much more focus to be placed on those companies responsible for the service, maintenance, or rental of equipment. Apparently, the tort reform legislation has not addressed these entities directly. Therefore, they are more vulnerable to the potential for litigation in the event of error or accident.
Miller Engineering has experience in:
analyzing service & maintenance procedures for reasonableness,
assisting in documentation of repairs, and
verifying compliance with manufacturers recommendations as defenses against accusations of negligence
Accidents to persons renting equipment new to themselves have a high frequency. Manufacturers in general have greatly improved upon the instructions and warnings labeling which appear on their products when new. Owner/Operator manuals are almost always provided as well.
With the rented piece of equipment, the sophistication of the users will vary greatly. Therefore, the renting organization has a difficult task in determining what level of instruction satisfies their requirement for reasonable training of a given renter of equipment. While rental contracts often have “accept responsibility” or “yes, I’ve been trained” indemnifications, the liability can still fall on the rental company in the case of an accident.
Miller Engineering has helped design new product training programs using video, hands-on instruction and testing. In some cases, the rental of complicated equipment may justify some of these types of training.
As with any additional time spent with a customer, the costs of additional training have to be considered. Miller Engineering is prepared to perform cost/benefit analyses for the inclusion of training in the rental price.
Rental type products we have experience with include: portable scaffolding, nail guns, personal watercraft, and recreational vehicles.