Warning: Power Drill Not Intended for Dental Use

power drill warning(All photos are expandable thumbnails.)

Here’s a warning for a power drill, the kind you buy at Home Depot for the purpose of making holes in wood, metal and concrete.

But read up before using, people, because:

This product is not intended for use as a dental drill or in medical applications.

That last part threw me because I have this pain in my side and also this really nice 18-volt hammer drill. I was thinking, why not see what’s going on it there?  I’m glad I read the warning first.

Most people enjoy this warning for the seemingly silly dental drill caution, but I also like this part:

Do not allow familiarity gained from frequent use of your rotary tool to become commonplace.

I know what they’re trying to say, and they do clear it up in the unbolded sentence that follows.  It’s an issue worthy of addressing in product warnings because tons of “cognitive failure” research shows that humans are prone to mental slips when performing tasks, and, perhaps counterintuitively, that the more expert a person becomes in performing a task, the more likely he or she is to commit a mental slip.  Familiarity and confidence breed inattention.

So it’s a well-intended warning, but the bolded sentence doesn’t say what it means.  Essentially, it says don’t let familiarity with the tool become commonplace, which is a non-sequitur.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
Learn more...

Funny Law School Stories
For all its terror and tedium, law school can be a hilarious place. Everyone has a funny law school story. What’s your story?

Strange Judicial Opinions
Large collection of oddball and off-the-wall judicial opinions and orders.

Product Warning Labels
A variety of warning labels, some good, some silly and some just really odd. If you come encounter a funny or interesting product warning label, please send it along.

Tortman! Andrew J McClurg
Tortland collects interesting tort cases, warning labels, and photos of potential torts. Raise risk awareness. Play "Spot the Tort."

Weird Patents
Think it’s really hard to get a patent? Think again.

Legal Oddities
From the simply curious to the downright bizarre, a collection of amusing law-related artifacts.

Spot the Tort
Have fun and make the world a safer place. Send in pictures of dangerous conditions you stumble upon (figuratively only, we hope) out there in Tortland.

Legal Education
Collecting any and all amusing tidbits related to legal education.

Harmless Error
McClurg's twisted legal humor column ran for more than four years in the American Bar Association Journal.