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Lawsuit!: Reducing the Risk of Product Liability for Manufacturers by Randall L. Goodden

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11

Records Retention and Dangerous Documents

Records are an important reference tool for the operation of any business. What was discussed, what was decided, who was involved, what was actually done, what were the results, what are the future plans, a thorough recorded history of what happened within the company at any given time regarding any specific issue.

Corporations have a lot of items to address and decisions that need to be made on a daily basis, and the issues and decisions are normally recorded so they can be communicated to others and referenced at later dates.

There are countless documents that are generated every day: documents involving internal correspondence between individuals and departments, test reports, engineering change requests, system audits, design reviews, production reports, and numerous others. In today's business more and more of these are all-electronic and many companies strive to be paperless; nonetheless, many of the same documents are routinely printed to take to meetings or for quick and easy viewing, and then might be piled on top of the person's desk or in mailbox trays in case they are needed again at a later date.

Although electronic storage seems to be the ultimate answer, people commonly seem to misplace many of their electronic documents, and then end up asking others to send a copy back to them, if the other person can even figure out where they stored theirs. There will be the everyday excuses, “I think I accidentally deleted my file,” ...

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