Safety and Risk in Technical Content

A writing organization can expose their company to significant litigation risk if they use the same DITA markup to indicate both safety hazards and business risks. For example, a writing organization might be tempted to use Caution to indicate the risk of service disruption during settings-changes to a server that hosts a customer-service web portal. Unfortunately, ANSI Z.535 explicitly restricts the use of Warning, Danger, and Caution to bodily peril, with all other alerts—such as catastrophic data loss or significant property damage—being relegated to Notice. Adding separate markup for risk gives writers the semantics needed to connote risk severity without conflating them with safety hazards.

This presentation presents separate DITA specializations for safety hazards and business risks along with a demonstration DITA Open Toolkit plugin that shows an output scenario.

What can the audience expect to learn?

This session presents a way of avoiding litigation risk by providing a markup vocabulary that separates safety hazards from business risks.

Meet the presenter

Bob Thomas is the owner of Tagsmiths, LLC and a member of the DITA Technical Committee. He has years of experience implementing DITA specializations and DITA Open Toolkit plugins. Bob has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Regis University. He also has 15 years of experience as a senior technical writer.

 


Sam Thomas works for Tagsmiths, LLC as an associate developer. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Geospatial Science from the University of Colorado, Denver.

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