In The Goldhaber Warnings Report, semantics expert witness Dr. Gerald M. Goldhaber writes on how to design a product warning:
3. If the hazards exist and are unknown or hidden to the user, how can we best communicate with or warn the user about these hazards, their consequences and how to eliminate or reduce the risk of exposure to these consequences? Although we will devote several future issues to this question, for now, it is important to understand that an effective warning must be seen, read and understood so that the user can decide how to proceed safely and avoid injury from product use. Most warnings should, in a clear, conspicuous manner, communicate the following information:
a. A clear statement of the hazard(s) and danger(s) that the user is likely to confront at the time of use.
b. Specific consequences that are likely to occur as a result of exposure to the hazard(s) and danger(s).
c. Specific instructions or steps to help reduce the likelihood of exposure to the hazard(s) and danger(s)
d. An appropriate signal word (e.g., Danger, Warning, Caution) that informs the user both of the level of severity of the hazard(s) and how immediate the consequences are likely to occur.