Consumer Product Safety Commission Needs to Issue Safety Standards Faster

HRD-78-3: Published: Dec 12, 1977. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 1977.

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission issues standards to protect the public from injury associated with consumer products. The Consumer Product Safety Act contains several provisions designed to guide the development and issuance of standards.

The Commission has not developed and issued safety standards within the proper time. Only three standards had been issued as of June 30, 1977, and these took an average of 834 days to develop and issue, far more than the 330 days specified by law. The law allows anyone to participate in developing safety standards. One provision lets people outside the Commission (offerors) prepare and submit proposed standards to the Commission for which it pays some of the costs. The Commission has not been providing its staff and offerors adequate guidance during the development of safety standards; was not promptly evaluating safety standards recommended by offerors; was not keeping enough information on product-related injuries to adequately support development of its standards; and was slow in establishing priorities for its standard development workload.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) should establish procedures that specify the duties and responsibilities of its staff which monitors the development of safety standards and identify criteria to be used during evaluation of standards recommended by offerors. CPSC should improve its injury information data collection activities by: determining that emergency room hospitals included in the injury surveillance system are representative; adjusting the hazard index factors to insure that they are accurate and representative; assigning injury indepth investigation cases on a random basis to maintain validity and monitoring these cases more closely; training investigators to provide the product-related injury data necessary to identify and analyze hazards; and continuing to search for ways to obtain additional information on the types of injuries not included in the CPSC product-related injury surveillance system.

    Agency Affected:


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