Hazard Screening Reports

As an aid in setting priorities, CPSC staff is preparing a series of Hazard Screening Reports. Each report covers a group of related products, such as nursery equipment, housewares, etc.

 

The Hazard Screening Reports follow a common format that allows readers to compare the risk for different types of products within a given category. Significantly, CPSC staff has also developed a measurement tool that allows comparisons of risks from products in different categories. This feature, called “Maximum Addressable Cost Estimates,” is explained more fully below. CPSC managers plan to use this information to set priorities for efficient use of resources.

 

Content. Each Hazard Screening Report contains information on the estimated number of injuries and deaths associated with the type of products covered in that report. A graph shows the frequency of emergency-room treated injuries over time. This is followed by a pie chart showing the distribution of injuries by the source of the hazard, such as mechanical, fire, electrical, chemical and other. CPSC staff also estimates the total “cost” to society of each type of product. This includes the cost of injuries, deaths and property damage associated with the products.

 

Maximum Addressable Cost Estimates. To facilitate comparisons of risk between different types of products, CPSC staff has developed Maximum Addressable Cost Estimates. These build on the concept of “addressable” cost. Simply put, the “addressable” cost is the portion of the total cost that could possibly be reduced by some action that CPSC could take. Lots of consumer injuries are not addressable. For example, if a boy trips over a rake in the driveway, any injury he suffers could be associated with the category of Yard and Garden Equipment. But it is very unlikely that such injuries could be prevented by changing the design of rakes. By eliminating these unaddressable costs from consideration, we are able to focus on what’s left -- the costs that we might be able to do something about. The name “Maximum Addressable Cost Estimates” is intended to emphasize that these estimates are upper limits of the cost that might be successfully addressed. It should also be stressed that the term does not necessarily mean that there is any existing method or technology for reducing the costs. For a more detailed explanation of this subject, please refer to the individual Hazard Screening Reports.

 

CPSC staff plans to complete 18 reports by mid-year 2005. As each report is completed there will be an active link to it in the list below. All reports are in Portable Document Format (PDF). The 18 reports that will comprise the complete set are:

 

Children’s Outdoor Activities and Equipment

General Household Appliances

Heating, Cooling and Ventilating Equipment

Home and Family Maintenance Products – Household Chemicals

Home Communication, Entertainment and Hobby Products

Home Furnishings and Fixtures

Home Workshop Apparatus, Tools and Attachments

Housewares and Kitchen Appliances

Injuries to Persons 65 and Older

Major Team Sports

Miscellaneous Products

Nursery Products

Packaging and Containers for Household Products

Personal Use Items

Recreational Cooking and Camping Products

Sports (minus major team sports)

Toys

Yard and Garden Equipment

 

These reports will be useful to individuals and organizations who are seeking reliable information about estimated death, injuries, and costs associated with consumer products and to CPSC’s staff and Commissioners who need objective data to identify candidates for future activities to reduce deaths and injuries.