National Electronic Injury Surveillance Training System  
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CPSC Mission

In 1972, the Consumer Product Safety Act was signed into law. The following year the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was established. The primary mission of the CPSC is to “protect the public against the unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products.” In its efforts to prevent injuries and deaths, the Commission:

  • Works with industry to develop voluntary safety standards.
  • Issues and enforces mandatory standards, where appropriate.
  • Bans products for which no feasible standard would adequately protect the public.
  • Obtains the recall or repair of products that present a substantial hazard to consumers.
  • Conducts research on potential hazards.



Lesson Topics

CPSC Mission - Scope of the Problem

For a perspective on the scope of the problem of consumer product related injuries and deaths, consider the following:

  • Every year consumer products are involved in the deaths of an estimated 23,000 Americans and injuries to 31 million others.
  • These injuries, deaths, and associated property damages cost the American public billions of dollars annually.
  • Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 35 and is the fifth leading cause of death in the nation.
  • Injuries kill more children than any disease.


Sample of 2002 CPSC Injury Statistics

Product Injuries
Lawn Mowers
Chain Saws
Baby Walkers

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CPSC Mission - Successes

The efforts of CPSC have had a significant impact on the prevention of injuries and deaths related to consumer products including:

  • Saving $13 billion annually in health care, property damage, and other social costs.
  • Negotiating over 145 voluntary safety standards since 1994.
  • Completing over 300 cooperative recalls including 90 million product units in 2001 alone.
  • Publishing over 40 mandatory safety standards.
  • Responding to 200,000 hotline calls annually.



Lesson Topics

NEISS - Introduction

For nearly 30 years CPSC has operated the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a statistically valid injury surveillance and follow-back system providing timely data on injuries occurring in the U.S associated with 800 categories of consumer products.

NEISS injury data are gathered from the emergency departments of hospitals selected as a probability sample of approximately 5,000 U.S. hospitals with emergency departments. These data enable CPSC analysts to make timely national estimates of the number of injuries associated with (but not necessarily caused by) specific consumer products. These data also provide evidence of the need for further study of particular products. Subsequent follow-back studies yield important clues to the cause and likely prevention of injuries.

There are four steps in NEISS:

  1. Collecting - Every day emergency department (ED) case records are gathered, reconciled and reviewed by each of the participating NEISS hospitals.
  2. Coding - For cases meeting NEISS reporting criteria, injury surveillance data is extracted from the ED record and coded using rules described in the NEISS Coding Manual.
  3. Reporting - Coded data is entered into a personal computer (provided by CPSC) and transmitted electronically to CPSC.
  4. Analyzing - Injury surveillance data is entered into the CPSC database and reviewed by analysts to identify emerging hazards and the need for follow-back studies.


Lesson Topics

NEISS - Hospital Involvement

Your hospital has been statistically selected to participate in NEISS. Each hospital represents many similar hospitals throughout the United States. Practically speaking, this means that every injury you report is important not only for itself, but also because it is multiplied by a weight to account for similar injuries treated at the other hospitals you are representing. Your reports lay the cornerstone in the effort to reduce injuries and deaths from consumer products.

NEISS Tip button

Lesson Topics

The NEISS Coordinator

The primary responsibility of the NEISS Coordinator is to report NEISS cases to CPSC. The NEISS Coordinator collects hospital emergency department records, identifies reportable cases, extracts and codes surveillance data, enters the coded data into the PC-NEISS software program, and reports the data to CPSC. The NEISS Coordinator is the key player that makes the system work.

NEISS Tip button

Lesson Topics


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