CPSC Accomplishments from 2009-2012

CPSC advances the agenda for consumer product safety and takes a leadership role in identifying and addressing the most pressing consumer product safety priorities and mobilizing action by our partners. Agency's accomplishments from 2009 to 2012.
Tháng Tư 16, 2013

Leadership in Product Safety 

CPSC is at the forefront of advancing the agenda for consumer product safety and takes a leadership role in identifying and addressing the most pressing consumer product safety priorities and mobilizing action by our partners.  By collaborating with key global and domestic stakeholders, CPSC leverages its limited resources to improve product safety and mitigate the most pressing product safety hazards.

 

  • In 2010, CPSC created the Office of Education, Global Outreach, and Small Business Ombudsman to coordinate and provide outreach to various domestic and international stakeholders, including manufacturers, retailers, resellers, small businesses, and foreign governments.  The office is dedicated to addressing the questions and concerns of the regulated community.
  • CPSC created a full-time Small Business Ombudsman position in FY 2011 to serve the nation’s many small businesses in the area of product safety.
  • CPSC participated in Bilateral Summits with China in October 2009 and October 2011.
  • In 2009, CPSC established its first overseas office, located at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
  • In October 2011, CPSC led the first North American Consumer Product Safety Summit with Canada and Mexico.
  • In June 2012, CPSC sponsored a Trilateral Summit with China and the European Union.
  • CPSC trained 17,000 executive, quality control, and manufacturing professionals throughout the world in 2011 and 2012.
  • Comprehensive campaigns were held in 2011 to educate businesses on the lifting of existing stays of enforcement in 2012.  Another campaign focused on changes to the toy standard, F-963-11.  Campaigns consisted of webinars, new Web pages, and a focused effort to support associations and trade groups through presentations at trade shows and other events.
  • In 2012, in collaboration with regulators in Australia, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand, CPSC, together with KidSafe, organized a multijurisdictional symposium on technological solutions that could eliminate or mitigate the hazards posed by ingested button batteries.
  • CPSC led the effort by the Working Party on Consumer Product Safety of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development to establish the first global recalls portal.  The portal launch occurred on October 19, 2012.  This effort was the culmination of 18 months of work.  The CPSC delegation led the team of five jurisdictions in the design and implementation of this project.
  • Awarded the Chairman’s Commendation Circle Award to recognize people and groups that have contributed in an important way to the benefit of consumers by directly and significantly reducing deaths, preventing injuries, and improving consumer product safety.  Since the program was revived in 2011, there have been nine Chairman’s Commendation Circle Award recipients.
  • In 2012, CPSC began an innovative public-private collaboration to work on lowering the risk of concussions and other mild traumatic brain injuries at the youth football level.  The “Youth Football Brain Safety” initiative involved major companies that manufacture or recondition football helmets, industry associations (the National Athletic Equipment Reconditioning Association and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association), the National Football League (NFL), the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), USA Football (the official youth football development partner of the NFL and the NFLPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).  Through private funding, the program provides assistance to football programs for economically disadvantaged youth, outfitting their players in newer and properly maintained helmets, provided those programs comply with CPSC- and CDC-supported comprehensive education efforts administered by USA Football aimed at driving a fundamental safety culture change in the sport.

 

Commitment to Prevention

CPSC protects consumers by promoting production of safe consumer products and development and implementation of safety standards for manufacturers, which focus on safety early in the supply chain and help prevent hazards from entering consumer markets in the first place.  CPSC participates in the development of voluntary safety standards, issues mandatory safety rules, trains industry stakeholders on regulatory requirements and hazard identification best practices, and engages foreign product safety regulators and foreign manufacturers to reduce production of unsafe consumer products that could enter the U.S. market. Since passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in 2008, CPSC has focused on implementing significant portions of the Act.

 

  • Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA):  CPSC has implemented significant portions of the CPSIA by conducting testing and technical review activities, developing proposed rules, and developing final rules for various products.  Key new rules affect cribs (making crib standards the toughest in the world), durable infant and toddler products, tracking labels for children’s products, a lower lead content limit for children’s products, and laboratory accreditation and third party testing requirements.  As of September 30, 2012, CPSC had completed 96 CPSIA-related rulemaking activities since CPSIA passage in 2008, including 30 final rules and 20 accreditation requirements.  Information on all CPSIA activities can be found at: www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/cpsia.html.
  • CPSC completed 40 final rules—at a record setting pace—since the adoption of the CPSIA through 2012, including,:
    • mandatory rules for durable infant or toddler products, including: cribs, infant bath seats, infant walkers, toddler beds, portable bed rails, infant swings, and play yards;
    • a rule on Testing and Labeling Pertaining to Product Certification;
    • a rule on Conditions and Requirements for Relying on Component Part Testing to Meet Certification Requirements;
    • a rule on Guidelines and Requirements for Mandatory Recall Notices;
    • rules designating certain children’s upper outerwear and certain hand-held hair dryers to be substantial product hazards under 15(j) of the CPSA; and
    • a rule on Requirements for Consumer Registration of Durable Infant or Toddler Products.
  • As more consumer products employ nanotechnology, concerns are increasing regarding the potential health effects associated with human exposure to nanoparticles.  From 2009 to 2012, CPSC staff collaborated with several federal agencies and consulting groups to conduct needed research to help address these concerns.  Interagency agreements were established with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, the National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine, and the National Science Foundation.  Contracts were established with Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA) and Versar, Inc./Syracuse Research Foundation. The academic institutions that were supported through these collaborations include: Duke University, Harvard University, Rutgers University, and the Virginia Institute of Technology.  
    • Specific nanotechnology research areas CPSC has focused on include: release of nanomaterials from children’s products, cookware, clothing and textiles, household chemicals and cleaners, floor finishes, paints, printer inks and toners, and sports equipment; the use of nanomaterials as flame retardants; the health effects of nanomaterials released into the air; and the development of computer models to determine health risks.  More than 25 substantive research reports have been completed.
  • In response to the direction of section 108 of the CPSIA, the Commission appointed a Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) in 2010 to study the effects on children’s health of all phthalates and phthalate alternatives as they are used in children’s toys and child care articles.  
    • The CHAP’s first meeting took place April 14-15 2010, and six additional meetings were held between July 2010 and February 2012.  All meetings were open to the public, and videos of the meetings, as well as all information pertaining to each meeting (agenda, meeting log, public notice, and list of attendees) was posted on the CPSC website for access by the public. Reports and presentations from CPSC staff and from all nongovernment participants in the CHAP meeting were posted on the CPSC website as well.  Currently, the CHAP is in the process of completing its draft report.
  • CPSC staff hosted a public symposium, Phthalates Screening and Testing Methods, on March 1, 2012, attended by more than 50 people in person and via webcast.
    • The Commission approved a final guidance document on inaccessible component parts of children’s toys and child care articles containing phthalates, and the guidance document was peer-reviewed and then published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2013.   
  • In August 2012, in collaboration with Saint Louis University, CPSC led a Regional Summit for manufacturers and other safety professionals on Supply Chain Integrity.
  • CPSC held the first CPSC Safety Academy in FY 2012 for more than 100 representatives of manufacturers, retailers, distributors, associations, and government organizations to provide training and discussion of CPSC’s regulations.
  • In October 2012, CPSC held an ATV Safety Summit, which provided stakeholders a venue to share information and lessons learned regarding public awareness, information and education, training, and technology.  Additionally, comments received from the public at this event were reviewed by staff to prepare a briefing package to the Commission for a draft final rule of an open rulemaking proceeding for all-terrain vehicles.
  • CPSC’s support of the toy industry has also included outreach at the Commissioner level in addition to technical staff.  To help ensure that imports meet the standard, CPSC has sent staff to Germany and China to educate exporters on U.S. requirements.  Support of small crafters and other handmade toys has been extensive.
  • CPSC held an educational roundtable in 2011 as part of its outreach to the business community.
  • Between 2009 and 2013, CPSC leadership and staff have participated in or organized dozens of product safety training events, numerous events in China and others in Southeast Asia and Latin America.  These events have reached thousands of foreign manufacturers and government regulators with information about U.S. requirements, in person and via the Internet. 
  • CPSC inaugurated its International Extended Training Exchange Program during 2012.  The goal of the program is to strengthen the safety of consumer products in the United States through capacity building within product safety agencies in source countries and by obtaining unique know-how from partner regulators in developed markets.  CPSC hosted fellows at the CPSC from Health Canada and from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.  They made substantial contributions to the CPSC in the areas of hazard analysis and public communication management.  This collaboration also strengthens our existing ties with these important partners.

 

Rigorous Hazard Identification

CPSC analyzes information on injuries, deaths, and other consumer product safety incidents to determine which product hazards represent the greatest risks to consumer safety.  Sources include consumers and consumer groups, hospitals and clinics, industry, and the press, as well as economic and hazard exposure information on products under its jurisdiction.  CPSC works to improve the quality of crucial product hazard data, and staff investigates specific injury cases to gain additional knowledge about injuries or hazards and any consumer products involved. 

 

  • CPSC collects information on injuries, deaths, and other consumer product safety incidents from consumers and consumer groups, hospitals and clinics, and industry.  Staff has collected information about product-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), and incident data from medical examiners and coroners’ reports, news clips, and CPSC’s consumer Hotline.  In FY 2012, CPSC collected more than 400,000 NEISS reports and more than 10,000 death certificates, medical examiner reports, and coroner reports.
  • CPSC launched the publicly available Consumer Product Safety Information Database, available at www.SaferProducts.gov, in March 2011. Consumers have the ability to report consumer products that cause harm or pose a risk of harm through the database, and to search reports submitted by others to make informed decisions about the products they own or consider purchasing.  Since the site launched, 4,217 businesses registered through the business portal, and CPSC posted more than 13,500 reports of harm on: www.SaferProducts.gov.
  • CPSC has developed a robust import enforcement program, leveraging our partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and we have expanded the placement of CPSC experts collocated at some of the largest ports in the country.  In 2012, CPSC screened more than 17,000 models of imported consumer products at U.S. ports.
  • CPSC staff worked with CBP to develop the pilot Risk Assessment Methodology (RAM), which aligns with the President’s National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security and uses improved information technology to target the highest risk imports that are most likely to violate consumer product safety statutes and regulations.
  • In 2009, CPSC created a dedicated Internet Surveillance Unit to assist in marketplace surveillance of the largest and most popular retail and wholesale Internet auction sites to identify sellers offering banned, recalled, or dangerous products. Between 2009-2012, CPSC investigators contacted more than 16,000 firms and individuals who were attempting to sell banned or previously recalled consumer products via internet websites, causing the sales to be halted and keeping these dangerous products from entering the consumer retail or resale market. 
  • In fiscal year 2012, CPSC targeting resulted in the seizure of at least 20 shipments with Intellectual Property Rights violations, with an estimated Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of more than $1 million.
  • Working with CBP, CPSC staff screened thousands of consumer products that were in violation of U.S. standards or otherwise unsafe and stopped them from reaching store shelves.  From 2010 through 2012, the hard work of CPSC and CBP staff resulted in more than 16.4 million units being stopped at our nation’s ports from more than 34,000 screened products, due to safety concerns or the failure to meet federal safety standards.

 

Decisive Response

CPSC takes a proactive approach to intercept goods at ports before they are distributed in commerce and hold violators accountable.  If hazardous products are identified domestically, the CPSC takes action to protect consumers.  Field staff conducts investigations of incidents and injuries and inspections of manufacturers, retailers, and importers.  Multidisciplinary teams of CPSC staff review investigative reports and product samples to determine when possible violations and defects warrant corrective action.  When a recall is necessary, CPSC staff negotiates with the firm to seek a voluntary recall that provides the consumer with a free remedy.

 

  • CPSC obtained more than 1,800 recalls between 2009 and 2012.  In 2012, CPSC conducted 439 recalls involving more than 91 million units from around the world.
  • CPSC staff conducted about 3,000 recall check investigations of establishments from 2009 to 2012, at all levels of the distribution chain as follow-up to ongoing serious injury or death incident investigations to determine compliance with voluntary and regulated product standards and to determine whether the products involved posed a substantial product hazard.
  • CPSC secured more than $17 million in civil penalties from FY 2010 through February 2013 for violations of mandatory regulations, including the lead paint ban, lead content, and federal fireworks regulations; and failing to report in a timely manner defects or potential defects in a wide range of consumer products, including children’s upper outerwear, exercise equipment, appliances, lawn equipment, furniture, toys, lithium-ion battery packs, and baby flotation boats.  In 2012, CPSC negotiated $7.654 million in civil penalties through out-of-court settlements.
  • Lawsuits Filed Seeking Mandatory Recall Remedies under Section 15 of the CPSA:
    • CPSC has filed three separate lawsuits under Section 15 of the CPSA against three companies that manufacture and distribute rare earth magnets; the actions seek determinations that these products constitute a substantial product hazard and seek mandatory recall remedies for consumers.
    • CPSC has filed an administrative complaint against an inclined sleep product manufacturer, seeking a determination that the inclined sleep product constitutes a substantial product hazard and seeking mandatory recall remedies for consumers.
  • CPSC’s investigation of imported drywall was the most comprehensive in the agency’s history and spanned multiple continents. The investigation took place from 2009 to 2011.  Field investigators conducted hundreds of onsite investigations involving consumer complaints of contaminated homes; more than 60 inspections were conducted on domestic drywall manufacturers and distributors. Furthermore, technical visits were conducted at mines and processing plants in the United States as well as in the People’s Republic of China. Additional studies were undertaken, as needed, and were reported promptly upon their completion.  Staff prepared and released 10 reports on the results of technical studies related to problem drywall.
  • In December 2009, CPSC and the Window Covering Safety Council issued a voluntary recall to repair all Roman shades and roll-up blinds.  At that time, approximately 8 million Roman shades and roll-up blinds were being sold per year.   CPSC had received reports of five deaths and 16 near-strangulations from Roman shades between 2006 and 2009, and three deaths from roll-up blinds between 2001 and 2009.  About 130,000 free repair kits for Roman and roll-up shades were distributed between the recall and through 2012.  Another 150,000 kits containing tassels and cord stops were distributed during the same time period.
  • Actions filed in Federal district that permanently restrain manufacturers, and distributors of products that do not comply with CPSC statutes, rules and bans.  The permanent injunctions obtained include the following:
    • In March 2011, CPSC obtained consent decrees of permanent injunctions against sellers of banned lawn darts.
    • In November 2011, CPSC obtained a permanent injunction against a manufacturer of mattresses that violated federal flammability standards.
    • In March 2011, CPSC obtained a consent decree of permanent injunction and a $2.05 million civil penalty against an importer of toys and other children’s products for repeated violations of the CPSA and FHSA for small parts regulation, the lead in paint ban, the phthalates ban, and lead content in excess of the statutory limits.
    • In March and April 2011, CPSC obtained a consent decree of permanent injunction, civil penalty, and criminal fine against an importer and seller of toys and other products that violated the CPSA and FHSA, including the small parts regulations, lead in paint ban, lead content limit, limits on phthalates, and requirements for rattles.
  • In 2011, CPSC implemented a limited proof of concept Risk Assessment Methodology (RAM) pilot that allows CPSC to analyze data available in CBP’s International Trade Data System (ITDS) to target potentially violative products coming into the United States. The RAM enables CPSC to: (1) automate the process of targeting shipments using a rule-based engine; (2) increase the statistical rate with which offending importers and goods are targeted and found; and (3) facilitate the flow of legitimate trade. In February 2013, the Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice announced that five individuals and five corporations had been indicted in federal court in Brooklyn, NYand among the charges was importing and trafficking hazardous toys in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).
  • In 2010, CPSC wrote the information and enforcement rules: Rule on Publicly Available Consumer Product Safety Information Database, and Rule on Civil Penalty Factors.
  • CPSC staff inspected about 4,300 firms for compliance with CPSC’s laws and regulations from 2009 to 2012.  In FY 2012, CPSC completed 1,184 establishment inspections of firms.
  • Between 2009 and 2012, CPSC staff sent 7,000 letters of advice and negotiated more than 1,600 corrective action plans to address safety in consumer products.  In 2012, CPSC sent 2,320 letters of advice and negotiated 411 corrective action plans to address safety in consumer products.
  • In 2011, CPSC relocated the existing laboratory facility to the new National Product Testing and Evaluation Center (NPTEC), where CPSC scientists and engineers test potentially hazardous products for defects and develop testing methods to determine compliance with safety standards.  NPTEC has enhanced the CPSC’s ability to protect families and consumers from harm by expanding testing capabilities, and increasing the efficiency of agency staff and equipment.
    • NPTEC is a facility of 63,000 square feet, with 32,000 square feet of laboratory space.  This is an increase of 44,000 square feet from the previous CPSC laboratory.  Approximately 105 engineers, scientists, and support staff are located there.  This new facility houses a toy test lab; a children’s products lab; a pool and spa products lab; a flammability and fire test lab, and an impact lab, where products such as bicycle helmets are tested.  It also houses individual testing areas for general products; outdoor power sports products, electrical products, and combustion products.
    • Since NPTEC opened in May 2011, CPSC has conducted more than 100 facility tours for more than 1,500 people representing consumers, manufacturers, industry associations, school groups, professional societies, local, state and federal agencies, and foreign governments.
  • CPSC has enforced the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act by inspecting pools and spas for compliant anti-entrapment drain covers, complemented by an extensive public education campaign. Between 2009 and 2012, CPSC inspected 6,494 pools, spas, wading pools and water activities.
  • CPSC investigated and then in 2011 issued a national early warning on stadium light poles.  The Commission notified all owners who purchased and installed the defective poles, before anyone suffered injuries or died.

 

Raising Awareness

Raising awareness of longstanding, hidden, and emerging product safety hazards is crucial to empowering consumers and reducing the risk of death and injury.  CPSC has had success in educating the public and industry through increased use of social media, traditional media, and targeted safety campaigns that aim to reach vulnerable populations affected by, but not necessarily aware of certain product hazards.

 

  • CPSC issued more than 2,000 press releases and recall alerts, and disseminated tens of thousands of electronic safety messages through CPSC’s website.  
  • CPSC reached consumers through more than 8 billion impressions of CPSC safety messages disseminated in various media including print, broadcast (including satellite media tours, television, and radio), Internet news sources, and social media (including a blog, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr).  In 2012, 2.55 billion impressions of CPSC safety messages were received by consumers.  By the end of 2012, there were 17,550 estimated followers of CPSC safety messages on Twitter.  The growth of CPSC’s consumer outreach has been significant, as there were 1.28 billion impressions in 2009, and the agency was just starting to establish a presence on Twitter.
  • CPSC staff has conducted targeted national campaigns to raise public awareness, support industry compliance, and improve safety in specific consumer product areas.  This has included the Pool Safely campaign (www.PoolSafely.gov), a national public education effort to reduce child drowning and drain entrapments in swimming pools and spas. In addition, CPSC has partnered with safety advocacy and community groups, and state and local government agencies to implement the Safe Sleep outreach and education effort, which promotes safe sleeping environments for babies and toddlers.  It also highlights the new crib safety standards that prohibit the sale of drop-side cribs in the United States and warns of hazards associated with soft bedding, infant slings, sleep positioners, and baby monitor cords. 
  • CPSC increased the number of members of the Neighborhood Safety Network (NSN) from about 3,000 in 2009 to 7,500 in January 2013.  The NSN is a grassroots outreach program that provides timely information to member organizations and individuals, who in turn, share CPSC safety messages with underserved consumers who might otherwise never hear of or receive information from the CPSC. 
  • CPSC established the agency’s presence on social media in September 2009 with the launch of the “CPSC 2.0 initiative.”  In 2012, the agency’s OnSafety blog received about 200,000 page views a month; and the number of Twitter followers of @OnSafety approached 20,000.There have been nearly 600,000 views of our YouTube videos in English and Spanish; and thousands of views of our Flickr photo galleries, visitors to our Storify site, and users of our Recalls app and Recalls widget.
  • CPSC has disseminated free of charge to the public more than 3 million publications and brochures, from Pool Safely materials to baby safety checklists, to a popular handbook for public playground safety.
  • Chairman Tenenbaum has participated in numerous press events including:
    • Drowning prevention (in Houston, San Diego, Ft. Lauderdale, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Washington, D.C.);
    • Back to school safety (in Columbia, S.C. and Washington, D.C.);
    • Product registration cards and juvenile product safety (in Chicago);
    • Fireworks safety (four straight years on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.);
    • Import surveillance (in Elizabeth, N.J.);
    • Brain safety in youth sports (in Akron, OH); and
    • International product safety matters (in Beijing, Brussels, Singapore, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, and Majorca).
  • CPSC launched the Pool Safely campaign, a first-of-its-kind, multiyear media and education campaign aimed at preventing child drownings and drain entrapments in pools and spas.  The Pool Safely campaign has more than 500 partners across the country; has funded efforts by Safe Kids Worldwide to work with Head Start programs and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance with first responders on drowning prevention; and has funded dozens of training seminars for state and local health officials, pool and spa operators, and industry professionals on how to comply with Section 1404 of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
  • CPSC’s Chairman and senior spokespersons have conducted media interviews with The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Reuters, AP Radio, CBS Radio, CNN Radio, ABC Radio, National Public Radio, The Consumerist, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Early Show, CNN, Fox News Sunday, dozens of local TV affiliates, Product Safety Letter, Bloomberg BNA, and more.  The interviews covered topics such as high profile recalls, the hazards posed by gel fuels, rulemaking on table saws, the www.SaferProducts.gov database, water walking balls, safe sleep for babies, implementation of the crib rule, efforts to strengthen the product safety net for children, reorganization of the agency, import safety and surveillance, pool safety, civil penalties, and more.
  • CPSC has supported the business community through development of webinars, social media, such as SlideShare and Twitter, and through direct engagement at industry-sponsored events.  New Web pages and easily understood regulatory summaries have been developed and communicated to businesses.  Plain language guidance is updated regularly to help small businesses to comply with new legislation and CPSC’s enforcement policies.
  • CPSC staff has implemented a successful grassroots outreach campaign aimed at increasing awareness among minority and underserved consumers of critical safety hazards in the home.  The program has involved working with organizations and events that serve minority audiences.
  • CPSC received more than 526,000 calls to the CPSC Hotline between 2009 and 2012.  The majority of calls were related to addressing issues with recalls, fulfilling publication requests, and answering general information questions.

 

Other CPSC Accomplishments

  • Since 2009, the Commission has held more than 400 votes.  Eighty-seven percent of those votes have been unanimous.
  • CPSC had eight petitions docketed between 2009 and 2012.
  • From 2009 to 2012, CPSC held 61 public commission meetings. 
  • In August 2011, the Commission announced a reorganization of its management structure to meet its mission challenges better in an ever-changing global marketplace.  In response to a rapidly expanding marketplace of consumer goods, making the challenge of overseeing and regulating the thousands of product types within the agency’s jurisdiction all the more complex, the Commission realigned the organization with agency priorities established in its strategic plan.
  • Since August 2009, CPSC has testified at 14 congressional hearings and provided 21 sets of written testimony to committees.  Of those 14 hearings, the Chairman testified at nine.
  • Since August 2009, CPSC’s Office of Legislative Affairs has sent more than 1,200 written responses to congressional inquiries and statutorily required congressional reports.  The Office of Legislative Affairs has also handled thousands of other informal congressional staff inquiries.
  • CPSC acted on 18 cases of trade complaints between 2009 and 2012.
  • In March 2011, CPSC launched a searchable public website: www.SaferProducts.gov, to meet the requirements of CPSIA Section 212 (codified as Section 6A of the Consumer Product Safety Act, as amended).  Through this website, the public can submit reports of harm relating to products, search for reports, and find consumer product recall information.  Businesses can submit comments on filed reports, file other claims, and forward additional information to the CPSC electronically.  This database gives consumers access to product safety information that previously could be obtained only through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.  The database also increases the Commission's focus on preventative efforts and empowers consumers to make independent decisions about their safety and their families’ safety.
  • In 2009, CPSC began an ongoing effort to modernize its server environment by replacing physical hardware with virtual machines to enhance system reliability and increase efficiency.  Currently, CPSC supports more than 150 virtualized servers.
  • CPSC has undertaken a multiyear IT modernization effort to standardize how data are captured and integrate once-disparate systems to enable analysis and manage caseloads across the agency. As part of this effort, CPSC is developing the Consumer Product Safety Risk Management System (CPSRMS), Dynamic Case Management (DCM) system, and the agency has launched a redesigned website.
  • CPSC updated its business processes to improve its ability to detect emerging hazards and manage incoming incident data. The creation of Integrated Product Teams (IPTs), made up of staff from multiple offices and disciplines throughout the agency, is a collaborative approach to hazard identification. The IPTs are a critical element in facilitating the prioritization and identification of emerging hazards.
  • To improve business processes, CPSC developed new IT systems and enhanced existing systems, such as:
    • Modernizing the Early Warning System and expanded the system to include all products, not just children’s products;
    • Developing a new and enhanced Budget Application to replace the legacy system;
    • Developing an IT system that streamlined the intake and triage of product safety data;
    • Developing a Recalls Web Interface that allows sharing of recall information with the international community;
    • Developing an IT system to provide automated exchange of data with foreign government;
    • Developing an IT system for Laboratory Accreditation; and
    • Implementing an IT solution that automated the Freedom of Information Act business process.
  • CPSC enhanced information security to protect against cyber threats by implementing major security requirements mandated by the Office of Management and Budget, such as two-factor authentication, system contingency plans, and enhanced security settings across the information technology infrastructure.  CPSC also participated in the government-wide Trusted Internet Connection (TIC) initiative that allows the Commission to connect to the public Internet, while ensuring consistent, up-to-date security, without the Commission having to maintain Internet security hardware and software on its premises.  Additionally, CPSC implemented continuous monitoring that scans CPSC network to identify security issues.
  • As part of CPSC’s continuity of operations strategy, CPSC built a data center at the National Product Testing and Evaluation Center that provides backup for Headquarter agency data.
  • CPSC developed an IT investment Management Program by establishing a Capital Planning and Investment Control Program, a Program Management Office, and an IT Investment Review Board.
  • CPSC hired 292 permanent federal employees between 2009 and 2012. 
  • American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3579 and CPSC management formed the CPSC Labor Management Council, developed a Charter, and collaborated successfully on many employment and policy issues, including an updated telework policy.
  • According to the Employee Viewpoint Survey, CPSC’s overall index score measuring employee satisfaction and commitment increased 10 points from 2009 to 2012.  CPSC held focus groups, increased employee participation, and developed and implemented an action plan to address the 10 lowest scoring items on the survey.  Nine of the 10 items addressed showed an increase in score between 2010 and 2012.
  • Historically, CPSC has maintained a robust telework program with our Product Safety Investigators around the country teleworking full-time from home since 2001.  In addition, since 2009, CPSC has steadily expanded the telework program to include: telework for weather emergencies, eligibility for regular and recurring telework to most of the workforce, and the eligibility of management officials and most administrative positions for ad hoc telework.  At present, 84 percent of the CPSC workforce is eligible for some type of telework.