WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 1975) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission formally has announced the establishment of the Office of Product Defect Identification (OPDI) to coordinate investigation and correction of possible substantial product hazards.
Commission regulations implementing Section 15 of the Consumer Product Safety Act require manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers to report potentially hazardous products to the Commission within 24 hours of discovery. Since January 6, 1975, the Commission has maintained a 24-hour-a-day seven-days-a-week, telephone number to assist companies in meeting their responsibilities under Section 15 (301/496-7631).
The Office of Product Defect Identification pursues these reports as well as information about possible substantial product hazards gathered from other sources such as consumer complaints. OPDI also coordinates activities with Commission staff to test products and confirm the presence of substantial product hazards and works with companies to develop plans for corrective action.
Since the Commission was activated on May 14, 1973, nearly 250 defect notifications have been filed, involving some 15.7 millicn product units. Although the Commission has the authority, after a hearing, to require corrective action, most companies have voluntarily taken steps to repair, replace cr refund the purchase price of defective or hazardous products.
Carl W. Blechschmidt is Director of the Office of Product Defect Identification.
Blechschmidt, 42, joined the Commission as Director of the Technical Analysis Division in the Office of Standards Coordination and Appraisal. Previously, he was Deputy Director of the Children's Hazards Division in the Bureau of Product Safety, Food and Drug Administration. In 1968, he participated in the efforts of the National Commission on Product Safety as Chief Engineer of the Task Force on Industry Self-Regulation.
For 13 years, he was an engineer and technical director with Martin-Marietta Corporation and also has been employed by North American Aviation and Douglas Aircraft.