Hereís What Our Customers
"I think your web site
is a godsend to parents so that they can check to make sure
that they don't have any recalled products. I saw info on
your web site in "Healthy Kids" magazine which was given to
me by my pediatrician. Keep up the good work, just one life
saved is worth it. Thank you."
"The recall information
is Wonderful!!! The site has been a big help already. Since
I have access at work and my child's daycare does not, I print
out the recall notices for the center director and she posts
them. For instance, the center staff had given the kids the
small Halloween pumpkins with candy in them at Halloween.
We never would have known about the recall notice if it hadn't
been on the web page. All the parents received a copy of the
notice we printed from the web. Thanks."
"It is remarkable that
CPSC has taken the time and effort to produce the information
in the Spanish language and for this I applaud this organization."
CPSC Web Site Offers
By Barbara Rosenfeld and Doug Noble
April 26, 1999
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is a small agency
with a big mission -- saving lives and keeping families safe. CPSC
has jurisdiction over more than 15,000 types of consumer products
that are used in and around the home and in recreational activities.
CPSC relies heavily on information technology and the information
superhighway to accomplish its mission.
In 1996 the agency established its
web site using
the expertise of an in-house staff team. It received 30,000 "hits"
a month during its first year of operation. Today, the site receives
more than 700,000 hits a month.
The web site is an excellent source of lifesaving
information for the public. It posts safety information each day,
including news of recalls, meetings, safety publications and "whatís
happening." CPSC initiated a service that invites consumers
to subscribe to an automatic e-mail list so they can receive all
news as soon as it is posted. This service is growing rapidly and
currently has more than 8,000 ësubscribers.í
Talk to CPSC
The siteís interactive features enable it to serve
another critical function ñ providing CPSC with important information
from the public about injuries and hazardous products. At the "Talk
to us" icon, consumers are quickly routed to a form where they
can report an injury, death or unsafe product. There is another
form for use by physicians and other health care professionals.
Coroners or health department employees who wish to notify CPSC
immediately of important cases that come to their attention frequently
file reports this way. This information helps CPSC to identify and
act on dangerous products quickly.
Manufacturers, who are required by law to report
potentially hazardous products, can also report them to CPSC via
the web site. This feature is especially important as a link in
CPSCís "Fast-Track" Product Recall Program. Fast-track
puts a premium on speed. Manufacturers who report a defective product
and at the same time file a satisfactory plan to remove it from
the marketplace within 20 days can avoid a government finding of
defect and other costly and time-consuming steps in the recall process.
The Fast-track program has helped CPSC remove over 55 million hazardous
products from the marketplace quickly ñ and the program earned CPSC
a 1998 "Innovations
in American Government Award."
"Spotlight" on Safety
When CPSCís customers come to its web site, they
see the very latest information on recalled products under a special
"spotlight" section of the homepage. Dedicated to keeping
things simple, the rest of the homepage is designed to be seen on
one screen with a handful of "buttons" that lead the visitor
to a wide range of information not only about product safety but
about other agency activities.
Be Sure To Bring The Kids!
In February, CPSC introduced its latest
improvement to the site by upgrading its "4
Kids" page. This is a fun place for kids of all ages to
learn about safety around the home. Visitors to the page meet "Kidd
Safety" and are challenged through the use of games and puzzles
to find out what they need to know about playing it safe with childrenís
About the Authors
Barbara Rosenfeld is Senior Advisor
to the Chairman and Douglas L. Noble is Assistant Executive Director
for Information Services at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
in Washington, D.C. You may reach Barbara at (301) 504-0123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may reach Doug at (301) 504-0000 x 2250 or email@example.com.