Here’s 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
April 26, 1999
The 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
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 "what’s 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 ‘subscribers.’
Talk to CPSC
The site’s interactive features
enable it to serve another critical function – 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 CPSC’s "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 – and the program
earned CPSC a 1998 "Innovations in American Government Award."
When CPSC’s 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 children’s
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.