Bill Kitzes Product Safety Management

Product Safety Management

What Every CEO Should Ask (Or Be Asked) About Corporate Safety Policies

  1. Does the company have a written corporate safety policy?
  2. Does the policy state a goal of preventing unreasonable risks of injury and using technically feasible and economically practical safety measures to do so?
  3. Do the company’s products meet and exceed worldwide safety standards?
  4. Does the policy create a multidisciplinary safety review board, including employees from engineering, marketing and sales, human factors, technical documents, legal and communications?
  5. Does the company’s safety officer report to top management?
  6. Does the company collect and maintain safety-related data throughout its products’ life cycles?
  7. Does the company review national injury statistics?
  8. Does the company have a system to evaluate severity of injury?
  9. Does the company study injuries to evaluate product hazards, the environment in which the product is used, and foreseeable consumer uses?
  10. Have the intended use and reasonably foreseeable uses of the product been clearly documented through studies and focus-group testing?
  11. Does the company evaluate the operator capabilities of its target market, considering demographics, anthropometric factors, and educational levels?
  12. Do product instructions clearly and simply inform operators of proper use and of the safety consequences of unintended actions?
  13. Does the company analyze consumer data and conduct focus groups and behavioral testing to evaluate product risks?
  14. Does the company review promotional literature and advertising to evaluate whether product safety is clearly identified and to ensure that unsafe behaviors are not illustrated?
  15. Does the company analyze consumer perceptions of possible hazards, including the severity and likelihood of injury, and the magnitude and consequences of the danger?
  16. Does the company first attempt to eliminate hazards, then to guard against them, and ultimately to warn consumers of dangers and motivate them to avoid injury?
  17. Does the company have a program to monitor safety performance of its products in actual use and to systematically collect and retain safety data?
  18. Does the company have a system to recall products if it identifies a potential substantial product hazard?
  19. Does the company have a system to notify consumers through direct mail, service bulletins, public media, paid advertising, point-of-sale posters, and Web sites?
  20. Are employees routinely trained and educated about product safety issues?