ICPHSO 2016 Symposium Offers Glimpses of a Safer Tomorrow

8 March 2016

More than 750 product safety professionals from around the world convened at the ICPHSO 2016 Symposium from February 29 to March 3 in Washington, D.C.

The theme of the four-day symposium was “The Challenge of Change: Collaborating Today for a Safer Tomorrow.” The program included tours of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) labs, full-day tutorials covering topics such as requirements for selling in China, U.S.-Canada cross-border recalls, and a presentation of the CPSC Regulatory Robot, which helps small businesses identify important U.S. safety requirements. Keynotes were delivered by CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye and New Mexico Senator Tom Udall.

ICPHSO attracted a diverse audience including manufacturers, retailers, consumer NGOs, U.S. and international regulators, standards and testing organizations, and other product safety professionals. As one of the founding members of ICPHSO, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) participated in the symposium for the 23rd consecutive year and was a platinum sponsor for the event.

“The 2016 ICPHSO Annual Meeting and Training Symposium was a tremendous success. Everyone in attendance is now armed with valuable insight and information which will assist in producing the safest-possible products,” said Alan Kaufman, TIA SVP of technical affairs and ICPHSO’s immediate past president.

Presentations were led by CPSC and other regulators on reporting, recalls, and other topics. Discussions explored issues raised by internet-connected devices, lithium-ion batteries, and a host of other matters of interest to safety professionals. A closing roundtable lunch discussion was hosted by researchers from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design. The group reported on a project they have underway for Kids in Danger (KID) which will attempt to measure and improve recall effectiveness.

Last year, Chairman Kaye launched a Chairman’s Challenge in an effort to keep the safety dialogue open year-round among professionals. As part of the challenge, he invited attendees to bring their product safety improvement ideas to the symposium. On March 3, attendees had the opportunity to address Kaye’s call to action and keep the conversation going in person.

“Some intriguing safety concepts were created as a result of the Chairman’s Challenge. I look forward with great interest to seeing how attendees will implement those ideas in to their products and practices, ensuring safer experiences for all,” noted Kaufman.

ICPHSO will organize a one-day Regional Symposium in Atlanta, GA on June 2, as well as its International Symposium in Brussels, Belgium November 14-15, in conjunction with the European Commission’s Product Safety Week events.

Created in 1993, the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing forums for the exchange of ideas and information on health and safety issues related to consumer products manufactured and marketed in the global marketplace. TIA was a founding member of the organization; TIA was a sponsor organization for the 2016 event.

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