2019 ICPHSO International Symposium Summary

(Editor Update:  A comprehensive and complete summary for the two day International Symposium can now be found on the ICPHSO website under the Latest News Link.)

#ICPHSO19 International Symposium, Dublin, Ireland two day summary now posted on the ICPHSO website under Latest News.  Thank you Cooley LLP for providing ICPHSO attendees and members this comprehensive summary.

The ICPHSO 2019 International Symposium held at Trinity College on October 24-25, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland was attended by nearly 200 health and safety professionals from around the globe.  The theme, ” Shaping the Future in Times of International Change” was a key part of many of the sessions presented during the Symposium.   The two days offered attendees significant product safety training, education, best practices and networking opportunities.

Thanks to Rod Freeman, International Symposium Planning Chair and the team from Cooley LLP,  ICPHSO attendees and members will be provided a comprehensive summary of the two day symposium.  Below are some highlights from the summary detailing keynote speaker presentations.  Watch this blog and ICPHSO’s social media platforms for the Cooley LLP summary on the rest of two day conference.

Patrick Kenny, Member Responsible for Product Safety, Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), Ireland:

Patrick Kenny oversees criminal enforcement, consumer enforcement and is responsible for product safety.  Reviews are underway of the CCPC procedures for monitoring compliance for product safety as products continue to be manufactured and distributed in new ways. The regulatory authority in Ireland has a role in protecting the internal market in Europe. For the market to function correctly, consumers must be able to trust that the product they are purchasing are inherently safe.  CCPC is also aware of the extra cost that could be applied to products as a result of additional burdens placed on manufacturers.  CCPC is looking to become more proactive through on-site inspections and will assist in the development of new EU regulations in 2021 to address new concerns. Steps are being taken to develop an approach to detecting non-compliance early, prior to distribution of products and to have a workable market place surveillance through an increased presence of CCPC at retail and wholesale.  CCPC will also continue to work with industry on  how to be compliant.

Dermott Jewell, ANEC President

Consumers are  generally engaging with the producers marketers. When products are described in glowing terms, but doesn’t really disclose much, consumers have a role to play in checking the products by looking at the ingredients, reading reviews, etc.  Consumer understand mistakes happen and these need to be resolved.  The biggest concern is when they have to bring something back or when consumers have to engage with a representative of the organization.  There are non-compliant products on the market. Market surveillance is needed to protect consumers.  Focus should be placed on the right culture within an organization: one that favors safety.  Organizations need to focus on safety from the beginning.

Liz Hyman, CEO XR Association

XRA is an industry body supporting responsible development and thoughtful advancement of XR.  XR is an umbrella term and people may be familiar with VR, but not AR and mixed reality.    XR history can be traced back to the 1960s and is a global term to cover these and new or not yet designed technologies. . XR is no longer just for gaming.  In the future, XR will be key in training and education (especially for high risk jobs such as chemists, pilots and medical professionals  including surgical), business and consumer functions.  For instance a major retailer purchased tens of thousands of goggles to train staff, e.g. in customer relations, etc. In the future, there will continue to be slow but steady growth in XR. A starter guide for developers — XR-Primer 1.0 was released and will continue to be updated for best practices, etc.  A study regarding building a stronger culture for safety in emerging technologies has been carried out and the hope is that it could be released at the next ICPHSO conference.

Pinuccia Continto, Head of Unit, Product Safety and Rapid Alert System, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, European Commission

Start of the new Commission is scheduled for December 1, 2019.  Expect a new dynamic and new priorities; but also the continuation of certain priorities.  Need to avoid the slightest injury, not just serious ones.  When avoided, its often a silent victory. Cooperation across a range of actors is required.  Imagine a triangle: economic operators/regulatory bodies/consumers at the corners of the triangle.  Consumers are additionally at its core.  In the EU, making sure product safety is pervasive is a joint priority (shared between Member States and the Commission). Notification in one country will go to the Commission who send it to all countries.  This is how the internal market works.  There are six main priorities currently in the EU Commission: 1) coordinated activities for the safety of products; 2) development of legislation on AI; 3) increasing recall effectiveness; 4) product safety pledge; 5) product safety award, inspired by METI in Japan; and 6) international cooperation. Turn silent victories into loud victories – loud victories get more resources and also helps make the world a safer place.

Kevin Nolan, President and CEO GE Appliances, a Haier company

When you see smart technology in homes, the majority of the product is outside the home (in terms of software, etc) and the consumer doesn’t see the whole product.  These kinds of product are changing what innovation means, and how we think about innovation. Companies that don’t innovate are guaranteed to fail.  Two types of companies:  technological optimists and technological pessimists: Optimists believe technology can solve everything, including climate change.  Pessimists believe technology may wipe out life on earth. Four key points as appliances get smarter: 1) safety has to be a priority; 2) technology should be used to discover and fix vulnerabilities; 3) it should not be possible to patent safety; and 4) consumers use products in manners you may not have designed them for, so you need to consider all uses when evaluating safety and making improvements.  Optimism kills, Pessimism paralyzes, Realism is clarity.

Thanks again to the staff from Cooley LLP for providing the detailed summary of keynote presentations.  Look for the remaining summaries covering the actual plenary and breakout sessions in the days ahead.

Regards,

Marc

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