Recall Effectiveness Workshop Summary

Yesterday, on behalf of ICPHSO I attended the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Recall Effectiveness Workshop. In my view, it was a significant day for several reasons. In the early morning hours, we heard that the White House issued a statement of its intent to nominate Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle to the Chairman position for a full seven-year term beginning in October. This could provide CPSC with stability going forward that is always helpful for the staff and stakeholders. Second, the workshop developed and put on by CPSC Compliance staff under the direction of Deputy Director Carol Cave, offered a creative and comprehensive look at how to improve recall effectiveness. And third, it was a homecoming of sorts for me, returning to CPSC where I spent more than 40 years until my retirement, and becoming ICPHSO full-time Executive Director.

The energy and the enthusiasm in the workshop by the nearly 100 attendees representing many different stakeholders in the product safety community and CPSC staff was readily felt and appreciated. It was just like being at an ICPHSO Symposium since many of our regular attendees and members were present. There was great interaction between attendees, CPSC Compliance and other staff.  All five CPSC Commissioners attended all or some of the workshop and were all actively engaged in the discussions. Everyone was interested in working towards finding suitable solutions to increase recall effectiveness to reduce injuries and deaths.

Blake Rose, Director, Defects Investigation Division started with an overview of the corrective action process and what the staff requires in a voluntary or mandatory recall. Blake’s presentation was followed by a presentation from Patty Davis, Acting Director of Communications, whose presentation provided a communications focus on what media likes to see in notices so that they will get reported.
Carol Cave, Deputy Director of the Office of Compliance then gave a presentation on recall data which provided attendees some new and useful information based upon an in-depth analysis conducted recently by CPSC staff looking at several years of recall data. Some of the data presented by Carol included:

  •  Review of closed cases between fiscal years 2013 and 2016 showed a surprisingly high 65% overall effectiveness rate;
  • On average, 46% of section 15 reports to CPSC led to a recall or recall alert;
  • Over a three-year period (2014-2016), 199 recalls used some form of social media notification;
  • Recall Alert notifications (where the recalling company has the names of the majority of the purchasers of the recalled product) resulted in a greater consumer correction rate of about 50%;
  • Generally, a higher recall correction rate occurs when consumers have multiple options for the recall remedy (repair, replacement, refund);
  • Having the ability to reach consumers directly in the event of the recall generally results in a higher correction rate.

This data analysis will be a very useful tool going forward to guide both Commission staff and stakeholders, since having data related to past recalls can only help make future recalls more effective.

After a break for lunch which allowed attendees to network, the afternoon opened with a discussion on Communicating the Hazard moderated by Tanya Topka, Team Lead for the Fast Track Team in the Office of Compliance and Celestine Kish. Celestine is in the Human Factors Division at CPSC and has been actively involved with recall effectiveness issues for a number of years. She, along with Tanya who lives the issue day-to-day working with recalling companies, are well versed in the subject and brought out many issues for discussion among the attendees. There were also two breakout sessions. One was on Consumer Motivation moderated by Tanya Topka and Shelby Mathis, CPSC’s Small Business Ombudsman. The second breakout session included a large number of attendees who were interested in ways to Advance Technology to improve recall effectiveness. Because of the size of the group, it was split into three smaller groups. One group was moderated by Mary Toro, Director of the Regulatory Enforcement Division, in the Office of Compliance.  The second group was moderated by Chris Nguyen, a Compliance Officer in the Defects Investigation Division, and the last group was led by Carol Cave and Pamela Chisholm, a Compliance Officer in the Defects Investigation Division.

The workshop was closed by the new Director of Compliance, Rob Kaye, who summarized some of the day’s highlights and indicated the presentations would be available on-line soon and hoped that the dialogue that was started would continue to come up with some viable solutions to improve recall effectiveness.

On behalf of ICPHSO, I commend CPSC and the staff for holding this important workshop and urge all in the ICPHSO community to review the staff presentation and workshop summary, once they are posted on the CPSC’s website. We look forward to continuing the dialogue to improve recall effectiveness at future ICPHSO Symposiums. And, on a more personal note, it was good to be back at CPSC (even if just for one day) and see many of my former colleagues, meet new ones and see many familiar faces from the product safety community, who took the time and had the interest in participating in the workshop.   Next, I hope to see you all in Tokyo in November to continue the product safety dialogue.




2017 ICPHSO North American Regional Product Safety Training Workshop Summary

On June 28, 2017, consumer product safety professionals from around the world met in Toronto, Canada for the International Consumer Product Health, and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) 2017 North American Regional Product Safety Training Workshop. The workshop’s theme, “To Compliance and Beyond: Cooperation for Safety” was certainly at the forefront, as regulators, manufacturers, distributors, attorneys, consumer advocates,  product safety professionals, and others were all on hand to discuss how cooperation in the industry would be beneficial to all.

The program was developed by ICPHSO members in response to topics requested, and based upon preliminary post survey results, the training workshop was a success delivering on the identified priorities. Improving product safety was on the mind of the nearly 200 attendees during the training workshop and during the networking opportunities provided during the workshop.

A busy day of interactive, dynamic, and stimulating discussions with speakers from industry, retailer executives, and product safety regulatory staff resulted in a lively and timely discussion of product safety issues. Panel sessions covered a wide range of topics including, jurisdictional reporting requirements, recalls, innovation in product safety, and compliance management, all with a focus on facilitating understanding of product safety within a collaborative framework. Parallel sessions included tutorials presented by Health Canada and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

In addition to the panel sessions, consumer product regulatory leaders discussed the spirit of collaboration during their keynote presentations.

The Deputy Minister of Health Canada, Simon Kennedy opened the training workshop in the morning and noted that his role involves oversight of much more than consumer products, including food, drugs, medical devices, pesticides, and more. However, he was very happy to be in attendance for the workshop, and was appreciative of the opportunity to work alongside the United States’ CPSC in trying to ensure the safety of Canada’s citizens.

In particular, Deputy Minister Kennedy touted the passage of the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) six years ago as allowing Health Canada to more readily work alongside the CPSC. In discussing the CPSA, Mr. Kennedy noted that Canada’s Hazardous Products Act, the CPSA’s predecessor, did not provide Health Canada with the appropriate tools to enact corrective measures other than requesting a voluntary recall. Essentially, once a hazard was identified, Health Canada would need to sometimes wait years for the Parliament to pass remedial legislation. The CPSA’s passage has been a welcome addition for Health Canada, and has allowed the organization to adapt to the rapidly evolving marketplace.

Mr. Kennedy recognized future challenges, which include a variety of difficult balancing tests such as innovation vs. safety; the need for predictability of compliance with regulations for industry; collaboration while seeking to stay impartial; and consciousness of “human” and economic factors. At base, the Deputy Minister was very happy that the CPSA is providing the degree of protection Canada deserves, and emphasized that Canada is committed to be at the leading edge of innovation – alongside the United States.

In the afternoon, Acting Chairman of the CPSC, Ann Marie Buerkle, spoke to the attendees, putting a great emphasis on the CPSC’s collaborative relationship with Health Canada. She was grateful to have met with Deputy Minister Kennedy and his colleagues, and reiterated the need for cooperation between agencies, pointing to many recent bilateral recalls, and even trilateral recalls with Mexico’s PROFECO. Chairman Buerkle also noted challenges in the consumer products industry, in particular, noting the industry’s difficulty with diagnosis and correction of recent problems with lithium-ion batteries, as well as assessment of recall effectiveness.

Overall,  Chairman Buerkle’s message was that collaboration should never be seen as a sign of weakness. She emphasized, “We should embrace each other’s knowledge.”

ICPHSO continues to coordinate these events throughout the world to promote further collaboration among the various product safety stakeholders. Clearly, the message from the keynote speakers and the information presented during the workshop sessions stressed the need for all safety and health professionals to continue to work together with the hope that greater collaboration will lead to a more effective regulatory environment, and most importantly, a safer marketplace for consumers.

Thanks to ICPHSO Vice President Matt Howsare, ICPHSO attendee Shawn Skolky (Mintz Levin) and ICPHSO Board Member and Toronto Planning Chairman Eli Szamosi for contributing to this summary.

Best Regards,


Next Tokyo!

Only 130 days until ICPHSO’s International Symposium in Tokyo, Japan on November 14-15, 2017!  Having just completed our 2017 North America Regional Product Safety Training Workshop, we are now busy preparing for our next symposium in Tokyo.  This will be ICPHSO’s first visit to Japan and Rod Freeman, ICPHSO Board Member and Planning Committee Chairman is busy working with his committee to develop two days of substantive content related to the Symposium theme: “It Started with an Idea:  Safety in the Product Life Cycle.”  While the deadline for proposals has passed, its not too late for ICPHSO members to participate in the planning for the symposium.  If you are interested in assisting in the planning and can participate in two planning conference calls a month, please let me know and we can add your name to the Committee.  The proposals are now being reviewed and selections will soon be made and the agenda publicized.  Speakers with expertise in the panels selected may be needed, so be sure to check back on our website for additional information.   Our registration page is now open and we encourage you to register as well as make your hotel reservations early.  ICPHSO’s group rate at the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba is around $212 USD (23500 JPY).  Make your reservations before October 29, 2017, to assure you are able to receive the ICPHSO group rate.  Reservations can be made here.

Sponsorship and Exhibitor information is also now open and we look forward to working with you to assist us with holding our first Symposium in Japan.  Through the support of Sponsors and Exhibitors, we are able to keep the registration fee for the two-day workshop at the same rate it has been for the last two International Symposiums.  We appreciate sponsorship and exhibitor support and look forward to working with you as we prepare for the Symposium.

ICPHSO is also working on an outside tour event at minimal costs for attendees who may be visiting Tokyo for the first time the day before the Symposium begins (November 13, 2017).  We are also planning a November 13, 2017 evening networking reception before the Symposium begins.  As we found out in Toronto, this evening reception is a perfect opportunity to catch up with existing colleagues and to meet new ones.  Additional information on the tour, the reception and other activities taking place in Tokyo will be posted on the ICPHSO website as it becomes available.

While we are well into planning for the International Symposium, we have also sent out our Call for Presentations for our 2018 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium, February 20-23, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.  The Symposium kicks off ICPHSO’s Silver Jubilee Anniversary year and we will be planning a number of special anniversary events during the Symposium.  From golf to bowling to 25 year anniversary trivia, we think there will be something of interest for all attendees.  Belinda May, ICPHSO’s President Elect and 2018 Symposium Planning Chairman has set the theme for the 2018 Symposium:  “Accelerated Change in the Exponential Age:  Learning from History to Make Safer Products in the Future” and we are looking forward to receiving proposals related to the theme.  The deadline for submitting your proposal is July 31, 2017, so don’t delay!

As you can see,  there’s not much time to rest between our meetings.  We are constantly working to bring our members and all symposium attendees the best and most relevant product safety content we can.  We value the relationships we have built up over the years with safety and health professionals and will continue to strive to bring together all stakeholders in a neutral forum to learn, network and share critical product safety information that contributes to keeping all consumers safe.

Please feel free to share with me any ideas, comments or suggestions you may have.

Best Regards,


20 Days To Toronto…

Only twenty days until the ICPHSO 2017 North America Regional Product Safety Training Workshop in Toronto, Canada.  There’s still time for you to register to attend this important one-day training workshop and to take advantage of ICPHSO’s special hotel rates.  Visit the event page for more information and to register to attend.  Check out the days agenda here.

ICPHSO appreciates the continued support of its sponsors and exhibitors taking part in the Toronto Workshop.


CSA Group♦Asiannspection (AI) ♦LG Electronics, Inc. ♦ Norton Rose Fulbright ♦Stericycle Expert Solutions ♦STC ♦ TUV SUD ♦ BRC Global Standards ♦ Bureau Veritas ♦Dentons ♦Recall Results ♦ADK Information Services LLP/Saint Louis University ♦Intertek ♦Product Safety Letter (PSL) ♦ Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) ♦ Insight Quality Services ♦Law Office of Alan H Schoem LLC ♦UL


BRC Global Standards ♦GS1 Canada ♦Health Canada ♦Recall Results ♦Stericycle

Please take the time to thank and visit all of our sponsors and exhibitors during the workshop.    Don’t forget all attendees are invited to the evening networking reception on June 27, 2017 beginning at 6:00 pm.  Please drop in at the reception to meet your fellow attendees and get a head start by picking up your conference materials the night before the conference begins.  We look forward to seeing you in Toronto, and remember we will still be taking registrations on site the day of the workshop.


ICPHSO Updates on NW Lunch, Tokyo, Toronto, Lithium-Ion Batteries and AHAM……

As the summer fast approaches, ICPHSO is busier than ever with a number of activities going on.  I wanted to update you on a few of these activities.

ICPHSO Northwest Luncheon Event

The inaugural ICPHSO Northwest Luncheon was held on April 25, 2017 at the offices of Perkins Coie, in Seattle, Washington.  The luncheon had representatives from 18 Seattle area firms with 38 attendees.  Thanks to all who attended with special thanks to Christian Moller and Brendan Murphy from Perkins Coie for hosting and providing the attendees lunch.  Thanks also to Dr. George Borlase, Executive Assistance Director for Hazard Identification and Reduction, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, who spoke via web stream on CPSC’s updated strategic plan, risk management and emerging hazards focusing particular attention on IoT.  Dr. Borlase also answered questions after his presentation.  During the luncheon, there was discussion about what the attendees would like to hear in future luncheon events.  Attendees were also asked to complete a survey to further comment on this new approach by ICPHSO to reach members and potential members who may not be able to travel to one of our regularly scheduled Symposiums.   The next ICPHSO Northwest event is scheduled for July 27, 2017 and will include a Seattle port tour.  There are space limitations so the number of attendees will be limited and the event will also only be open to ICPHSO members.    Thanks to Dee Fenton, ICPHSO Board Member for coordinating and planning these Northwest events. If you are interested in becoming a member of ICPHSO, check our website for membership information at  If you want to sign up for the July 27 Seattle port tour, please send an email request to  Space will be filled on a first come first served basis.

2017 International Symposium, Tokyo, Japan – Call For Presentations Posted

We are finalizing hotel conference plans for our November 14-15, 2017, International Symposium in Tokyo, Japan.  The theme of this Symposium is, “It started with an idea:  safety in the product life cycle.”  We are now accepting proposals for presentations at the International Symposium.  Let your voice be heard within ICPHSO and consider proposing a presentation for use in Tokyo.  Presentations must be non-commercial in nature and pertain to topics of interest to the global consumer product safety community.  The proposals can be for general plenary sessions, workshop or panels.  Regulators from North America, Asia and Europe are also being invited to attend and participate.  See initial information about the International Symposium here.  Registration, hotel, and sponsorship information will be posted in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back for updated information.

2017 North America Regional Product Safety Training WorkshopToronto, Canada

A preliminary agenda, hotel, registration, sponsorship and exhibitor information is now available for this June 28, 2017, one-day training workshop.  All registered attendees are also invited to an evening networking reception the evening before the workshop begins on June 27, 2017, at the conference hotel (Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel). You don’t want to miss this regional training workshop which includes presentations from Health Canada and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission representatives. Keynote presentations are being given by CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, a high level Health Canada official and a senior executive from Canadian Tire Corporation.  Act now to take advantage of reduced ICPHSO hotel rates and reduced parking for those not flying in for the workshop.  More information can be found on our website.

Safety Training for Designers and Manufacturers -Lithium-Ion Batteries in Consumer ProductsMay 16, 2017 – Shenzhen, China

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission staff, in cooperation with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), UL Standards and the International Federation of Inspection Agencies (IFIA), is conducting a training seminar for lithium-ion battery manufacturers, product developers and designers in Shenzhen, China.  The seminar will focus on the safety of lithium-ion batteries and will include panels of industry and government experts to answer questions and offer their perspectives. Also participating in the seminar will be representatives from CPSC.  The one-day, free international seminar on May 16, 2017 is from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm at the JW Marriott Hotel Shenzhen Bao’an.  Registration is required and additional information can be obtained by contacting Ms. Liu Xiangning at or Mr. Steve Williams at  More information can be found here.

AHAM Chairman’s Partnership Award

Finally, I want to extend my deep appreciation and gratitude to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers who recognized me at their recently held Annual Manufacturers meeting in Washington, D.C. with their Chairman’s Partnership Award.  Special thanks to AHAM President Joe McGuire and AHAM Chairman Melanie Cook for this award which recognizes significant contributions to the Association by non-member organizations, companies and individuals. The recognition of my contributions as ICPHSO Executive Director and during my tenure at the CPSC is appreciated.


ICPHSO Northwest Lunch Event Announcement

When I became ICPHSO’s Executive Director in October 2015, one of my goals was to further ICPHSO reach throughout the United States (and globally).  In the past, ICPHSO discussed holding smaller regional events to reach stakeholders who may not always be able to attend our Annual Symposium in Orlando or Washington, D.C. or our Regional Training Workshop held in different locations in North America.

Under the coordination of ICPHSO Board Member, Dee Fenton, I am pleased to announce our first ICPHSO Northwest Lunch event in Seattle, Washington being held next week.  Please note that participation is limited due to space restrictions and also our interest in allowing for maximum interaction among attendees.  Attendance will be available on a first-come, first served basis.  Details are as follows:

When:  April 25, 2017 – 11:00 am – 1:00 pm (pacific coast time)

Where:  Perkins Coie, 1201 3rd Avenue (Chase Building), 49th Floor, Seattle, Washington, 98101 – Due to security requirements, advanced registration is required.  A photo ID is also required to access Perkin Coie’s offices.

Speaker:  Dr. George Borlase, CPSC, Assistant Executive Director, Hazard Identification and Reduction will speak via video link and provide an update on CPSC regulatory activities.

Attendance:  Limited to ICPHSO Stakeholders on a first come – first served basis.  Please email if you are interested in attending this lunch.

NOTE:  While you don’t have to be an ICPHSO member to attend this lunch event, future lunch events planned for July and September, 2017 in the Seattle, Washington area will be open to ICPHSO members only.

ICPHSO appreciates the support of Perkins Coie who will be providing the attendees lunch.  

Future Events:  The next lunch event is being planned at the Port of Seattle and will include a tour of the Port at the end of July 2017.  In September 2017,  ICPHSO will hold a lunch event with the State of Washington’s Department of Ecology.   As details become available on these future ICPHSO NW Lunch events, it will be posted here.  Remember, future events will require participants to be an ICPHSO member.  Further information on ICPHSO membership can be found on our website at: ICPHSO Membership Information. In the future, we hope to expand these smaller regional lunch events elsewhere.

Toronto Regional Training Workshop:  Don’t forget to register for our upcoming 2017 North America Regional Product Safety Training Workshop, being held on June 28, 2017, in Toronto, Canada.  More than twenty proposals for content for the workshop were submitted and they are being reviewed now.  Agenda information will be posted soon. Based on the proposals, I am confident it will be a significant training workshop providing attendees with timely product safety information in five key areas:  Compliance, Innovation, Recalls, Reporting and Collaboration.  The day will also feature separate Health Canada and CPSC Beginner Compliance presentations as well as a networking reception the evening before the workshop begins.   Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are still available. More information can be found at: 2017 North America Regional Product Safety Training Workshop.

Any questions, please email me at






Thanks For Your Continued Support…

Thanks to all attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors who participated in ICPHSO’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Training Symposium in Orlando, Florida.  More than 650 attendees participated in the Symposium.  Keynote presentations featured, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Acting Chairman, Ann Marie Buerkle; Florian Beerli, Sr. Vice President, Recalls, Chubb Insurance; Dr. Takashi Tatsumi, President, National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE) in Japan; and John Godfrey, Sr. Vice President, Public Policy, Samsung Electronics America, LLC.  There were more than 100 expert speakers on numerous plenary, breakout and tutorial panels over the four days of the Symposium.  The Symposium theme: “Evaluating & Managing Risk in Product Safety” was present throughout the Symposium. We are still interested in hearing from you on your evaluation of the Symposium and will keep the evaluation link open until March 27, 2017 in order to give you some additional time to provide that feedback.  You can access the evaluation at: 2017 Symposium Evaluation.

We are accepting proposals for presentations for the upcoming 2017 North America Regional Product Safety Training Workshop being held on June 28, 2017, in Toronto, Canada at: Call For Presentations.  Registration, hotel reservations (at the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel), sponsorship and exhibitor information has also been posted on our website at: 2017 North America Regional Product Safety Training Workshop.

Our Toronto planning committee will be reviewing all proposals over the next couple of weeks and deciding on the content for this important one-day training workshop.  If you are a member of ICPHSO, we invite you to participate on this committee as well as others within ICPHSO so you can help shape our future. The Regional Workshop will include many different product safety community members from all segments of the community including North American regulators.  If you haven’t already submitted a proposal, I urge you to do so before the March 24, 2017 deadline.

I look forward to seeing you in Toronto!