There is good news and bad for the first quarter of 2017 with regard to product liability.
Stericycle ExpertSolutions reported a decrease in the number of product recalls, down from the last quarter of 2016. Unfortunately, that period saw more product-related injuries reported to Consumer Protection Safety Commission. What’s worse is this is the highest number of injuries reported in the last 20 years.
It’s important to note that if a product related to an injury isn’t recalled, it could be in the future.
Household products accounted for three-quarters of the reported injuries in the first quarter, which means everyone in the general population is at risk. The four categories with the most injuries are toys, children’s equipment/supplies, home furnishings/fixtures, and housewares.
Falling, bleeding and choking injuries made up 75% of those reported in this category and were linked to products such as swings, baby strollers and chairs.
Despite the overall decline in recalls during this quarter, two exceptions are the automotive and food and beverage products categories, which saw substantial increases. While food-related recalls decreased by 19% in the first quarter, of 92 million units were recalled, which is a 507% increase. Not surprisingly, nutritional supplements made up 80% of the recalls in this category. The FDA’s and CPSC’s issues with dietary supplements are not new.
Recalls in the automotive category dropped 6%, but recalls of cars and trucks saw a steep increase of 144%.
Stericycle’s Recall Index aggregates and analyzes data from CPSC, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, FDA, and USDA to help manufacturers, distributors, and other product stakeholders identify trends.
Taking steps to prevent a product recall is smarter and less costly than dealing with a product recall. Having a recall plan in place is the first step in prevention. We encourage you to read our article, “5 Risk Management Steps to Prevent Product Liability Claims.”
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