When consumers pop by a local store to pick up a few things, when workers arrive at their employer’s place of business to start a shift and when children open new toys during birthday celebrations, these people generally trust that the products they’ll soon be interacting with are safe to use for their intended purposes. Unfortunately, these assumptions aren’t always well founded.
Sometimes, a product that should be safe when used as instructed is defective. When it is revealed that a product’s defects have the ability to harm consumers, workers and even innocent bystanders, the product’s manufacturer and/or a specific government agency may move to recall it.
Auto-related recalls are generally managed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Food and medication recalls are handled by the Food and Drug Administration. Most other recalls are subject to the oversight of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Knowledge is power
Say that a construction worker is roofing when their nail gun backfires, puncturing them in the chest. They may be entitled to workers’ comp for medical treatment reimbursement and a partial refund of their wages. However, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the defective product manufacturer could result in much more significant compensation and a genuine likelihood that the offending manufacturer will change its ways. Filing a simultaneous complaint with the CPSC could lead the defective product that harmed the worker to be recalled before others can be hurt in the same way.
The CPSC maintains a database of consumer product recalls that have been formally announced. It also receives complaints about products that may be defective and should potentially be recalled. By scrolling the CPSC’s recall news every few weeks, you could gain insight into product safety information that could potentially save your life. And by reporting any defective products that you may encounter to the CPSC, you could potentially save others. Ultimately? It pays to get to know the CPSC.