The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a statement regarding the Commission’s efforts during the COVID-19 crisis. Though short, the statement makes clear that the CPSC is working to maximize technology to continue its work while also encouraging businesses to continue to report potentially unsafe products. The CPSC stated that it is relying on “teleworking to the maximum extent possible in conjunction with staff whose onsite presence is necessary to perform their duties.” Accordingly, businesses may want to check with the CPSC representative with whom they are working to determine how that might affect accessibility and/or work hours. Importantly, the CPSC signaled that there is no relaxing of reporting requirements for businesses as a result of COVID-19 by stating “Companies are reminded of their statutory obligation to report under Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act.”
Companies should review compliance programs to address any issues raised by COVID-19 so that reporting can be done in a timely matter. Specifically, companies should review how product complaints and other quality issues will be received, processed and considered in light of a work force that may be working remotely in response to the virus.