What Makes a Product Safety Management Program for a Manufacturer Effective?
Assessing the Effectiveness of Product Safety Management Programs is Challenging
There is very little data and research information available on the number of manufacturers who have product safety programs now in place. There is a similar lack of information on how those product safety programs are organized and established within companies. Along those same lines, it is likewise equally challenging to find concrete data and empirical evidence that accurately assesses and measures the effectiveness of manufacturers' product safety management programs.
Manufacturers Ask Several Key Questions About Implementing Product Safety Management Programs
Reality reveals that most of the information available to us about the effectiveness of product safety management programs is anecdotal and appears to be as much a result of common sense as anything else. If the public is left scratching its head, one can imagine that manufacturers are also confused. Manufacturing companies ponder several key questions about product safety management programs, including:
- whether to enact formal product safety management programs
- how many of resources in the form of budget dollars and personnel should be devoted to implementing product safety management programs
The Best Practices of Prudent, Proactive Manufacturer Peers in Product Safety Management Programs Is a Good Starting Point
Manufacturers facing crucial questions and issues in the formulation of their product safety management programs should start their analyses with examining the best practices utilized by their peers in the industry. Manufacturers should look to their peers in the field who devote resources and efforts to selling safe products and to minimizing their liabilities and risks for the products they place in the marketplace. It is also true that conventional wisdom, tried-and-true prior practices and techniques, and common sense go a long way in promoting safety and preventing injury and harm from product use (or abuse).
Product Safety Management Programs Are Most Effective When They Embrace More Personnel and Fields
Some manufacturers incorrectly assume that the appointment and retention of a product safety manager is all that is necessary to have an effective formal program. On the contrary, top management, in-house counsel, defense counsel, other risk management professionals, insurers, and insurance professionals such as brokers and claims agents, as well as other product safety personnel involved in the day-to-day operations of the company are also key members of product safety management teams. A successful and effective product safety management program embraces the viewpoints and perspectives of a variety of personnel within the company, each of whom may have a different view of a problem, its effect on the company, and the best solutions.
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