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November 15, 2021

Watch Now: Discussing Methods for Measuring the Impact of Standards with US Consumer Product Safety Commission

UL Standards recently partnered with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to organize a virtual World Standards Week event on measuring the impact of voluntary standards on human health and safety. The event took place in October and was hosted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). 

UL Standards Senior Project Manager Casey Granata delivered a presentation to attendees on best practices and methodologies, calling upon his experience as Chair of the UL Standards Impact Working Group dedicated to measuring this impact. The working group, which launched in March 2021, is currently working with available data from the CPSC’s National Injury Information Clearinghouse and National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) to analyze the efficacy of UL and ULC standards in preventing injuries and deaths. Check out the video below to watch Casey’s presentation and the panel discussion. Casey’s presentation begins at the 18:16 mark and The panel discussion begins at the 1:55:55 mark.

As Casey outlined in his presentation, the working group has been analyzing incidents resulting from products covered by ANSI/CAN/UL 325, the Standard for Door, Drapery, Gate, Louver, and Window Operators and Systems; ANSI/UL 859, the Standard for Household Electric Personal Grooming Appliances; and ANSI/CAN/UL 2272, the Standard for Electrical Systems for Personal E-Mobility Devices.

Casey also described how the working group is addressing limitations in the data. Because NEISS only tracks hospital emergency department (ER) visits associated with a consumer product injury, and the Clearinghouse data only includes death certificates and medical examiner reports involving consumer products, the team is working to obtain additional data regarding minor injuries treated by primary care physicians, urgent care facilities, and independent medical clinics. A more accurate count of products in the marketplace is also required to determine the risk of injury from a consumer product. The Impact Working Group will continue to focus on overcoming data limitations as it defines more efficient ways to measure the impact of UL and ULC standards on human health and safety.

Additionally, David Wroth, director of data science, moderated a panel discussion at the event with participation from Casey and standards professionals from other standards development organizations, industry associations, and federal agencies. Some of the key topics addressed by the panel included strategies for collecting data, scoping out problems, and building on previous studies. The panelists discussed data sources that would be helpful if available. They also explored potential next steps for impact measurement.