Products Liability Assessment

Assessment Introduction

Page 1

Welcome to the Products Liability IQRM!

Every product can (and will) fail, and every product can present risks. The key is to know what those risks are and take reasonable precautions. Product safety risk management includes two components: proactive risk prevention and reactive risk response. Obviously, the easiest way to manage risk is to avoid it. Unfortunately, the steps necessary to avoid risk in today’s high velocity, cost-constrained global marketplace for goods are not so easy.

In today’s world, it is no longer enough to rely on warranty reserves and claims policies to protect your business from allegedly unsafe products. Newly aggressive government agencies are demanding recalls and civil penalties for products which “could” create a risk of injury. Plus, agencies in different countries use different rules and standards, such that products which are perfectly “safe” in one country are subject to bans and recalls if sold in another. And class action lawyers have learned how to “mine” Internet complaint websites and public government complaint listings to craft scary-sounding allegations of product harm, intended to get you to settle quickly for large attorney fees.

Please click below to begin a 14 statement survey to gain your organization’s IQRM Effectiveness Risk Audit Score as relates to product liability. 

Question 1

To what extent is senior management aware of your product safety risks and committed to addressing them?

Question 2

How effective has the organization been in establishing a product safety leader(s) who has the independence and status to enable them to deliver hard messages to senior management?

Question 3

To what degree does your organization perform mock recalls;  analyze and evaluate the results; and use the analysis after an actual product recall/product defect event?  

Question 4

How effective is your organization in retaining a team of outside experts who can be called on as a resource to deal with a potential product recall?

Question 5

How would you rank the quality control procedures and policies that your organization currently has in place? 

Question 6

How effective are new product design processes with regards to including safety reviews, change management, and manufacturing controls?

Question 7

How effective is the organization’s supplier qualification process with regards to requiring all suppliers to be approved and periodically audited?

Question 8

How effective is the organization’s product safety policies and procedures at addressing both product design and after-manufacture performance and failure?

Question 9

How effective is your organization at performing Failure Modes and Effect Analyses (FMEA) on all product platforms and after significant product changes?

Question 10

To what extent does your organization have an active crisis response team and a product recall procedures manual?

Question 11

How effective is your organization in training employees to understand their critical responsibilities in the production of a safe product along with the roles they need to assume in the event of a product recall?

Question 12

How effective is the organization’s customer complaint process, and are all safety-related complaints promptly evaluated by safety professionals?

Question 13

How effective is your organization in making business leaders and product designers aware of all relevant industry standards and governmental regulations for all products in the markets where they are certified and/or sold?

Question 14

How effective is your organization in holding regular reviews with its insurance carrier and in promptly communicating all claims involving potential product safety risks to the product safety professionals?

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