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Safety Programs Bring Results

Safety programs are good for business. They not only promote a safe work environment, but they help companies save money through reduced injuries and employee time off.

For every dollar spent on an Injury and Illness Prevention Program, an employer can expect up to six times a return on its investment. 

– Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

safety signs

By adopting a safety program, companies have seen workers suffer fewer injuries, illnesses and fatalities. In addition, they see improved compliance with regulations and workers are able to experience a safer and healthier workplace. In short, safety and wellness programs are good for everyone involved.

So what makes a good safety program and how does promotional marketing fit in?

A successful program needs to include these major elements:

  • Designated individuals responsible to implement and maintain the program
  • Employee involvement and encouragement to participate
  • Hazards and safety issues identified and assessed
  • Education and training provided in an understandable format
  • Periodic reviews of the program progress and results

Promotional marketing comes into play to help encourage and reward safe behavior. Some ways this can be utilized:

  • Safety and wellness reminders – workplace items which will be seen daily as a constant reminder to stay safety aware. This can include apparel or drinkware with graphics promoting safety, or useful tools such as flashlights, box cutters or multitools which also carry a message.
  • Incentives for safe behavior – set goals for safe behavior and reward employees with premium gifts such as coolers, auto kits, or drinkware when they reach those goals.
  • Rewards for employee observations – create a method for employees to report unsafe situations or suggestions for safer procedures. Reward these observations and participation with small awards.
  • Reward employees for completing safety training – Give employees a premium promotional gift after completing safety training. Including a safety message on the gift helps reinforce the message.

To learn more how safety programs are good for business, OSHA has a variety of resources:

  OSHA Illness and Injury Prevention Programs

Power Banks – Recalls and Cease & Desist Letters

When connecting your high-dollar phone to any sort of power device, you want to be certain the energy source is not going to damage your phone.

We’revery proactive with our suppliers to make sure we only sell certified and tested products. Below is a statement from our main supplier, KTI, about their standards:

“As most of you are aware, power banks and cables have been the center of quite a few Unknownissues – the Apple Cease and Desist letter that many suppliers have received and the Powerbank recall being two of the main headliners.


I have been asked by a few “Are KTI products involved with the recent recall and/or did KTI get a Cease and Desist letter from Apple?”  In short, no.  We certify all of our power banks to prevent this sort of issue coming up with anything purchased from us.  And we foresaw issues like this with Apple, so we have never offered any lightning cables or adapters that are not Apple MFI certified.(regardless of pressure to offer and sell at a low price).
You can count on us to continue this trend.  We watch out for your reputation.
   
I want you ensure you all KTI power banks have certifications and are not a part of the recall and KTI does not resell any cables without Apple MFI license.”
 
Be sure to ask if items are tested and certified when inquiring about any electronic devices. The last thing you want when handing out these items to your employees, customers, friends or family, is to have them come back to tell you the device shorted out their expensive electronics!

Did You Know? Safety Laws & Promotional Products

Did you know that if you are purchasing promotional products for your organization which will be distributed and/or appeal to children under 12, there are federal safety laws you need to consider?

The federal government has laws specific to the use of small parts and materials in products which are intended for or will appeal to children under 12. Commonly known as CPSIA, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, they apply not only to items you buy in retail stores, but also to the promotional products and apparel you may use to market your company.

All products which are intended for this group are required to be marked with tracking information, as well as to be certified to be clear of or within the required levels of various materials deemed harmful, such as lead and plastics.

How might this affect you, as a buyer of promotional products?

• Company Reputation:  If your company is marketing items that will be used by or appeal to children under 12, then you want to be sure those items are compliant. Facing a lawsuit because a recipient was exposed to undue amounts of lead is not something any business wishes to occur.

For example:  In 2010, Winn-Dixie/Publix grocery chains were featured in an investigative report about reusable grocery bags. The bags from their stores were tested for lead. Although the lead discovered was relatively low and within the acceptable limits, the story created a public relations nightmare. Millions of bags were recalled and public trust was lost.

• Trackable Tagging:  Items which qualify under the CPSIA require a permanent label with a trackable code or website be included on the item whenever practical. (Very small items such as balloons or pencils, which can’t be directly imprinted with this information can be excluded, but the packaging or cartons must still contain the requiredtracking information)

This required tagging may add run charges to your product. Some items may already have the information preprinted, especially in the case where that item has been deemed a children’s item by the supplier. Many other items do not already have this information and it will be required to be added.

Printed tshirts are a great example of the latter. Although the tshirt itself will have some sort of tracking label attached by the shirt manufacturer, it only applies to the shirt itself, not the decoration which is applied later. A second tracking label needs to be applied to cover the decorating (content of lead & other chemicals in the inks, threads or transfers). This can be a separate label applied to the inside of the shirt, or a line of text incorporated into the shirt design. Using a separate label is most desirable, but will create an additional cost for application.

How can you make sure you are in compliance with items you purchase?

• Inform your promotional products distributor that items will be distributed to children under 12. (Having an imprint that appeals to children, regardless of the product, will cause it to qualify also)

• Ask for product safety certificates on items you purchase or plan to purchase. Top manufacturers will already have these available to view for their products.

• Request that only products which have passed testing and are certified be presented for your projects.

Above is just a very brief overview of one specific safety regulation. By asking questions and communicating fully with your promotional product consultant, you become an integral part of ensuring your marketing programs meet safety regulations.

The consultants at The Creative J have taken an active part in becoming educated about product safety laws and regulations. We are members of PPAI’s “Product Safety Awareness Program,” which requires training in various areas of product safety. Should you have any questions about product safety and your marketing plans, please contact us as we’ll be glad to help you.

For more information on CPSIA:  Buying Promotional Products: A Guide to Federal Safety Laws

 

CPSIA and Child Safe Products

For the past year, manufacturers and importers of consumer products have been required to show proof of compliance with third-party testing for lead in children’s products. These new regulations are commonly referred to as CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) This impacts the promotional product industry since many promo products are intended for or handled by children. It’s important to be aware of these regulations as they pertain to the marketing items you chose for your promos.
 stuffed lamb toy

What is Defined as a Child”s Product?

Basically anything designed or intended for use by children under 12 fall under these regulations. However, this definition can get a bit sticky. Some items although not necessarily intended for children, may fall under this regulation due to the imprint placed on the item. For example, if you decorate a water bottle with a fun cartoon, then it can be determined to fall under this regulation. That same water bottle with a company logo on it can be exempt.
What About Items Not Intended for Children?
Items not intended for children, but handled by them, are exempt from the testing requirements. It is only if the items primary target audience is children under 12 that the requirements come into play.
What Products are Deemed Safe?
Products which have passed the testing guidelines for CPSIA will have proper labeling  and test results. Most manufacturers are now including these reports on their websites. Products which are deemed child safe will also have a tracking label directly on the product. Again, the gray area of this issue is on products which before decorated are not considered to be children’s products, but after decoration are. These items may not have gone though the testing process.
For a more in-depth explanation of this issue, read this article provided by the Promotional Products Association:  click here.
To view how some of our favorite suppliers comply with these regulations, check out their compliance pages:
Norwood

A good rule of thumb for any promos you purchase for your marketing efforts:  Take a couple minutes to review the audience which will be receiving your items to determine if children are part of that audience. Then take a few moments to review the items to see if any of them appear to be intended for children, or appeal to children. The last thing you want in your marketing campaign is to hand out an item which could be potentially dangerous to a child.