Archive for June, 2015

iNDUSTRY NEWS

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC) last month announced that Office
Depot has agreed to pay a $3.4 million
civil penalty to settle agency charges that
it knowingly failed to report, as required by
federal law, defects and an unreasonable
risk of serious injury involving
two of its office chair lines,
the Quantum and the Gibson.
The seatbacks of both
models failed, resulting in
multiple back and other injuries,
the CPSC said.
The agency said Office Depot received dozens
of reports of seatback failures and related
injuries involving both the Quantum
chairs and the Gibson chairs.
Office Depot never reported
the Quantum chair
hazard to CPSC, and
reported the Gibson
chair hazard only after
receiving a request from staff, the agency said.
By the time the Quantum chair and the Gibson
chair were recalled, Office Depot had received 33 and
153 reports, respectively, of seatback detachment
from the chairs, and 14 and 25 reports, respectively,
of injuries, some requiring medical attention.
Office Depot sold about 150,000 Quantum chairs
nationwide between May 2006 and August 2009 for
about $350 each and about 1.4 million Gibson chairs
nationwide between 2003 and 2012 for about $40
each.
“When a company has received information about
nearly 200 incident reports and more than 35 injuries
yet fails to report to CPSC as required by law,
as Office Depot did, there must be accountability,”
commented CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye.
“Office Depot failed to report serious incidents to
CPSC immediately, as the law clearly requires. More
importantly, Office Depot failed to take responsibility
and care for the safety of their customers …It is
my hope that with an internal compliance program
in place, in addition to the penalty, Office Depot will
closely adhere to CPSC’s vital product safety reporting
laws and demonstrate that they genuinely put
consumer safety first and foremost.”
This is hardly the first time Office Depot has had problems
with the CPSC related to the quality and reliability
of its seating products.
Problems with the Gibson chair first surfaced as early
as 2006, according to the Safety Research & Strategies
product safety research organization.
Last year, Office Depot issued a recall of the Gibson
chairs due to a fall hazard. That recall covered
some 1.4 million units and according to the CPSC,
the mounting plate weld on the chair could break and
separate the seat from the base of the chair, posing a
fall hazard to consumers.
In 2012, Office Depot announced a recall for its Biella
Leather Desk Chair at the request of the Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC), because, the
Commission said, the chairs posed a fall hazard to
consumers. The Bellia recall affected 307,000 units.
Also in 2012, Office Depot recalled its Realspace
Soho Prestigio High-Back Leather Chair because the
product posed fall and injury hazards to consumers
due to the risk of the seat plate breaking.
That chair was another Office Depot exclusive and
prior to the recall, about 8,400 of them had been sold
in Office Depot stores and online.

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