CPSC commissioner vote on tip-over standard set for April 19

The decision will determine if an updated voluntary standard ultimately becomes the federal safety standard for clothing storage units

WASHINGTON — Commissioners of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are scheduled to vote the morning of April 19 on whether to incorporate an updated voluntary safety standard as the mandatory federal safety standard for clothing storage units. The vote is scheduled for between 10 and 10:30 a.m. EDT.

On March 22, staff advised the four-member commission that it could adopt ASTM F2057-23 as the mandatory standard as it meets the requirements of the STURDY (Stop Tip-Overs of Risky Dressers on Youth) Act President Biden signed into law in late December.

The Office of the General Counsel for the CPSC said that if the commissioners agree, it recommends publication of ASTM-F2057-23 as the federal safety standard for clothing storage units. This would also stay implementation of the CPSC’s own standard set to take effect May 24 for units produced on or after that date.

If the commissioners vote to adopt this as the federal standard, the rule then would be published in the federal register. Absent significant public comment, it would take effect for clothing storage units manufactured 120 days after the publication date.

The goal of a federal safety standard is to reduce injuries and deaths resulting from tip-over incidents involving chests, dressers, wardrobes and any other units that are designed for clothing storage.

The industry has largely supported the updated ASTM standard not because it is easier to meet, but because of its nature as a pass-fail test that is said to produce consistent results based on the construction and stability — or lack thereof — of the unit being tested.

Aiming to simulate the “real-world” use of clothing storage furniture, it includes performance tests that simulate the placement of units on carpeted surfaces, the impact of “loaded” drawers, multiple open drawers and the dynamic force of a child of up to 60 pounds climbing on or playing on the unit.

It applies to clothing storage units that are 27 inches and above in height, units that are 30 pounds or greater in mass and contain 3.2 cubic feet or greater of enclosed storage volume, according to the March 22 CPSC staff report to the commissioners. The same staff report said that ASTM F2057-23 does not cover shelving units, including bookcases or entertainment furniture, office furniture, dining furniture, jewelry armoires or underbed drawer storage units. It also excludes units weighing less than 30 pounds empty, the CPSC staff noted.

The staff report also noted that both industry and parent groups have supported STURDY and noted that these groups have claimed that the legislations represents “the result of an extraordinary collaborative effort between parents, industry, consumer advocates and child safety experts,” that “achieved rare bipartisan backing in Congress.”

The April 19 meeting is open to the public. For more information on how to attend in person or remotely, click here.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

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