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Steve Pasierb: Toy safety – It’s our business

Toy professionals know that fun and safety go hand-in-hand. Of course, a toy has to be entertaining and skill-based, but above all, must be safe.

At The Toy Association in the United States, we have been working with industry colleagues around the world for decades on the development of safe playthings, providing guidance and resources to ensure they are fully informed on all safety requirements and tests – required both for the US and global markets.

Responding to the needs of a new generation of people entering the industry, we’ve launched an online Safety Education Program, accessible 24/7 at ToyAssociation.org. The curriculum walks participants through the US federal/state and international product safety landscape; provides important compliance details on specific toy types; and lends insight into how to track evolving standards; among other critical information. As standards are inevitably created and/or revised, course materials will respond to ensure the latest updates are offered.

Experts behind the content include The Toy Association’s Joan Lawrence, senior vice president of standards and regulatory affairs and chair of both U.S. and international committees on toy safety; Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs, both a chemist and industry veteran with some 40 years of experience in toy safety; Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs, who regularly assists toymakers in understanding and complying with U.S. legislation and regulations; and Jennifer Gibbons, vice president of state government affairs, who works on product safety, chemical regulation, and environmental sustainability at the US state level.

Christian Wetterberg, senior director of product safety and compliance at The LEGO Group and chair of both European and international committees on safety, brings in-depth insight and learning on the international landscape.

The 12 course modules take about six hours to complete; at the end of each section, participants must correctly answer questions on content to proceed to the next module. A certificate is awarded upon successful completion.

Positive feedback is flowing in from companies whose staff have taken the course. It’s proven to be a great learning tool for all levels of toy professionals everywhere – from senior safety staff who have the complex task of navigating evolving laws, to product managers, sales staff, compliance officers, inventors, and legal team members.

Whether you’re a toy professional whose job is laser-focused on safety, or someone who isn’t in the trenches but would like to learn more, I highly recommend the programme. It’s free to employees of our member companies and accessible by non-members for a modest fee. Learn more under the “Education” tab at www.ToyAssociation.org.

About Robert Hutchins

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