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USA: CPSC revises the safety standard for portable hook-on chairs

September 2018- Relevant for: toys and children's products

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently published direct final rule1 on the revision to safety standard for portable hook-on chairs under 16 CFR 1233 to incorporate the latest version of ASTM F1235. Effective 15 January 2019, all portable hook-on chairs must comply with all applicable provisions of ASTM F1235-182 , unless receive significant adverse comment by 24 October this year.

ASTM F1235-18 contains one safety-related revision involving the installation of passive crotch restraints at the time of shipment, requiring that such restraints be installed in a manner such that they cannot be removed without the use of a tool. The ASTM standard defines a ‘‘passive crotch restraint’’ as a ‘‘component that separates the openings for the legs of the occupant into two separate bounded openings and requires no action on the part of the caregiver to use.’’

This change addresses products with fabric passive crotch restraints that are not permanently attached. This can reduce the likelihood that the passive crotch restraints are removed, thereby improving the safety of portable hook-on chairs.

The revision of passive crotch restraints clarifies the existing standard and does not require a new test. Visual inspection can be used to assess whether such restraint is attached in a manner requiring tools to remove it or not. Therefore, the existing notice of requirements (NOR) for this standard will remain in place, and CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment bodies are expected to update the scope of the testing laboratories’ accreditation during their normal course of renewal.

Laboratories would begin testing to the new standard once effective, and the existing accreditations that the Commission accepted for testing to this standard previously would also cover testing to the revised standard.

Besides the safety aspect of the restraints, ATSM F1235-18 also contains performance specifications as follows:

  • Requirements for wood parts;
  • Requirements for latching and locking mechanisms;
  • Requirements to prevent scissoring, shearing, and pinching (including during detachment from table support surface);
  • Requirements for covering exposed coil springs;
  • Size requirements for openings;
  • Requirements for protective components; and
  • Warning, marking, labeling, and instructional literature requirements.

[1] Federal Register, published 24 Sep 2018

[2] ASTM F1235-18

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