Business perception of the importance of product safety
The survey indicates that significant improvements to product safety practices have been made over the last five years in major manufacturing markets across the world. Although most of the business respondents perceived increasing safety levels to come with increased production costs, the high estimated cost of recalls is also a practical business concern.
The study finds that a number of businesses perceive that product safety levels in their industry have increased over the last 5 years. Currently, 70% of companies believe that the industry exceeds government’s minimum product safety requirements, an increase from only 41% in 2007.
On average, businesses allocate 13% of their production costs to product safety measures. Among segments, children’s product firms indicated the highest allocation of 16%. Businesses in the US and China indicated the highest allocation, 15% and 14% respectively.
The most common safety practices undertaken by companies are in-house product testing (68%) and staff training (58%).
On top of normal operating expenses, 66% of companies indicated that recalls are adding to their costs. Companies indicated an average recall incidence of 9.8 in the last 5 years, which cost 9% of their revenues annually.
Companies estimate that an average of 19.2% increase in their current production cost is necessary if they were to achieve the highest product safety standard.