???Safety Codes etc...

Hello, I am a design student and am conducting some research on a baby stroller. I am wondering about any possible regulations and/or safety codes that must be abided by in producing such a product. For example, I know architects must follow fire codes, height codes, exit codes etc…
I kinda become restricted because of uncertainties such as these and wonder if there is a particular government site or resource or book for attaining this information.
super-duper and thank you for your help.
Mike T

Sorry for digging up this old topic, but I could use some help with technical regulations as well.
Not specifically for a baby stroller, but in general.
Maybe you (Mike) found out by now?

For every safety code you find with a childrens’ product…
there are six more you that don’t know about
and they won’t tell you about
until they are ready to sue you with.

There aren’t really any “general” safety codes. There are dozen of scattered pieces of legislation you have to follow (along with the voluntary standards), and it’s an order of magnitude more complex if you’re making stuff for kids. And don’t forget the states, who are now going around the federal government and writing their own rules, especially California. CPSIA has a bunch of new stuff. Most of the safety-specific stuff can be found on the CPSC website, but you’ll have to dig. And know roughly what you’re looking for.

But there’s a lot of stuff that you just have to know about, like the CARB formaldehyde standards, or the Illinois lead limits, or the Lacey Act amendment dealing with wood sources.

The voluntary standards are usually published by ASTM (and you have to pay to access them). This is a huge topic when you don’t specify a product category. It’s a bit like asking what laws you have to follow in day to day life. The answer is: all of them. It’s impossible to summarize.

Is this legislation research carried out by designers, or is this usually done by lawyers?
To be honest, I don’t really know what I’m looking for, I just don’t want legal problems.
Right now this is the project, but I’m more interested in the research method, so I can apply it to other products too.
A bit like learning how to use a library.

Dansercoer: I think your project is going outside any existing standards. Standards exist for mature product categories, for the most part.

To add to Scott’s reply: if you are looking for standards, go look at the boxes of existing products. 99% of the time, if they pay to get tested to the standard, they will voluntarily, or be required to mark the product. I’ve always worked around electrical products, so we’ve dealt with UL and CSA. ETL does testing, but to the UL code, for the most part. HVI tests ventilation equipment for noise and efficiency. All products that are certified, carry the markings

If you don’t have the resources to buy a standard, go to your local engineering school. They might not have the current standard, but you might find something.

Who writes these? Engineers. We have an engineer at Stelpro that meets with a CSA board once or twice a year to verify and/or modify standards. From what I understand the board is made up of industry people and CSA engineers in charge of approval.

A big part of Industrial Design is research, and Google is a great resource.

Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA)
http://www.jpma.org/

JPMA incorporates ASTM with JPMA and industry members, consumer groups and staff from the US Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Overview of ASTM F833 - Carriages and Strollers

• Brake requirements limiting rotation of
braking wheels.
• Load tests on the seat and footrests.
• Stability tests with test child dummy in
carriage or stroller, and stability tests to
simulate a child climbing in.
• Restraint system integrity testing including:
Restraint belt attachment points,
adjustment mechanisms, and retention to
test child dummy.
• Evaluation of occupant retention for
carriages or strollers that recline to a
carriage position.
• Minimum withdrawal force of caps and
plugs that a child can grasp between
thumb and forefinger.
• Requirements for combination units (with
car seat).

To purchase ASTM F833 - 08
http://www.astm.org/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/STORE/filtrexx40.cgi?U+mystore+xxey4044+-L+STROLLER+/usr6/htdocs/astm.org/DATABASE.CART/REDLINE_PAGES/F833.htm

ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials
http://www.astm.org/COMMIT/OVERVIEWS/F15.htm

Other ASTM requirements listed in the JPMA Directory
http://www.jpma.org/pdfs/JPMA_Directory_Final2008.pdf

Reference Reading
http://www.strollersdirect.com/stroller-safety-guide.htm

Sorry for being unclear, what I meant is: who makes sure the list of technical regulations to be met is complete when starting a project?
Is that usually a subcontracted lawyer, a designer, … ?

Isn’t there an (international) umbrella organization/website that gathers most regulations, so chances of not knowing and thus omitting regulations are limited?

within some manufacturing companies there is usually a compliance engineer, or entire group dedicated to regulatory compliance.

Often some unlucky engineer will get the task of shepherding new product through compliance submission. It’s no fun, can be complex, very time consuming and usually extremely expensive.

They will provide requirements to be met to the project manager(s) including the codes and eventually also do some mix of pre test and submission to compliance agencies: aforementioned UL / CSA in North America or their approved testing agencies, ETL as mentioned.

Thanks a lot for the information!

And now my last question: does this also count for freelancers and self-employed people, or do they usually search for the regulations themselves?

Dansercoer. … .

By definition, a “freelancer” is self-employed. As such, there is no one else to do their research for them. When the designer requires technical assistance with some aspect of a project, s/he must find that expertise for themselves. It’s the nature of the game.

Asking questions here, picking up a telephone directory to find a solicitor or bookkeeper, doing a search on Google for a widget, going to a library, or making a field trip to a manufacturer to observe an unfamiliar process … it is all “research”. As a freelancer, or consultant, keeping abreast of every aspect, of every industry, would be virtually impossible. Many designers find a business niche within which they specialize. i.e. juvenile products; awareness of codes and practices within a particular field become familiar with time.

Like everything, something “new” takes more time; juvenile products, one month, consumer electronics the next, motorcycle accessories two months later… . it complicates life, but it’s what keeps many of us interested.

It certainly is not the pay.

What I meant was people who work for other companies as a freelancer “versus” people who work for their own company as a designer-entrepreneur, self-employed wasn’t the right word.

I thought there might have been something similar for regulations, or companies providing their freelancers with this information…
But looking at your comment the answer is no.
Thanks for your explanation!

Your human hamster wheel will probably fall under the “extreme sports: participate at your own risk” category (like rollerskates / skateboarding / bicycles / pogo-sticks) I’d think that the regulations would be less strict than something like a baby stroller. I’d like to know what degree of regulation exists for these types of products.

Make an awesome prototype that works well first! And don’t forget to post a video here.