It seems almost common place to hear big corporations promoting “corporate responsibility” and claiming to make “safer products” for consumers. Talk, however, is often cheap and actions usually speak louder than words.
According to the Consumer Product Saftey Commission, Black & Decker Inc., a Maryland based power tool manufacturer, has agreed to pay a $960,000 civil fine regarding one of their defective products. Black & Decker, according to the CPSC, knowingly “failed to report several safety defects and hazards” relating to its Grasshog XP model weed whacker, and “withheld information” during the CPSC’s investigation. In fact, according to the CPSC, there were over 700 reported incidents and 158 serious injuries.
The CPSC found that Black & Decker knew that the high-powered, electric Grasshog was injuring people by May 2006, but intentionally stone-walled the investigation, refusing to give information regarding “mounting numbers” of incidents and injuries until October 2007.
If you think big business is on your side think again, when a company has to choose between your safety and its profits, far too often it chooses the latter.