Promoting product safety
Product safety and quality are at the forefront of everything we do; nothing matters more to us than maintaining the safety of, and earning and keeping the trust of our consumers. The mission of our global product safety efforts is to support global product leadership by enabling development and manufacture of products that are safe to countries around the world, and managing consumer safety risk.
The first principle of our Integrity Manual is to keep the consumer at the center of everything we do. Our consumers trust us to be in their homes, so we are passionate about bringing them products that are safe and of high quality. After all, we have a strong, multi-decade record of taking a proactive approach to premarket safety design and testing, monitoring field safety performance and conducting timely corrective actions, when necessary, to protect consumers. Meanwhile, Whirlpool Corp. continues to strive to ensure our products meet all marketplace safety standards and, in most cases, designing our products to meet our own standards that exceed marketplace standards. In order to protect the safety of all consumers, members of Whirlpool’s Product Safety organization advocate to raise marketplace product safety standards.
Our Product Safety Goals
- Proactively identify and design out or safeguard all potential product safety hazards prior to market launch.
- Identify, evaluate and close all reports of potential safety issues in a timely manner.
- Conduct ongoing Product Safety Training sessions to build the safety competency of Whirlpool Corp. employees around the world.
- Drive key advocacy strategies to strengthen marketplace safety standards globally.
- Implement continued process improvements across all safety workstreams to ensure we meet our mission statement.
- Led 14 and actively participated in over 100 industry technical committees to strengthen marketplace product safety standards and make safe products safer.
- Conducted 10 product safety training sessions for over 200 employees.
- Disclosed all voluntary or involuntary product safety recalls.
Promoting safety through life cycle risk assessment
Whirlpool Corp.'s robust safety risk assessment process evaluates risk over the life cycle of the product. There are three essential building blocks of the Whirlpool Safety System: Identify, Evaluate and Close. Within our product development process, products are examined to systematically identify and evaluate any potential hazards that are associated with the product throughout the entire life cycle. All new products or design changes to existing products are required to be reviewed for potential hazards prior to production release.
Whirlpool Corp.’s product safety process has been recognized as an industry-leading best practice and benchmarked by other companies to improve their own programs. Our robust safety training and competency program for our engineering teams is sustained by training sessions, hands-on experience and further developing expertise in risk assessment.
Incident investigation and corrective action
We have a robust set of practices and procedures to collect, monitor and evaluate the reports of potential safety issues we receive. These practices and procedures facilitate our ability to quickly identify root causes for incidents, as well as corrective and preventive actions to help eliminate the possibility of recurrence.
Testing to promote product safety
Whirlpool Corp.’s testing program includes multiple comprehensive rounds of physical and simulated testing. This includes testing required by regulatory bodies and our own unique testing requirements. The testing is intentionally designed to encompass expected use, foreseeable use and misuse across the entire life cycle of the product.
Whirlpool Corp.’s Forced Failure testing protocols are critical to mitigating product safety risk. The goal of Forced Failure testing is to induce a failure for the purpose of assessing the consequence. Conformance to the defined acceptance criteria is intended to validate design robustness to safeguard the consumer. Forced Failure testing provides clear evidence that our products are designed to meet these expectations.
Even with our own robust testing practices, we do not rely soley on our own testing. Our written policy requires third-party safety testing and certification before a market launch of the product, according to established national and international testing standards.