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New York State Assembly Approves ‘Harper’s Law’ to Improve Safety in Clothing Storage Units

07-25-2019 09:57 AM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: SGS

/ PR Agency: Sugarloaf Marketing
The New York State Assembly has passed ‘Harper’s Law’, a law requiring retailers to only sell clothing storage units that comply with industry recognized standard ASTM F2057. Passed on May 30. 2019, ‘Harper’s Law’ is named after Harper Fried, a three-year-old who died in 2016 as a result of a clothing storage unit tip-over incident.

ASTM F2057 “Standard Safety Specification for Clothing Storage Units” is a voluntary US standard, originally published in 2000. It aims to reduce the rate of fatal incidents associated with the tipping-over of free-standing clothing storage items.

The law defines clothing storage units as, “a furniture item intended for the storage of clothing typical of bedroom furniture”. It specifically mentions chests, door chests, and dressers, and includes units of 27 inches height or greater because these are expected to be included in ASTM F2057-17, to be updated later this year. This will lower the current standard’s applicable unit height from 30 inches to 27 inches and greater.

The standard does not include:
• Shelving units (e.g. bookcases and entertainment units)
• Office furniture
• Dining room furniture
• Jewelry armoires
• Under-bed drawer storage units
• Built-in units intended to be permanently attached to the building

The standard includes two stability evaluation tests:
• Stability unloaded: the unit must remain stable when all of its drawers are open and all doors open to 90 degrees
• Stability loaded: the unit must remain stable when 50 pounds of weight are applied to the front edge of each individually opened drawer and door

ASTM F2057 also requires:
• Unit must be sold with tip-over restraints that adhere to ASTM F3096 “Standard Performance Specification for Tipover Restraint(s) Used with Clothing Storage Unit(s)”
• Unit must include permanent warning labels regarding the tip-over risks, attached in conspicuous locations that are visible when the product is in use

Non-ASTM F2057 compliant units require permanent warning labels and must be sold with a tip-over restraint.

New York’s ‘Harper’s Law’ was partially created to address the lack of applicable Federal regulations. Stakeholders should be aware, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is currently reviewing a mandatory requirement. In the interim, the CPSC is strongly urging compliance with ASTM F2057 and has made it clear to manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers that non-adherence will mean storage units are considered ‘defective’. If the product is investigated and found to be hazardous, corrective action could be required.

When/if ‘Harper’s Law’ is signed into law by the New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, retailers will be required to comply within 90 days. Stakeholders should also be aware that, if the law is signed but the expected reduction in ASTM F2057’s applicable height is not approved, New York State will still require applicability to 27 inches and higher.

Signing ‘Harper’s Law’ would make New York the first and only state to mandate such a requirement.

SGS Furniture Services
SGS helps you deliver well-designed, functional, durable and safe products to your customers. We have the furniture industry, regulatory and technical expertise to check your products’ compliance against relevant standards and/or your own specifications. Learn more about SGS’s Furniture Services: [www.sgs.com/furniture]

SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full New York State Assembly Approves Tip Over Law SafeGuardS. [www.sgs.com/en/news/2019/03/safeguards-03719-health-canada-publishes-updated-industry-guide-on-futon-flammability-requirements]

Subscribe here, www.sgs.com/subscribesg, to receive SGS SafeGuardS direct to your inbox.

For further information contact:

Matthew.McGarrity
SGS Hardlines Technical Manager
Tel: +1-(973)-461-1505
Email: crs.media@sgs.com
Website: www.sgs.com/hardlines
LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

1, Mons Calpe
Chitcombe Road
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East Sussex
TN31 6EU

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 97,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.

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