SOURCE: Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS

Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS

May 17, 2016 12:30 ET

Safety First: Regulators Increase Fines as Injuries Rise

Increase in Injuries and Recalled Units Stands in Stark Contrast to Declines in Other Industries, According to the Q1 2016 U.S. Recall Index

INDIANAPOLIS, IN--(Marketwired - May 17, 2016) -  Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS (NASDAQ: SRCL) today released its Q1 2016 U.S. Recall Index, which highlights a decline in recall activity among certain sectors, even as the number of units recalled in the consumer products and automotive industries rose substantially. Perhaps even more concerning, consumer product injuries rose ten-fold over the same time last year. 

The recall rise in the consumer products sector was fueled by a propane gas issue. 118 million gallons were recalled, marking the highest number of units in a single consumer recall in more than a decade. As a result, fire was overwhelmingly the top hazard at 83.8 percent, with the next highest coming in at just under 10 percent. In addition to these trends, Q1 saw the continuation of a rise in fines issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

"The CPSC chairman has indicated that this more aggressive stance will continue, which has caused manufacturers to take notice," said Kevin Pollack, Vice President, Stericycle. "While they can be daunting, a well-managed recall can help mitigate costs and allow companies to move forward with growing their business. In contrast, delaying a recall can be devastating, as it can lead to multimillion-dollar fines and significant brand damage."

In the automotive industry, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalls declined 27 percent in Q1 2016. However, as a result of airbag issues, recalled equipment units have increased 122 percent to the second highest level in the past four years, with 51.6 percent falling into this category. As this challenge continues, stakeholders are working together to accelerate repair rates and keep consumers safe.

While the consumer product and auto industries saw a significant increase in units recalled, many other industries experienced a downward trend. The food and beverage category saw a decrease in both units and recalls in Q1 2016 compared to Q4 2015. In the pharmaceutical sector, the number of recalls remained consistent with historical averages, but the number of units recalled plunged to the second lowest level in the past decade. This decline was also observed in the medical device category, with both recalled units and the number of recalls dropping to the lowest level since 2013.

"Regulators remain vigilant in their efforts to ensure the safety of consumers," added Pollack. "In the vast majority of cases, companies share this commitment to ensuring that consumer safety is top of mind, but even with the best of intentions, mistakes happen. This quarter's index offers a sobering reminder that great companies find themselves immersed in recalls for a wide range of reasons and are best served when they work under the assumption that it's not a matter of if a recall occurs, but when."

To read the full report and see other findings from the Q1 2016 Stericycle Recall Index, please access the report here.

About the Stericycle Recall Index
The Stericycle Recall Index is the only report that aggregates and tracks recall data to help manufacturers and other industry stakeholders navigate the regulatory environment and identify trends. Each quarter Stericycle analyzes data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the FDA and the USDA. For more information, please visit www.stericycleexpertsolutions.com/thought-leadership.

About Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS™
Stericycle Inc. is a NASDAQ-listed global business-to-business services company which provides highly specialized solutions to healthcare and commercial businesses of all sizes. Founded in 1989, Stericycle Inc. has grown to become a leader across a range of complex and highly regulated market sectors and operates in 550 locations. Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS™ is the industry leader in managing automotive, consumer product, pharmaceutical, medical device, juvenile product, and food and beverage recalls. ExpertSOLUTIONS streamlines the entire product recall process and manages Notification & Response, Processing & Tracking, and Compliance & Reporting for leading global companies. For more information, visit www.stericycleexpertsolutions.com.

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