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COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
WILLIAM L. DAWSON, Illinois, Chairman
FLORENCE P. DWYER, New Jersey
OGDEN R. REID, New York
FRANK HORTON, New York
JOHN N. ERLENBORN, Illinois
JOHN W. WYDLER, New York
CLARENCE J. BROWN, Ohio
GUY VANDER JAGT, Michigan
JOHN T. MYERS, Indiana
WILLIAM O. COWGER, Kentucky
GILBERT GUDE, Maryland
LOWELL P. WEICKER, JR., Connecticut
CHRISTINE RAY DAVIS, Staff Director
JAMES A. LANIGAN, General Counsel
J. P. CARLSON, Minority Counsel
INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
L. H. FOUNTAIN, North Carolina, Chairman
CLARENCE J. BROWN, Ohio
GUY VANDER JAGT, Michigan
W. DONALD GRAY, Senior Investigator
Fairchild, Dr. Edward J., Acting Director, Division of Safety Services,
Office of Product Safety: Chronology of events related to submis-
McGrath, Dr. Dennis J., Chief, Division of Hazardous Surstances,
Office of Product Safety: Data concerning accident reports received
Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health, Education,
ment, presented by James McCullough, Deputy to the Director of the
Architectural Division, Federal Housing Administration.---
Appendix 3.--Statement of National Center for Health Statistics, Depart-
ment of Health, Education, and Welfare, presented by Theodore
Woolsey, Director -
Appendix 4.-Response of National Center for Health Statistics to sup-
Appendix 5.-Statement of Bureau of the Budget, presented by Julius
Shiskin, Assistant Director for Statistical Policy --
Appendix 6.-Response of Bureau of the Budget to supplementary
Appendix 7.-Statement of Bureau of Labor Statistics presented by
Maurice Bresnahan, Acting Chief, Division of Industrial Safety, Office
of Manpower and Employment Statistics.--
Appendix 8.—Statement of National Transportation Safety Board,
Department of Transportation
Appendix 9.-Statement of Federal Aviation Administration, Department
Appendix 10.-Statement of National Highway Safety Bureau, Depart Page ment of Transportation --
104 Appendix 11.-Statement of Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety, Department of Transportation -
109 Appendix 12.- Estimates of injuries from consumer products, prepared for National Commission on Product Safety by Department of Health, Education, and Welfare...
112 Appendix 13.-Revised FHA standards for glass doors...
120 Appendix 14.--Letter from Janice R. Westaby, associate professor, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, with attached statement on "Accident Control in Public Health”.
COLLECTION AND UTILIZATION OF ACCIDENT AND
THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 1969
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10:15 a.m., in room 2203, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. L. H. Fountain (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives L. H. Fountain, Florence P. Dwyer, and Clarence J. Brown.
Also present: James R. Naughton, counsel and William H. Copenhaver, minority counsel.
Mr. FOUNTAIN. Let the committee come to order.
Under the rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Government Operations has responsibility for studying the operation of Government activities at all levels with respect to economy and efficiency. Today's hearing by the Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee is being conducted pursuant to that responsibility.
The purpose of today's hearing is to take testimony concerning the adequacy of arrangements by Federal departments and agencies for collecting and utilizing accident and injury data. We are particularly concerned with arrangements for collecting and utilizing information relating to accidents and injuries occurring in and around the home or involving products and substances of a type ordinarily used in or around homes.
A subcommittee hearing earlier this week disclosed that the Pesticides Regulation Division of the Department of Agriculture, which claimed its accident reporting system was working “very well,” received reports on less than 200 pesticide poisonings annually, although it is known that there are at least 5,000 such poisonings each year and there is reason to believe that the total number may be as high as 50,000 annually.
Our hearing today is for the purpose of examining the adequacy of accident and injury reporting arrangements of other Federal agencies responsible for regulation of products or otherwise interested in protecting the public from hazardous substances and products and preventing avoidable accidents and injuries.
We expect to take testimony today from representatives of the National Commission on Product Safety, the Office of Product Safety of the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Center for Health Statistics, as well as other Federal agencies concerned with
reporting of accidents and injuries of the type usually occurring in or around the home. We have also arranged for representatives of agencies concerned with transportation and industrial accidents and injuries to be present on a standby basis in the event questions should arise in those areas. If time does not permit us to hear from all witnesses today, we will arrange for appropriate statements to be included in the record.
We are very happy to have with us representatives of the National Commission on #. Safety as our first witnesses and we are glad to have you, Mr. William V. White, executive director, accompanied by Mr. Michael Lemov, general counsel, and Mr. Walter U. Johnson, chief of operations.
I understand you have a prepared statement, Mr. White, and you may proceed at this time.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM W. WHITE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON PRODUCT SAFETY; ACCOMPANIED BY MICHAEL R. LEMOW, GENERAL COUNSEL; AND WALTER U. JOHNSON, CHIEF OF OPERATIONS
Mr. WHITE. Thank you. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for inviting me to appear before you on behalf of the National Commission on i. Safety. The subject of your inquiry today is one in which we have a vital interest every day as we work on the assignment given us by Congress in Public Law 90–146 establishing the Commission. Congressional hearings with which many of you may be familiar were responsible for creation of this Commission. Those hearings revealed that hundreds of thousands of Americans each year are injured—and some are killed—by household products in common, everyday use in our homes. Yet when it came to actual figures as to the number of Americans hurt or killed by unreasonably hazardous household items, Congress had to settle for estimates. And we, too, are finding that there is no single, central place to go to determine who is getting hurt by what product and why. As you know, Congress empowered us to hold hearings, to obtain information from business and consumers, to publish information developed in our studies when it is in the public interest, and to assess the laws at all levels of government to ascertain how they protect consumers from hazardous household products. As you also know, we deal only with those products not presently under regulation by another Government agency. So we are excluded from looking into accidents related to pesticides, automobiles, firearms, food, drugs and cosmetics, and the like. But we have found, as members of this subcommittee have obviously discovered, that with rare exception the whole reporting system on product-related injuries and deaths is frequently hit or miss. There is no comprehensive collection of injury data—either nationally or locally—and such figures as are available are often plagued by obsolescence.