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Safety & Stewardship
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Product Stewardship Program

ESTA's Product Stewardship Program is designed to help all members of the entertainment technology industry -- manufacturers, distributors and end users -- ensure the safe use of all products throughout their life cycles. ESTA's Product Stewardship program gives companies the tools they need to formalize their product stewardship procedures and share them with clients, vendors and end users.

"The essential tools of our trade require an ongoing commitment to safety, especially as new technologies are introduced so frequently," says ESTA TSC Co-Chair Mike Wood. "While many companies already practice product stewardship, this program provides a framework for them to formalize their procedures and make certain that product stewardship is part of their day-to-day business operations."

What Is Product Stewardship?
Product stewardship is the safe use and handling of products and equipment at all stages of their life cycles -- from design and manufacturing to distribution, use and disposal. Companies practicing product stewardship go beyond regulatory compliance. They integrate health, safety and environmental considerations into every facet of their operations, particularly their interactions with customers and vendors.

"Many companies handle a product during its life cycle, and product safety depends on proactively sharing information every step of the way, up and down the chain of commerce," Wood adds. "Most people have safety information, but product stewardship is about making sure every employee, every customer and every vendor knows what information is available, where to get it, and who can answer safety questions, should they arise."

How can my company participate?
ESTA has made available a booklet on product stewardship, which includes a sample mission statement, press release, newsletter article, internal company memorandum, and checklist, and a PowerPoint presentation explaining product stewardship and its benefits.

The Fog and Smoke Working Group has developed some sample product stewardship checklists specifically for manufacturers, distributors, and users of fog products.

ESTA staff in conjunction with lamp manufacturers has developed a special product stewardship program for mercury containing lamps.

Companies are encouraged to contact the staff at the ESTA office with questions, but the Association does not certify, endorse or monitor individual product stewardship programs.

ESTA urges purchasers to elevate the importance of safety by encouraging all bidders to have product stewardship programs. ESTA also calls on every company to establish its own product stewardship initiative and is providing background and guidelines to help companies get started. Information available from ESTA includes sample documents and checklists companies can use to make sure their programs address all relevant issues.

The checklists address product use, shipping, and storage with questions such as:

  • Can I provide up-to-date MSDS sheets or other safety-related information? Do I know where to get updates?
  • Do my customers know I have this information and that I am proactive in providing it?
  • Do my products have special storage requirements, such as containers, environment and shelf life? How do my customers learn about these requirements?
  • Do I have procedures for dealing with complaints and problems relating to health and safety issues? How are those procedures communicated to my employees and customers?