Product safety and quality is 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 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 high quality. We have a strong, multi-decade record of having a proactive approach to premarket safety design and testing, monitoring field safety performance, and conducting timely corrective actions, when necessary, to help protect consumers. These are grounded in transparency and set expectations that are above and beyond regulatory requirements. Whirlpool Corporation continues to advocate to raise the minimum requirements in industry standards for product safety in home appliances.
Since the early 1990s, Whirlpool Corporation manufacturing facilities around the world have been ISO 9001 certified. To obtain and maintain the certifications, these facilities must demonstrate clear and concise internal processes, procedures and standards. Through a comprehensive Quality Management System and the corresponding documentation, each certified facility lays the foundation to provide quality products to our consumers.
Whirlpool Corporation’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 which safeguards the consumer. Forced Failure testing provides clear evidence that our products are designed to meet these expectations.
Governing Product Safety
Our governance model is implemented through the Global Product Safety (“GPS”) system, which defines clear roles and responsibilities for all employees, requires pre-market risk assessments, post-sale monitoring of product safety, and defines required communication protocols for any risks that are identified. We diligently measure our performance through penetrative metrics, a rigorous bottoms-up operating review mechanism and independent audits. A network of committed safety experts across the business is responsible for executing the product safety program supported by engineering teams and governed by the Whirlpool Executive Safety Committee, including some of the most senior leaders in the company. Our management approach is prioritized based on first avoiding material product safety risk, mitigating any risk realized in the field, and utilizing lessons learned to enhance new product designs.
Finally, our governance model also includes supplemental product safety standards designed to exceed industry standards. These standards include requirements for electrical shock hazards, fire/explosion hazards, suffocation/choking hazards, and entrapment hazards, among others, and are required for every new product that Whirlpool Corporation sells around the world. Our governance model includes rigorous processes and techniques for our engineering teams to help identify and assess potential safety issues. As a result of these robust product safety and quality protocols, we proactively implemented corrective action campaigns related to certain legacy-designed Indesit washers and legacy-produced Indesit dryers primarily sold in the U.K.
Whirlpool Corporation’s product safety process has been recognized as an industry-leading best practice and benchmarked by other companies to improve their own programs. We have a robust safety training and competency program for our Engineering population—sustained by training sessions, hands-on experience, and risk assessment expertise development. In fact, Whirlpool Corporation opens its doors with an invitation for other companies to attend our Global Product Safety Training sessions. Despite this strong track record, Whirlpool Corporation is in constant pursuit of improving our products, systems, and processes to maintain a World-Class program.