SAFEGUARDS | Hardgoods NO. 123/19
ASTM has released an update to F2057, its clothing storage stability standard. Now designated ASTM F2057-19, the revision includes several changes, with the lowering of the height applicability from 30” to 27” being the most critical.
ASTM F2057 was originally established in 2000 as a voluntary standard aimed at reducing the rate of fatal incidents associated with the tip-over of free-standing clothing storage items. The standard defines a clothing storage item as “a furniture item with drawers and/or hinged doors intended for the storage of clothing typical of bedroom furniture”.
The standard cites chests, chests of drawers, drawer chests, armoires, chifferobes, bureaus, door chests and dressers as specific clothing storage examples.
Furniture items not covered by this standard include shelving units, such as bookcases or entertainment furniture, office furniture, dining room furniture, jewelry armoires, underbed drawer storage units, occasional/accent furniture not intended for bedroom use, laundry storage/sorting units, nightstands, or built-in units intended to be permanently attached to the building.
Significant revisions within ASTM F2057-19 include:
- Now applicable to clothing storage units 27” and higher
- Updated definition of ‘clothing storage unit’ to “units with drawers and/or hinged doors” (units without drawers and/or hinged doors are excluded)
- Citing of specific items covered and not covered by the standard
- Specifically excludes nightstands that are defined as a small furniture item for use beside a bed, intended to hold or store items including but not limited to a lamp, alarm clock, a book, magazines, or reading glasses
- Warning labels now must contain a pictorial of a crossed-out TV, relaying the risk of TV tip over
- Specifically citing the back of a unit placed against the wall as an unacceptable and non-conspicuous warning label location
Important to note, the test weight remains 50 pounds (lbs). Future revisions of ASTM F2057 are likely, as the industry continues to address clothing storage stability.
Although officially designated a “voluntary” safety standard, however this voluntary status is name only. Earlier this year the CPSC has stated its expectation that all applicable clothing storage units must adhere to ASTM F2057, those that do not would be considered “defective”. CPSC further warned manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers of non-compliant clothing storage units could face investigation and penalty.
ASTM is an SDO (standard development organization) that creates, maintains, and publishes voluntary industry standards, not a regulatory body. Thus, ASTM omits implementation information such as effective dates, leaving it to the appropriate regulator if the standard is cited in a mandatory capacity.
Without this information by default an ASTM standard update becomes effective immediately upon publication. An immediate effective date presents its own problems, particularly if an update contains scope expansion and/or inclusion of new labeling, both of which required by ASTM F2057-19.
Historically, past updates of CPSC cite ASTM standard, such as the ASTM F963 (Toy Standard), have been granted a 180-day sell through period. However, the CPSC has not released a statement granting the 180-day period.
Furniture industry stakeholders have contacted the CPSC, and are awaiting comment.
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