Business in Brief: Prescott Valley plant earns VPP star

Prescott Valley plant earns VPP star

MI Windows and Doors’ Prescott Valley location went through a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) audit by the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) during the last week of September.

On the last day of the evaluation, in a moment dripping with anticipation, the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) Assistant Director Jessie Atencio finally announced that the facility would indeed get the VPP star.

The room erupted in applause and cheers. “Here’s where the work actually begins,” he said. “You have to sustain it.”

The VPP star is awarded by OSHA to those worksites that demand exacting standards for employee safety. Only 0.028 percent of all jobsites in the U.S. have earned VPP status.

“I’m just choked up,” said MI Windows COO Mike DeSoto. “It’s a huge honor.”

MI Windows and Doors is the first window fabricator in Arizona to receive the VPP star, and one of only a few worksites in Arizona outside of Phoenix and Tucson to become VPP.

Information provided by MI Windows and Doors.

Consumer safety group unveils its ‘worst toys’ list

BOSTON (AP) — Fidget spinners, a plastic Wonder Woman battle sword and a remote-controlled Spider-Man drone are among the toys topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holidays.

World Against Toys Causing Harm, or WATCH, unveiled the top 10 list this past week at a Boston children’s hospital. The nonprofit organization has been releasing the lists for more than four decades.

WATCH claims fidget spinners contain small parts that can be a choking hazard, Mattel’s Wonder Woman sword has the potential to cause blunt-force injuries and Marvel’s Spider-Man drone has multiple rotating blades that can lead to eye and other bodily injuries.

The Toy Association, an industry trade group, dismissed the list as “needlessly frightening” to parents because all toys sold in the U.S. meet “rigorous” safety standards. It also criticized the organization for not testing the toys it focuses on.

WATCH President Joan Siff said there have been at least 15 recalls representing nearly 2 million units of dangerous toys since December.

Siff stressed the toys named each year have common hazards that the group sees year after year. She pointed to the “Pull Along Pony” by Tolo Toys that’s marketed for children over age 1 but has a 19-inch cord.

“We don’t need a testing lab to know that’s a strangulation and entanglement hazard,” she said.

With consumers increasingly doing their holiday shopping online, it’s more important than ever to have the most current information about the safety of a toy online, Siff said.

For example, Hallmark’s Disney-themed “Itty Bittys” plush stacking toy for babies was recalled due to fabric pieces that posed a choking hazard. But the toy still is readily available online.

Among the other toys that made this year’s list are: Nerf’s “Zombie Strike” crossbow, which the organization says poses the risk of eye and face injuries because it uses a pressurized, pull back lever to shoot soft projectiles; Razor’s “Heel Wheels” are strapped onto children’s shoes to turn them into improvised roller skates but pose a burn risk because they include “real sparking action”; and “Slackline” is a tightrope-like device by Brand 44 meant to be anchored between two trees that WATCH says can lead to severe injury and death.