RestoreCSA Receives New CSA Test Results

August 17th, 2014

Trips to the RestoreCSA postal box can be loads of fun.  We recently received some documents and an explanatory letter.  The letter began thusly: “Per my discussion with other safety engineers, I was advised that you needed some of CSA illegal / unsafe certifications.”  Indeed we do, we’re building a collection.  “It appears that CSA International […] has been providing unsafe certification for products that companies have sent to them to obtain safety certification.”  What followed was a long and interesting explanation of ongoing CSA practices, some of which we already knew about, a list of CSA personnel engaged in these practices, and a medley of documentation to prove the point.  On the whole, a good day at the postal box.

From among these documents, the anonymous insider identified one particularly revealing example of CSA certification.  The insider quoted the “Master Contract” and report numbers for a product that had been submitted for CSA safety testing.  This product was failed by the engineer assigned to test it (though we have copies of the tests, we’ll decline to name the honest engineers for obvious reasons).  That’s a good failure, by the way, the product did not comply with minimum safety standards and failed its safety tests, so the engineer rightly failed it.  That’s what they’re supposed to do.  After that failure, the product manufacturer resubmitted the same product, with no changes or improvements, for retesting.  The product was failed a second time, on this occasion by a different CSA engineer.  Again, this engineer acted correctly.  RestoreCSA has long maintained that there are good and decent people in CSA’s house of cards, they’re just not in charge of the place.

So what happened to the failed product?  “After the two CSA workers found it to be non-compliant to the applicable safety standards, it was reopened by [David] Schaefer and [Moamar] Mustafa who granted certification with no change in the product construction or performance.”

The insider isn’t kidding, we now have copies of the certifications.  We also have copies of the failed test results.  From the highlight reel:

Input Test:    Failed
As is Leakage Test:    Missing
Dielectric Strength Test:    Missing
Normal Temperature Test:      Incomplete
Tip Over Test:    Failed
Vertical Wall Test:    Failed
Cloth Drape Test:    Failed
Hanging Test:    Failed
Environmental Test Series:    Missing
Current Leakage Test:    Missing
Stability Test:    Missing
Strain Relief Test:    Missing
Ground Bond Test:    Missing

Note that these are standard minimum safety tests.  Products failing one of these are unsafe.  Products failing or missing all of the safety tests are   -well lets be charitable, you don’t want these in your home.

One insider is more blunt.  From his notes, the items marked “missing” actually mean “never performed” or “never tested, pass / failure never indicated.”  In other words, of the tests for the product noted above, every test was either incomplete, a failure, or was never conducted. 

Thanks to CSA however, this untested and potentially unsafe product now bears the CSA Certified sticker, as though it was thoroughly tested and had passed all of these tests.  According to CSA, “our marks and labels indicate that the certification requirements have been met.”  Well, alright then.

The CSA’s claims to professionalism in testing just don’t hold water.  Amazingly, even the most basic steps of test preparation, like ensuring that the testing equipment is properly setup, are routinely missing or ignored.  “In addition [to the failed tests above], calibrated testing equipments were never indicated.”  Calibration is awfully important for accurate results.  Its like a wristwatch; if you want to arrive on time your first step is setting your watch to the current time.

Why is all this important?  Well, public safety is now in doubt because of practices mandated by CSA leadership.  “Please understand that I am concerned that the […] products can cause severe harm to the consumers.  The CSA internal investigators have done nothing to combat this culture of fraud.”

That’s a strong word, isn’t it, that last one?  Good thing we’re quoting it.  This insider is a lot like others that we’ve heard from, these are folks who want to do the right thing but they’re concerned about retribution by CSA, given that “the culture of fraud is so ingrained in this company.”

RestoreCSA is a safe place for insiders willing to work together to restore integrity to CSA conduct.  Knowing what we now know, and knowing that readers like you now know it too, restoring the CSA is as increasingly urgent as politically inevitable.  The house of cards is starting to fall.