Martin Bennett is a 69-year-old former inspector for the Consumer Product Safety Commission who retired over six years ago. Now he spends his free time monitoring auction sites for recalled products, sending alerts to stores that carry merchandise he considers dangerous, and passing along tips to the CPSC. It’s the sort of stuff any consumer can do—except, of course, he actually knows what he’s doing: “The agency currently has only 90 inspectors for the whole country, and it says it wants to add more. Since retiring, Mr. Bennett has passed along scores of tips to the CPSC, which says it welcomes the input.”
In retirement, Mr. Bennett has also scored some victories, including a recent recall of overheating candles and the relabeling of a rust remover. “We really appreciate what he’s doing,” says John Drengenberg, consumer affairs manager for Underwriters Laboratories, the respected product-safety testing and certification organization. “In a sense he’s a kind of hero.”
“Marty’s a type of guy who finds more enjoyment going into a store and finding violative labels on consumer products than he would playing a round of golf on a sunny course somewhere in Florida,” says Steven Garitta, another former CPSC compliance officer, who prefers a restful retirement.
We just wonder why he retired in the first place:
Asked how he felt about being chased from the building, Mr. Bennett says, “It’s part of the job.” Then he corrected himself. “I mean my old job.”
(Thanks to Evan!)
“Safety Inspector Just Can’t Stop Poking Around” [WSJ] (Currently accessible w/o registration through Google News)