International Auto Glass Safety (AGRSS) Conference Underway in Chicago
October 27, 2010

Jill Braselton of Safe Kids USA discussed car seat safety.

The International Auto Glass Safety (AGRSS) Conference kicked off this morning in suburban Chicago (Oakbrook Terrace), Ill., with several updates from committee chairs, a panel of automotive safety experts and the latest on the third-party validation program.

Standards committee chair Bob Beranek of Automotive Glass Consultants updated the group on several possible upcoming changes to the AGRSS Standard, many of which have come about as part of the third-party validation program.

“The Standard has some minor changes, basically to help our third-party auditor,” he said.

One major change is to the record-keeping section of the standard. Whereas it previously required shops to keep records of DOT numbers and lot numbers used but did not specify a time requirement, the committee is working to specify that records must be kept for three years.

“This is for your best interest in liability and lawsuits,” said Beranek.

The changes have not yet been officially approved by the full committee. Once approved, a revised Standard will be submitted to ANSI for review.

Jeff Bull of J. Bull Associates, who chairs the membership committee, also provided an update, noting that the group currently has 412 registered companies, with 1,066 locations, spanning every U.S. state (with the exception of Vermont), Canada and Guam.

“I think registered companies are seeing the value in becoming a registered company,” said Bull.

And he also stressed that all involved should market that value.

“We need to promote our value—all of us need to,” Bull added. “It’s very important to put that logo out there.”

Nik Frye with Glass America, who is the incoming chair of the marketing committee, premiered a new video designed to be shown to insurers explaining the value of registration as well. The video stars Jon Fransway, a Minnesota insurance agent who lost his sister in 1999 as the result of an improperly installed windshield. (Fransway also will be speaking tomorrow during the conference.)

“It’s been quite a busy year for AGRSS,” said Frye, who pointed out that 150 shops have been validated to date. In addition, the Council has re-designed its website, www.agrss.org, and the marketing committee is working to develop a newsletter for insurers and consumers.

“We want to help move this initiative forward for all of us,” Frye added.

Dale Malcolm of Dow Automotive, chair of the education committee, also spoke of his committee’s efforts since he took over last year. The committee is working on developing a simple Powerpoint presentation for companies to use to train employees about the Standard, along with a test for them to take after training.

Jean Pero of Mygrant Glass, chair of the AGRSS accreditation committee, also spoke.

“Our focus for the coming year will be to make some changes to the [validation] checklist,” said Pero.

She also encouraged AGRSS-registered companies that have been validated to offer their thoughts on the program.

“We have open ears, and we want this to be successful,” she said.

Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com™ for the latest updates from the conference, which continues tomorrow at the Drury Lane Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.

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