Charity supports strategy for product safety

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Campaigning consumer protection charity Electrical Safety First has responded to the launch of the strategy for the Government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS).

Electrical Safety First chief executive Phil Buckle said: “We warmly welcomed the launch of the OPSS and we are pleased to see this comprehensive strategy, aimed at both supporting business and – more importantly – protecting the consumer, published.

“One of the key aims of the strategy is a commitment to establish effective partnerships, to maximise impact and enhance product safety. This is evidenced by a major seminar which Electrical Safety First is co-hosting with the OPSS in September – focussing on the new Code of Practice for recalls (PAS 7100), which was recently published – and the OPSS’s stated aim of working with us in relation to tackling the dangers of second-hand electrical goods.

“However, as a consumer protection charity, we also hope to use our expertise to collaborate with the OPSS in relation to a range of consumer campaigns which raise awareness of electrical risk, particularly around white goods and the need to improve the registration of electrical products. Electrical products present a particular safety risk, as unlike many other consumer goods, faulty, substandard or fake electrical items, can cause significant injuries and fires.”

Phil added: “It is also heartening to see the OPSS strategy plans to establish a central information hub, which would allow consumers to access reliable information for recalled items – and to receive alerts regarding registered products. Electrical Safety First has long lobbied for such a central resource for consumers, which would allow them to find and be alerted to relevant information simply and easily.

“We also applaud the OPSS’s awareness of the need to respond to technological developments which are changing the way that consumer products are manufactured, distributed and sold. We have undertaken a number of campaigns to raise awareness of the issues of buying online and worked with the electrical retail industry to ensure consumer protection is always a priority.

“We look forward to continued collaboration with the OPSS and fully support its aim of building a robust product safety system and infrastructure that ‘delivers today and is ready for the challenges of tomorrow.”

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