Commenting on the just-released report by the Government’s Working Group on Recalls and Product Safety, Phil Buckle, Chief Executive of Electrical Safety First, said:
“We are pleased to see this report finally published, and that it incorporates a number of recommendations which we consider essential to improve recall rates, enhance consumer safety and ensure sustainable business.
“With the limited success of recalls and the fact that domestic electrical fires are increasing – most notably illustrated by the Grenfell Tower tragedy – it is essential that the product safety system be enhanced and improved.
“But it will need political will to ensure that the report’s recommendations are put into practice and to provide the support required for effective enforcement of product safety. Given the fact that there have been 109 recalls of electrical products since July 2015, it is clear that product safety is an issue that can no longer be ignored.
“Whilst this is a great start, we now want to see Government drive this forward quickly, with consumer safety at the forefront of their mind.”
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- The full report by the Working Group can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/report-to-margot-james
- Electrical Safety First has been raising awareness of the safety issues presented by dangerous recalled electrical goods, millions of which still exist in UK homes, since 2013.
- The report’s call for the development of a single portal for consumer information on recalls is currently being addressed via the Government’s recently launched website - productrecall.campaign.gov.uk. Electrical Safety First has also established a microsite to help consumers with white goods safety – i.e. fridge freezers, dishwashers etc. – which can be found at www.whitegoodsafety.com.
- Other recommendations in the report include establishing a Code of Practice for recalls (which is already in development) to a centralised resource for business. This would coordinate the often complex technical issues arising from 21st century manufacturing processes, support the gathering and sharing of key data and allow for greater coordination of product recalls and enforcement – similar to the ‘hub’ developed by the Food Standards Agency. The report also calls for research into consumer behaviour, particularly around the misuse of products and the lack of appetite for registering products.