ESC Product Safety Conference – putting safety in context

ESC Product Safety Conference – putting safety in context

The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) has just released details of its third Product Safety Conference, which will take place on 16th May at London’s Church House Conference Centre.

The theme for this year’s conference is protecting consumers through a 360⁰ approach. The objective of the event is to put consumer safety, in relation to electrical products, in context – by offering a range of different but interrelated issues and perspectives.

Among the areas covered will be safety design principles for foreseeable misuse and a review of consumer protection in terms of communicating risk. However, a key focus of the conference will be an evaluation of recall processes and ‘traceability’ – i.e. how dangerous products are tracked within the supply chain and to consumers, for repair or return to the company issuing a recall notice. Traceability, which impacts on every stage of the electrical industry’s supply chain, is essential to an effective product recall. And, as recent news reports have shown, recalls can occur with even the most quality conscious business.

‘Over the last two years, UK product recalls have grown by almost 30 per cent, with faulty and unsafe electrical consumer products a major contributor to this increase,’ explained Martyn Allen, head of technical development at the ESC. ‘Although product recalls are usually issued because of a design or manufacturing fault, they can also arise through misleading labeling or supply chain issues – which is one reason why this is a conference that is relevant to the electrical product industry as a whole.’

The success of the previous Product Safety Conferences has led to it becoming a regular in the ESC calendar. This year, Ann Robinson director of consumer policy at U-Switch, will chair the event, with proposed speakers including representatives from a range of major retailers and manufacturers. Malcolm Harbour, CBE, MEP and chairman of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, will be providing the keynote speech.

‘The Product Safety Conference is the perfect opportunity for key stakeholders from across the board to come together to discuss current and emerging issues,’ added Allen. ‘At the ESC, we take the view that we can best serve consumer protection by working with the electrical industry – and other like minded groups – to promote best practice and customer care.’

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