The clear focus of the 2023 Electrical Product Safety Conference has been the importance of the whole product lifecycle – from design and pre-market, to on the market and end of life – the full circular economy.
Held at Church House in Westminster, London on 16 November, the day-long event brought together experts and leaders from across government and industry to investigate critical issues, offer solutions, and share insights on the growing need for electrical product innovation to support the UK’s transition to a net zero future.
Attended by more than 240 delegates from government departments, manufacturers, retailers, importers, lawyers, fire and rescue services, and test houses, the conference explored key themes and trends affecting consumer safety and the electrical product industry.
Sarah Smith, OBE, Deputy Chief Executive of the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) at the Department for Business and Trade, was among the panellists for the session on regulation and she notes, “This is the moment to set the framework for the next 30 years.”
This year’s theme, ‘to market and beyond’, saw experts examine each stage of a product’s life with sessions focused on safety in design, pre-market, on the market, and end of life decisions.
This led to discussions on issues such as how to ensure safety from the outset of product design, the legal responsibilities and due diligence needed to take a product to market, supply chain issues, service and repair, the lack of global regulation, and the pros and cons of product removal versus extended life.
Attendees gained insights from renowned experts and industry leaders at the forefront of product safety and learned about the latest legislation and regulations affecting the safety of electrical products. They also saw innovations in electrical safety and how they can help consumers and engaged in discussions and networking with a wide variety of key stakeholders.
The conference featured the announcement and presentation of Electrical Safety First’s prestigious and coveted Safety Innovation Award, sponsored by ProductIP, which recognises and rewards innovators, designers, and creators delivering forward-thinking approaches to product design and safety.
The 2023 winner is HobSensus, designed by Prefect Controls, specifically for student accommodation, communal kitchens and people living in sheltered or assisted-living property. It makes kitchens safer by ensuring that hobs are not left switched on if the person preparing food is distracted, and by alerting residents, if there is potential for a pan fire.
In addition to the award winner, the Highly Commended entry for 2023 went to South Tyneside Homes for its Post Occupancy Electrical Safety Check initiative, which educates tenants on electrical safety risks.
This improves awareness of how tenants can keep themselves and their families safe in their homes over the short and long-term. And it offers protection by reducing issues of disrepair, electrical faults, electrical fires, and overspending of budgets.
Sponsors and supporters of the 2023 Electrical Product Safety Conference were Connected Innovations, Eurofins, ICPHSO, OPSS and ProductIP.