Moving on – the ESC round table on product safety

The event will bring together senior industry figures to progress the key issues emerging from the conference, which took place last May.

‘Our Product Safety Conference was very well received and gained significant coverage in both trade and consumer media,’ explained Martyn Allen, head of the ESC’s Technical Unit. ‘The conference attracted delegates throughout the supply chain as it took a holistic, 360˚ approach to product safety.

‘However, the primary focus – for both the conference and the forthcoming round table – is recalls and traceability. In recent years, high profile product recalls have seriously impacted on both corporate reputations and consumer safety. Currently, product recall campaigns are just 10-20 per cent effective – leaving millions of people at risk from fire or electrocution.’

In addition to calling for greater clarity in the regulations governing recalls, the ESC has also been campaigning for a new, centralised, product registration system.
Since the conference, the ESC has been liaising with industry, UK and EU government, as well as various NGOs and trade bodies, to establish a database where consumers could register their purchase – ensuring products can be easily traced and recalls targeted more effectively.

‘Our research has shown that people would be more likely to register products with an independent body, such as the ESC, as they would be assured their details would be used only to recall products,’ added Martyn.

‘At the moment, only 5-10 per cent of consumers complete registration cards for new items because they fear their information will be used for marketing purposes. But to create a centralised database we need industry backing and this is bound to be an important part of the round table discussion.’

Further details on this event will be posted on the ESC website: www.esc.org.uk

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