Product Safety Conference to focus on sustainability

This year, Electrical Safety First’s annual Product Safety Conference has named its theme as ‘Safe and Sustainable’.

Chaired by Katie Prescott, Technology Business Editor at The Times, and with a keynote speech by the Minister for Small Business, Consumers, and Labour Markets, it will explore the safety and sustainability agenda and how our move to net zero might impact consumer behaviour and safety. Sessions will range from discussing current and forthcoming legislation on the safety of smart products, to how right to repair can be effectively and safely operated.

The event, which has a history of bringing key emerging issues to the fore, attracts a wide range of delegates and leading experts from government, industry, enforcement bodies, and beyond.

Morning sessions include the ever popular ‘Ask Us Anything’ regulators panel, with senior representatives from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), as well as the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV). The next session will then consider what drivers might help consumers adopt a more sustainable approach to electrical products, with Whirlpool and OPSS presenting the outcomes of its behavioural research into these issues.

In the afternoon, the winners of the Safety Innovation Award – which recognises those who put safety, sustainability, and innovation at the heart of product development – will be announced. This will be followed by a review of how technological integration can enhance safety and sustainability, and whether the connectivity of products might alter how we use them. Then, in the last session of the day, panellists will discuss how different business models are responding to the move from a sale to a rental, or service economy. For example, should manufacturers develop products which are easily recycled or easily repaired? And how might this impact on consumer behaviour and safety?

Martyn Allen, Technical Director of Electrical Safety First, says: “During a period of unprecedented technological change – and heightened awareness of the need for sustainability – consumer protection and trust in the safety and lifecycle of products and services are critical. That’s why we have given this year’s conference the title Safe and Sustainable. Our aim is to ensure that the industry and key stakeholders have the information they need to deal with current and future change while ensuring consumer safety.”

Electrical Safety First’s Product Safety Conference, Safe and Sustainable 2022, will be held from on Wednesday 23 November 2022, Church House, Westminster, London.

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