The government has today (21 January 2018) announced the creation of a new national oversight body tasked with identifying consumer risks and managing responses to large-scale product recalls and repairs.
The new Office for Product Safety and Standards will enable the UK to meet the evolving challenges of product safety by responding to expanding international trade, the growth in online shopping and the increasing rate of product innovation.
Today’s announcement comes as part of the government’s response to the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety. Established in October 2016 by former Consumer Minister Margot James, the group of product and fire safety experts was brought together to build on the recommendations made by Lynn Faulds Wood in her independent review into consumer product recalls.
In addition to providing support and advice for local authority Trading Standards teams, the office will co-ordinate work across local authorities where action is needed on a national scale and will ensure the UK continues to carry out appropriate border checks on imported products once the UK leaves the European Union.
Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said:
The new Office for Product Safety and Standards will strengthen the UK’s already tough product safety regime and will allow consumers to continue to buy secure in the knowledge there is an effective system in place if products need to be repaired or replaced.
I thank the working group for their efforts to help improve product safety and I look forward to working with them in this new phase.
Neil Gibbins, Chair of the working group, said:
It has been my mission to make the public safe since I joined the fire service nearly 40 years ago. That’s why I’m pleased to see the government respond to our recommendations with concrete steps to ensure the safety of consumers, now and in the future.
The government will continue to work with stakeholders such as consumer groups, manufacturers and retailers to ensure the office coordinates the UK’s product safety regime as effectively as possible.
This will not lessen any of the legal responsibilities that sit with manufacturers, importers and retailers to present safe products to the market, and to take rapid effective action when safety issues arise with their products.
Other actions as part of the government’s response to the working group include:
working with the British Standards Institution to provide guidance on product recalls and corrective action
conducting research to help manufacturers and retailers develop technological solutions to product marking and identification
increasing the reach of Primary Authority to further share business, local authority and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) expertise to help protect consumers
researching consumer behaviour to identify the best way to drive up the number of consumers registering appliances with manufacturers
creating an expert panel to bring together trade associations, consumer and enforcement representatives to advise on product safety issues as they arise
According to a report by the BBC, “a million potentially deadly tumble-dryers” could still be being used in British homes, the manufacturer has admitted.
The BBC said Whirlpool told a government committee that it had continued making the models for three years after being notified that the appliances were faulty in 2012.
However, the company claimed it had “acted in consultation with Trading Standards”.
MPs on the business committee accused the firm of “failing to act quickly” when it knew that the appliances were faulty.
In particular, they criticised the firm for failing to recall the faulty machines.
Committee chair Rachel Reeves asked: “How many fires are needed for a proper recall of these tumble dryers? We have already seen a number of fires and deaths, yet in many of our homes we still have these appliances.”
Pete Moorey, head of campaigns at consumer group Which?, said Whirlpool had “ducked their responsibilities to customers”.
Ian Moverley, communications director of Whirlpool UK, argued that the company had “worked proactively to identify the safety issue and worked closely with Trading Standards to determine what action would be taken”.
However, he came under fire from the committee after being unable to answer some of the MPs’ questions.
Ms Reeves added: “Why hasn’t someone at a more senior level come in front of us to answer our reasonable questions and take responsibility for the actions of your firm?”
The scandal broke in 2015 after it emerged that Whirlpool had manufactured 5.4 million faulty machines over an 11-year period.
Dryers under the Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda brands have all been blamed for a number of UK fires, including the Shepherds Bush tower block blaze in August 2016, which saw more than 50 people flee their homes.
Last month, a fire that killed two men in Llanrwst, Conwy County, Wales in October 2014 was linked to the faulty appliances.
Assistant coroner David Lewis said “on the balance of probabilities, the fire was caused by an electrical fault in the tumble dryer in the laundry room of the flat”.
Despite a number of incidents, Whirlpool continued to claim that the machines were “safe to use” providing someone was in the property.
However, Which? threatened to bring judicial action against Trading Standards over the advice being given.
This resulted in Trading Standards instructing new guidance to Whirlpool earlier this year, which advised consumers to unplug their dryers and not use them until they had been repaired.
In a statement sent to ERT, Whirlpool said: “We continue to appeal to any remaining owners of the affected models to contact us immediately so we can modify their tumble dryers. After two years of extensive measures to raise awareness, the number of consumers coming forward has now fallen sharply. This suggests that few affected appliances remain in service.”
Story courtesy of ERT
All members are encouraged to attend the EGM on Thursday 15th March at 11am at the Mercure Shefield Parkway, Britania Way, Rotherham, S60 5BD.
Rooms for Wednesday evening can be booked direct with the hotel on 0114 2615690 at a cost of £95.00 DBB Quote DASA
If you would be interested in taking a more active roll and joining the council please again make know your interest on the above email. The Wednesday evening is always a great way to enjoy an evening of networking and catching up.
A buffet lunch will be provided on Thursday.
We look forward to seeing you there.
All members can benefit from a £50 discount on New Test Equipment or Calibration of existing equipment when you join or renew your membership. Terms apply
All members can take advantage of a £50 discount on any training course booked before 31st Dec 2017. You will recive a voucher when you join or renew your membership.
The Grenfell Tower fire started in a fridge freezer - and both the insulation and tiles used in cladding on the block failed safety tests, police have said.
Detectives are also considering bringing manslaughter charges, along with health and safety and fire safety charges, as they continue their investigation into who was responsible for the west London blazeDetective Superintendent Fiona McCormack said the Hotpoint FF175BP model had not been subject to any product recall but further tests are being carried out.
The government has ordered an immediate technical examination of the fridge involved, while Hotpoint said "words cannot express our sorrow at this terrible tragedy".
Dasa is very keen to promote White Goods Training and the use of Calibrated Test Meters. To this end we have put together an offer for all new and existing members that either join DASA or renew their membership.
When you join or renew you will receive your certificate by email that you will be able to use with each company. Terms apply
Premium kitchen domestic appliance manufacturer, V-ZUG, will be registered as a WEEE Producer and awarded its WEEE compliance certificate with effect from June 1st, 2017.
The certificate is awarded to manufacturers of large appliances who agree to comply with strict WEEE environmental and waste standards.
The management of WEEE is applied via the waste hierarchy, with particular emphasis upon reduction of waste arising, re-use of equipment and recycling (recovery) of materials: reduce, re-use and recycle.
In January 2012, proposals were debated by the European Parliament to recast the WEEE Directive. The proposals included increasing recycling rates. Having been adopted by member states, the re-drafted directive now requires higher recovery rates of 20kg per capita per annum as opposed to previous figures of 4kg per capita.
Speaking on behalf of V-ZUG, UK & Ireland Sales Director Rhys Evans comments “The well-being of the environment and waste management/disposal is extremely important to V-ZUG, hence the application and granting of the WEEE certificate. Domestic appliance manufacturers have a responsibility to do all they can for future generations and being part of the WEEE compliance scheme demonstrates our commitment to such ideology.”
For further information about V-ZUG’s new and existing appliance solutions and its stockists, please call 0843 289 5759 or visit www.vzug.com
The next meeting for DASA (Domestic Appliance Service Assotiation) will be held on the Thur 12th October 2017, 11am Mercure Shefield Parkway, Britannia Way, Rotherham, S60 5BD
All members are welcome and if you wish to bring a guest please do so.
Refreshments and lunch will be provided.