The government’s Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) today released details on how they plan to bolster product safety. But will it be enough?
The government today unveiled their national plan for tackling unsafe products – and it’s a big step in the right direction.
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) finally released their action plan on how to build a national capacity for product safety, thanks in no small part to the nearly 100,000 supporters of our end dangerous products campaign.
End dangerous products – sign our petition and take a stand.
Under the plan, the OPSS will take over coordinating product safety nationally – but local Trading Standards will remain the Primary Authorities.
This is a big win for our campaign and our call for a more integrated approach to surveillance and enforcement of product safety.
What’s the plan?
The OPSS report promised 31% of funding will go to dealing with incidents and enforcement and a national incident management team will be established to tackle product safety incidents.
Under the strategy, the OPSS will use incident data and scientific evidence to identify problems with specific product types.
From this, it will build intelligence on industry compliance in an attempt to identify problem operators.
The report says the OPSS will develop oversight of significant manufacturers and importers and distributors, working in collaboration with primary authorities.
It will also work with white goods manufacturers to see that their compliance systems are robust.
Further details of the product safety strategy can be found in our news article.
Although this much needed strengthening of the national capacity for product safety is a welcome step, it doesn’t go far enough in our view.
We still have concerns over whether the plan will be implemented effectively and result in changes.
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said:
‘This long-awaited strategy attempts to address key problems in the current safety system.
‘However, it falls short of providing reassurance that it will effectively investigate serious safety issues that are raised about unsafe products, and then actively work to remove them from people’s homes before they cause harm.
‘Up to a million fire-risk Whirlpool-group tumble dryers are still in circulation. If this strategy is to be judged a success, the Government should now order a full recall of the affected machines and make this an independent body with real teeth.’
Do you think enough is being done nationally to tackle unsafe products? Will the OPSS really be able to carry out what they’re proposing in their strategy?