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Product Safety Conference – Follow Up

Thu, 23/01/2014

Senior electrical industry figures are due to meet to discuss key issues arising from the Electrical Safety Council's (ESC) Product Safety Conference that was held in May 2013.
Round Table Follow Up
A round table follow-up to the Electrical Safety Council’s (ESC) highly successful Product Safety Conference will take place on 5th March in Church House, Westminster. The ESC is hoping to raise the profile of product recalls and traceability. Millions of people every year are risking fire and electrical injury whilst unknowingly using recalled products.
Finding a solution to the low numbers of people registering electrical purchases
It has been identified that customers are reluctant to register electrical products following their purchase fearing their details will be added to marketing databases. The ESC wants to see a central data system where details of all electrical products are added making it far easier to identify which electrical products are on recall.
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”, explains Martyn Allen, Head of the ESC’s Technical Unit.  “The conference attracted delegates throughout the supply chain as it took a holistic, 360 degree approach to product safety”.
Martyn adds “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% effective – leaving millions of people at risk from fire or electrocution.”
 ESC Campaigning for a centralised database
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,” adds Martyn.
“At the moment, only 5-10% 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 at www.esc.org.uk.

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