This issue covers:
- Unsafe products near record high levels
- New report on UK electronics sector
- EU electrical safety standards list updated
- Specialist rental sector safety tester
- Industrial manufacturing review
The European Union Commission (EU) has produced its annual compilation of statistics on notices of unsafe consumer products that have been processed through its rapid information system (RAPEX) for 2012.
According to the report, 1,938 notifications of products posing a serious risk to health and safety were processed through the RAPEX system during 2012. This represents a 24.5% increase in notifications over 2011 and approaches the 2010 level which is the previous highest annual number recorded.
In the report, the Commission attributes the 2012 increase in notifications to the “increased circulation of unsafe products,” but also to “vigilant and proactive” efforts for enforcement authorities in EU Member States.
Of the 1,938 notifications of products processed through the RAPEX system during the year as presenting a serious risk to consumers, 205 (11%) related specifically to electrical appliances. This figure represents the third highest category after clothing items (34%) and toys (19%).
In terms of country of origin identified in connection with products posing a serious safety risk, more than half of all notifications (58%) were related to products originating from China, including Hong Kong.
For a copy of the full report please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/ .
A new report provides a ‘state of the nation’ review of the UK Electronic Systems community and identifies the key barriers to future growth.
The Electronic Systems: Challenges and Opportunities (ESCO) Report is the result of a collaboration between the leading trade associations and stakeholders in the UK electronic systems community and provides a strategic blueprint for its future.
Production of the report is being overseen by electronics sector veteran Jamie Urquhart, a member of the founding team of Arm. He said: "The UK Electronics Systems community is producing world leading innovation, yet this remains largely unrecognised. Electronic Systems touch our lives in many ways and are of great strategic, economic and social value. With a co-ordinated approach we can build on its global standing. This report will provide new insight and help this community to be even stronger in future."
The report is due to be published at the end of June. For details visit http://www.esco.org.uk/
The European Union (EU) has published an updated list of the standards that can be used to demonstrate conformity with the essential requirements of its directive relating to electrical equipment designed for use within certain voltage limits (2006/95/EC).
The list is designed to assist in the smooth and level application of the provisions of the Low Voltage Directive and defines ‘electrical equipment’ as any device designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1000 V for alternating current, and between 75 and 1500 V for direct current.
The updated list of standards that can be used to demonstrate compliance with the Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union, and replaces all previously published standards lists.
More at http://eur-lex.europa.eu .
The Clare SafeCheck 8 is an advanced technology safety tester from Seaward to help hire and rental companies meet their electrical safety testing responsibilities, in line with the HAE/EHA Guidance on Electrical Safety Testing in the Hire Industry.
The compact bench top product has been designed for use in workshops in hire outlets, rental stores and tool repair companies to enable all relevant electrical safety tests to be carried out fast and effectively, ensuring that rental equipment functions correctly with maximum customer safety.
The comprehensive safety testing functions can be initiated manually or in automatic mode using simple controls with a large clear display providing an immediate indication of pass/fail test results.
In line with the recommendations of the new HAE EHA electrical safety code, the SafeCheck 8 carries out all the required electrical safety tests on rental tools and equipment.
These include earth continuity tests for Class I equipment, insulation resistance testing, protective conductor/touch current measurement, flash (or hi-pot) testing, load (Run) test and functional checks, as well as polarity checks on extensions and detachable leads.
The clear user interface of the SafeCheck 8 enables the all of the above tests to be carried out as a simple automatic sequence or for user-defined test programmes.
A special feature of the SafeCheck 8 is the ability to record details of all test results, time and date of tests, together with the identity of the person carrying out the test. This data is stored in the unit’s large capacity internal memory for subsequent print out of test reports or transfer to a PC for the compilation of databases. This provides a fully traceable audit trail for quality assurance and safety management purposes.
More details at www.seaward.co.uk/hire.
A new report ranks the UK in the top three world nations in terms of industrial manufacturing future profit growth.
KPMG’s fourth annual Global Manufacturing Outlook saw the country emerge ahead of established economies such as Japan and Germany, while businesses are also looking to the nation for key skills and resources.
As part of the study, 335 executives were interviewed globally and asked about their views on the global manufacturing sector. In terms of where they expect their profits to come from over the next two years, the UK ranked third (14 per cent), behind the US (40 per cent) and China (27 per cent).
Stephen Cooper, KPMG UK Head of Industrial Manufacturing, said the UK is attractive to foreign investors for a number of reasons, adding: "We have a relatively low corporate tax rate and our legal system provides good intellectual property (IP) protection for businesses trading in the UK."
In terms of IP, Mr Cooper stated the UK has a head start on other countries, as they cannot claim to offer the same level of protection. Over the past few years there has also been a weakening of the pound and this means it is a cheap place to do business.
Some 16 per cent of respondents expect to source more in the UK than any other nation, putting it ahead of everywhere except China and the US. Research and development appears to be the primary focus, with 92 per cent who expect to increasingly source from the UK doing so for this reason. .
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