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Why Changes to the Product Recall System Are Needed

In recent months after a period of great expectation, an independent review of the UK’s product recall system and the Government’s response to this was published.

One body that has heavily campaigned for such a review is Electrical Safety First, who have carried out research which shockingly suggests that only 10-20% of recalled electrical appliances are ever returned.

This means there is a huge proportion of faulty electrical appliances in homes and businesses, which may cause serious harm to people and property.

As part of this independent review, recommendations were made to improve the current system. These include the following:

  • Creating a dedicated product safety agency
  • Providing a single official website for product recalls
  • Improving resources and funding for market surveillance
  • Finding alternative funding for market surveillance
  • Reviewing guidance on recalls
  • Improving data sharing
  • Recreating a UK injury database
  • Finding ways to influence consumers
  • Providing awards for universities for innovative solutions to recall issues

Following the report, the UK Government said that it intended to create a Steering Group to highlight ways of addressing those recommendations it feels are going to provide useful changes to the recall system.

Electrical Safety First, having campaigned considerably for such improvements, have been invited to sit on this Steering Group in order to represent the electrical safety of consumers.

At Seaward we welcome any news that helps streamline the process of electrical appliance recall systems in this country. With figures from Electrical Safety First stating that only a tiny percentage of recalls are actually ever returned, this means there are millions of faulty electrical appliances in peoples’ homes and businesses, and highlights why changes to the current system are needed.

However, if businesses have a regular PAT testing routine in place, it is more likely these faulty appliances will be found. But it is still a worry that there are potentially a lot of businesses out there that could have appliances in use that are dangerous and harmful.

We can hope that the suggestions brought to light by this report and the establishment of the Steering Group means that the system for recalls will now improve and the percentage of recalled appliances returned to manufacturers increases considerably.

Anything that provides a safer healthier working and living environment is a good thing and we are looking forward to the results of the this Steering Group and the changes it will make to the current system.


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