BEAMA anticipates more product safety enforcement with launch of new Government Office
BEAMA has welcomed the launch of the new Office for Product Safety and Standards in the anticipation that it can help address key issues on product safety in the electrotechnical sector. While the Office appears to focus on consumer products, and BEAMA members largely supply business-to-business, we hope that this launch signifies a more active Government role in product safety market surveillance and enforcement, and that more attention is given to products that are not usually bought by consumers, but do affect them.
BEAMA itself is involved in several proactive initiatives to help address the key issues in the market. We hope to see measures to address product safety in the industry including:
- Securing the status of and participation in development of European standards after Brexit
- Active market surveillance – now and after Brexit
- Support for manufacturers who bring proven cases of unsafe products to authorities – this includes giving feedback on action taken to incentivise manufacturers to continue contributing resources to market surveillance, a role that Government has indicated it is keen for industry to play
- Understanding that market surveillance, even for supposed non-high priority issues, is an important deterrent to those seeking to get away with selling unsafe products
- Active role for Border Force and Trading Standards in working with industry to prevent counterfeits entering the UK
- Clear definition of the remit of Government agencies, and how they will work with others such as Regulatory Delivery, Trading Standards, Customs and the Health & Safety Executive
- Government agencies to have active engagement with industry
- Business-to-business products to have as high a status as consumer products in product safety. Unsafe products in this category are not only a danger to installers, but to any building users
- buildings. The outputs of the implementation of the review will be a significant assistance for raising standard not just for energy efficiency but for the safety of these installations.
BEAMA has been clear that we do not think that huge regulatory changes are needed, apart from periodic inspections of electrical installations in a scheme that would be similar to the measures required for gas installations. However, we do believe that greater enforcement of existing regulations would not only protect the general public, but also encourage all manufacturers and suppliers to comply. We hope that this new Office, working with existing Government agencies, can increase levels of enforcement and protect the public.
- BEAMA participates in more BSI committees than any other organisation; many of these focus on safety
- BEAMA runs an Anti-Counterfeit Working Group which takes practical action to remove counterfeits from the global supply chain – helping to prevent them coming into Britain
- BEAMA takes an active role in the Electrotechnical Market Surveillance group, comprised of a range of manufacturer and supply chain associations that work to promote safe, compliant products in the UK
- BEAMA is active in the European Market Surveillance Support Initiative, sharing information and best practice across Europe to remove unsafe products from the market
- 'BEAMA advocates the specification and distribution of products that comply with relevant standards and certification requirements. Our role in facilitating the implementation of the Each Home Counts review with other organisations has been built on this important principle but with a nod towards ensuring installers use products that comply with existing standards and certification rather than proprietary 3rd party schemes