THE ROLE OF THE OFFICE FOR PRODUCT SAFETY
I participated in a debate on the role of the newly created Office for Product Safety. Apart from an attempt at cheap point scoring and #SNPBad from Tory Stephen Kerr, this was a very consensual debate. This new Office is very welcome since it is essential that consumers know and can have confidence that there is an effective system in place if products need to be repaired or replaced. Recently the manufacturer Whirlpool’s response to a defect in it’s tumble dryers clearly shows the limitations of the existing system. As a direct result of its slow response, there are still a million potentially dangerous appliances in people’s homes. This new Office must be given sufficient scope and resources to deal with issues arising around product safety across the UK. The body must be independent with real teeth to protect consumers and prevent dangerous products from doing them harm. . Amongst other things, this Office must consider product recall as part of its strategy which has an average success rate of only 20% which shows that millions of unsafe products remain in unsuspecting homes.
Sadly, Tory Stephen Kerr broke the consensual tone of this debate when he expressed horror worthy of a panto dame about baby boxes.