This high profile area of work concerns a wide range of
day-to-day items, which are protected by a raft of strict
legislation. The role of the consumer safety team is to ensure that
legislation is adhered to.
The responsibilities of the consumer safety sections
- Ensuring that toys, cosmetics, pots and pans and other consumer
items are safe and fit for purpose:
- Ensuring that claims made for "environmentally friendly" are
checked and that claims for sustainability can be justified;
- Ensuring that the service itself regularly checks that its
systems and processes are as sustainable as possible.
So what does that mean in practice?
Officers within the Trading Standards service operate a series
of non-food sampling programmes, during the year, where they will
submit examples of certain products for checks. This, combined with
consumer complaints, gives rise to a wide number of products that
have caused injury, or potential injury, which are advertised
inaccurately or are not deemed fit for the British market. It is
our responsibility to test them in our labs, and decide whether
they are indeed breaching legislation.
Why does Worcestershire stand out?
The service actively participates in protecting the consumer.
With thousands of new products flooding the market, there are
occasions where one causes harm to a member of the public. This was
the case for Yo-Yo balls.
In early 2002, this novelty toy, comprising of a water-filled
ball attached to a highly elastic cord came on the market and
rapidly became a playground favourite.
Concern was raised following a series of very serious incidents
involving children playing with the toy. The incidents included
children nearly choking to death.
A six-year-old girl, narrowly escaped death after the stretchy
cord became entwined around her neck; she was rescued by her
grandmother. In a separate incident a seven-year-old boy became
unconscious after the cord became wrapped so tightly around his
neck that he could not breathe properly.
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This page was last reviewed 26 August 2011 at 8:57.
The page is next due for review 21 February 2013.