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Consumer Safety

Consumer Safety

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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 work are:

  • 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.

Further Information

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See also in our website

External websites

  • Food Standards Agency
    A website that gives information on safer food, which helps for a better business.

We are not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more

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This page was last reviewed 24 July 2013 at 14:00.
The page is next due for review 20 January 2015.