Manufacturers of electrical products, as well as their suppliers, importers and distributors, are legally obligated to ensure those products are safe for consumers to use. This includes complying with relevant laws, showing regulatory compliance marks and meeting essential safety requirements.
Electrical goods for consumer use (as well as those that are reasonably likely to be used by them such as heavy-duty power tools), must be safe. This is regardless of whether they were bought new or second-hand, and whether they are used at home or as part of a service, for example a kettle in a hotel room.
Beyond this, manufacturers, and their supply chain network, must also keep records of associated technical documentation, label products appropriately and provide instructions on safe use.
Once a product is on the market, the manufacturer remains responsible for consumer safety. Distributors are also required to monitor the usage of products, reporting any identified risks back to the producer who must take action if needed, such as issuing a recall.
The legislation is clear. From New Zealand’s Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 to Japan’s Electrical Appliance and Material Safety Law (DENAN), also known as the PSE Mark, to the UK’s Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016, every country has legal requirements that must be satisfied before electrical equipment is placed on the market.
Failure to meet these requirements can result in criminal proceedings, fines and even imprisonment. There will also be associated costs involved with the forfeiture of goods and product recalls, not to mention the subsequent reputational damage.
The safety of individual consumers is a very real consideration. According to Electrical Safety First, electrical faults and accidents cause more than half of all house fires in the UK every year, resulting in at least one death every week. Numbers like this make the safety of electrical products a truly critical issue for all manufacturers.
Beyond specific safety legislation, there are a variety of relevant standards that manufacturers can use to demonstrate compliance, minimize risk and protect consumers.
Perhaps the most important is ISO 9001, the world’s most recognized quality management system. Through its implementation, manufacturers can establish and maintain a system to manage the design, development and delivery of their products.
Using ISO 9001 also helps businesses to reliably deliver what they say they are going to deliver, on time and to the quality expected. It provides a flexible framework to help manufacturers of all sizes, enabling them to consistently meet the needs of their customers.
Further, the standard allows manufacturers to manage their business effectively, leading to operational resilience and building long-term success. Beyond this, being certified to ISO 9001 is seen by many as a guarantee of uniformity of product across global boundaries.
The link between manufacturing and safety is obvious, and BSI can help drive forward your compliance needs. Read BSI’s beyond compliance report discussing priority topics every manufacturer should be considering.