In any country, it is paramount to ensure that products are safe for consumers to use and/or ingest. In each region, a set of laws guides the production and distribution of goods. In each country, a regulatory framework is in place to regulate businesses that provide goods to clients.
Each business is obligated to ensure that its products are both safe and accessible. Safety is of utmost importance as any breach may lead to criminal prosecution, eventually leading a company to withdraw its product from the shelves.
Taking shortcuts when it comes to safety, is a risk and limits access to a product that consumers might rely on. So, how can you ensure that your goods are both safe and accessible?
- Understand your Products
Professional machinery such as power tools can be used by ordinary people for DIY. Thus, safety is a priority, so products usually comply with national regulators, and once the products leave the shores, international checks are conducted.
Your product needs to provide minimal risk, and this is determined by understanding how the consumer will use the product. As a manufacturer, you need to consider all the possibilities, particularly when it comes to the elderly and children.
- What Constitutes as Safe?
Safety is determined by taking all the characteristics of a product into consideration - its presentation, and all its possible uses. The specific laws govern how certain goods are made and determine the safety criteria.
For instance, there are laws for toys, electrical goods, and heavy machinery. These detailed requirements need to be adhered to, and the legislation also applies to the consumer to ensure reasonable use of the product. A manufacturer can simply look up laws in their relevant country to ensure that a product is safe.
- Responsibilities and Obligations
The product test is of utmost importance. Usually, a company appoints a specific person, e.g. a Safety Officer to deal with safety issues.
This also translates to distributing the products because there needs to be adequate information for the consumer on how to safely transport and use the products. Most companies have what's known as the ‘conformity assessment procedure’ for product testing designed to demonstrate product safety.
- Supplying the Products
As the type of client who also retails a product, it is also important to supply safe goods and come with safety standards. Clients are encouraged to monitor product safety and report and advise on problems closely. Legislation usually requires a commitment of six years to a certain quality, and then it reviews it again.
Clients can request relevant safety documentation from their suppliers to ensure optimal compliance. Supplying unsafe products is a criminal offense and this offense carries serious repercussions. Falsifying information or overlooking certain aspects can lead to severe repercussions
- Consumer Rights
Consumer rights are at the helm of any democracy, and encourage consumers to take necessary actions if they are not happy with a product. Product liability legislation in most countries gives the consumer the right to sue for damages if goods are found to be defective.
Thus, it is crucial to ensure adherence to The Consumer Protection Act of each respective region. The consumer is the most important in the value chain, which is why it is pivotal to ensure optimal supply is available. Adherence to safety regulations is more than simply ticking a box, it ensures that your product is available and safe to use.