A paradigm shift is needed in the way consumer product safety is managed in Australia, according to Gail Greatorex of Melbourne-based consultancy, Product Safety Solutions.
‘Compared to workplace safety or road safety, consumer product safety is a very poor cousin’, Gail said.
Although many defective products appear on the market, neither business nor government is giving consumer safety high priority.
At present, those charged with ensuring the safety of all Australian consumers have to learn their craft on the job. They are not well supported by corporate or community infrastructure.
Products, and the way they’re made and sold, are all changing dramatically, so new strategies are needed.
Gail has written a white paper exploring the challenges of working in the system. Consumer product safety in Australia: Challenges for practitioners and business managers is now available on the Product Safety Solutions website.
‘Beyond traditional compliance challenges, the consumer market is experiencing unprecedented change’, Gail said.
A number of trends are impacting the nature of consumer markets and the safety of products, including:
- increasingly price-driven competition
- increasingly globalised manufacturing and markets
- growing online retail and auction sales
- evolving product technology – more products incorporating electronics
- consumer and media communications via social channels – expectations of immediate responses to safety issues;
. . . and more
The paper outlines the current Australian system and explores the costs to consumers, to businesses, to the economy, to government and to the individuals whose job it is to ensure the safety of products.
‘With this white paper, I’m aiming to shine a light into this sometimes hidden corner of the consumer product market,’ Gail added.
Key conclusions in the white paper are that:
- recognising product safety as a discipline – with more training and an established qualification scheme – is vital for the future
- businesses and their representative associations have a key role to play in supporting product safety functions
- government agencies can tap into association networks to leverage better product safety
- creating a new federal product safety agency should be explored
For more detail, read Gail’s blog article and download the white paper at www.productsafetysolutions.com.au
About Gail Greatorex
Gail Greatorex is astrong advocate for product safety and good product design. Gail worked in consumer product safety with the Australian government for 25 years, mostly at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and is now the owner and principal consultant of product safety advisory business, Product Safety Solutions, based in Melbourne, Australia.
About Product Safety Solutions
Product Safety Solutions is run by Gail Greatorex – assisting companies, associations, government agencies, and consumers in product safety and compliance. The business offers guidance and training in consumer safety standards and bans, product safety compliance, assessing and analysing product hazards, product recall issues, compliance undertakings and other remedies, product testing and certification, technical evidence, and similar business needs. The Product Safety Solutions website is designed as a resource for all those with an interest in safe products.
Company Name: Product Safety Solutions
Contact Person: Gail Greatorex
Email: Send Email
Address:PO Box 156