Protecting the Public from Unsafe Consumer Goods
The Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the General Product Safety Regulations 1994 make it an offence to supply unsafe Consumer Products. This obligation to supply safe consumer products extends right down the supply chain from manufacturer to retailer.
There are specific individual regulations which cover product safety. Examples include regulations to cover:
- Electrical equipment
- Cosmetic products
- Construction products
- Motor vehicle tyres
- Pedal cycles
WHAT IS AN UNSAFE PRODUCT?
An unsafe product is one that poses a risk of injury during normal use, when used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions or warnings.
Whilst most consumer products are covered by the above legislation, some exceptions such as motor vehicles and medicinal products are covered by separate controlling legislation which may be enforced by other agencies such as Trading Standards Division of the Department of Investment, Trade and Investment.
Trading Standards also deal with consumer issues other than product safety. Trading Standards can be contacted on 028 6634 3222. Consumerline NI which provides consumer advice can be contacted on 0300 123 6262.
What Fermanagh District Council Environmental Health Department do to protect the Public from unsafe goods
- Inspect local manufacturers, importers and retailers
- Sample and test suspect products
- Investigate complaints from the consumer
- Remove unsafe goods from sale
- Take action against offenders
- Carry out regular surveys of targeted products
- Provide advice, information, public education campaigns to the public,
manufacturers, importers and retailers
WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING GOODS?
When purchasing goods you should follow the Consumer Code:
THE CONSUMER CODE
- Only purchase goods from a reputable supplier
- Examine goods to see if they carry any safety symbols or signs, e.g. BEAB
Approval, Kitemark, CE Mark, Cigarette/Match Resistant labels, etc.
- Read all warnings carefully and follow the operating instructions
- Keep receipts as proof of purchase
- Only use goods or equipment for the purpose for which they are intended
The Environmental Health Department can offer advice and have access to accredited test laboratories when needed. Fermanagh District Council has enforcement powers which can resolve your problems with unsafe or dangerous consumer goods.
Useful Website Links and Downloads
Consumer Advice in Northern Ireland Website
* Don't chance it - A guide to supplying safe goods
Fermanagh District Council is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. If you find a problem with any internet link please notify the IT Department by email at [email protected] or contact the IT Department at the Townhall on 028 6632 5050
*Note: The file is 1MB in size and is in Acrobat PDF format. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your PC. Most new Computers have this program installed on them, however if you do not have it you can download it free of charge from the Adobe website.