The urgency to protect customers from injuries that can be inflicted by consumer goods is not only the responsibility of manufacturers, but of suppliers as well. In fact, they must ensure that the goods they offer in their business are not banned and meet all the necessary safety standards associated to them. As such, if a manufacturer fails to meet safety standards for his goods, yet distributes them, the possibility of saving customers from injuries will still be great if suppliers make an effort to make certain that the goods are safe. One way for manufacturers and suppliers to determine if their products are safe, is by having the goods tested by independent specializing companies.
How Can A Business Ensure Safety
There are a few ways for a business to acquire written evidence or certification that indicate the products are in compliance with safety regulations.
- Commission accredited independent laboratories to reliably test products regularly and provide test reports.
- Conduct product and material testing by adding necessary facilities, equipment and specializing professionals.
- Request safety compliance certification from material suppliers or manufacturers, or have third party certification including test report copies.
- Commission a certification agency to assess the products and provide compliance certification along with safety standards. This option will allow businesses to use the certification on labels on respective products.
How To Choose A Testing Agency
Not all testing agencies or laboratories will carry accreditation, but it is to the advantage of businesses to commission or receive testing and reports from accredited agencies. This is because the agencies are often subjected to vigorous and regular assessments by an independent agency and their reports are considered highly credible in the event a court case is filed against the business by a customer.
It is essential to remember that just because the accreditation of the agency allows testing for a specific or a part of a standard does not imply that it can test for an entire or another standard. Thus, it is important that the accreditation for a specified testing is checked as well as any relevant factors.
In order to determine if the accredited testing agency or laboratory meets the business standards and product needs, here are a few questions to ask before doing business:
- What does the agency’s accreditation cover?
- Is the agency accredited to test for specific standards or parts of standards?
- What is the accreditation reference number?
- Is the accreditation directly related to the required testing?
- Is it a current accreditation?
- If the accreditation is limited, in what way is it so?
What Customers Can Do
Although it is the responsibility of suppliers and manufacturers to provide safe products that pass testing processes, customers can also play their part in ensuring that they are getting safe products. Many customers turn to the internet to make and read reviews about numerous products. As such, customers can base their shopping decision on these reviews or they can also run a background check on the business, the product and the certification the products claim to hold. In the event that a customer is injured due to neglect on the part of the business, then the business can be held liable. However the business in turn can also hold the testing agency or laboratory liable for possible negligence during the testing process that was supposed to identify flaws in order to prevent injuries.
Valerie Hanks is a freelance writer specializing in product testing and business management. She regularly contributes articles to Professional Testing “EMI”, Inc. and other business and testing websites.