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44 INTERIORS; LANDSCAPING & EXTERNAL WORKS


THE UK MARKET IS FLOODED WITH PRODUCTS SUCH AS SHOWER ENCLOSURES, TRAYS AND SCREENS AND CERAMIC- WARE LIKE TOILETS, BIDETS AND BASINS THAT DON’T MEET THE REQUIRED SAFETY AND QUALITY STANDARDS


and construction products are safe and fit for purpose. Here, the new Office for Product Safety and Standards will enable the UK to meet evolving product safety challenges such as international trade, the growth in online shopping, and accelerating product innovation.


The Government has stated it will work with all stakeholders on this, creating an


expert panel to bring together trade associ- ations and consumers, as well as enforcement representatives to advise on product safety issues and ensure the office coordinates the UK’s product safety regime as effectively as possible.


The remit of the new Office for Product Safety and Standards, whose budget will be around £12m per year, also covers helping manufacturers and retailers to develop product marking and identification, as well as researching consumer behaviour to identify the best way to drive up the number of consumers registering appli- ances with manufacturers.


There are no fewer than eight separate pieces of legislation that apply to manufac- turers, from water regulations and the Consumer Act to Construction Product Regulation (CPR), introduced in 2013, which makes it mandatory for companies to carry the CE mark on all relevant bathroom products, covered by a European harmonised standard.


BMA members must show that they adhere to all these legal requirements and to help others, the association is working with Keele University to develop an online tool to support compliance, expected to launch in 2019. The online tool will provide a quick and easy navigational platform that will highlight what law,


legislation and regulation needs to be complied with, and possible routes to achieve this. Within the bathroom industry, many manufacturers do undertake testing to ensure that the product complies with the law, but many fail to market this fact, and some manufacturers don’t bother to do any testing and sell products that, when installed, break the law.


This is something that must be changed, it is the law that certain bathroom products are ‘fit for purpose’. At the moment there is little redress for those that flaunt the law, and that is part of the problem. The UK market is flooded with products such as shower enclosures, trays and screens and ceramic-ware like toilets, bidets and basins that don’t meet the required safety and quality standards. Change is happening, however. Many


organisations are working to improve awareness of the importance of sourcing compliant fit for purpose CE marked products. Housebuilders, developers and specifiers can all be part of this, and together can make a difference, building consumer confidence and maintaining consumer safety, for a safer future.


Yvonne Orgill is CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association


WWW.HBDONLINE.CO.UK


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