Brunel’s Research and Innovation leader Professor Geoff Rodgers has a key role on the new government safety body to protect people from faulty goods.
The new Office for Product Safety’s job is to handle large-scale factory recalls that happen when an item is found to be dangerous.
It comes off the back of a review into faulty electrical goods after 3 million Whirlpool tumble dryers were recalled for safety risks but only 1.9 million were fixed or replaced.
Prof Rodgers will look at how universities can help industry fix the problem through different types of research.
“That might be developing some technology you can put on the device to help manufacturers and retailers trace the product,” he said.
“It might be finding a way to let consumers check if their product is subject to recall. Or it might be researching consumer behaviour to find ways of getting more people to register devices and return them when they are recalled.”
Prof Rodgers was on a product safety taskforce set up after a report revealed millions could be at risk from faulty electrical items in homes. The new safety office is the Government’s answer to calls by the taskforce to set up a special body to deal with product recall.
The body, which will have a £12m a year budget, will also help manage local Trading Standards teams when action is needed on a national scale. And it will supervise border checks on imported products after Brexit.
Professor Geoff Rodgers speaks for UK universities on the government’s Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety, brought together after a spate of serious fires.
Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: “The new Office for Product Safety and Standards will strengthen the UK’s already tough product safety regime and allow consumers to continue to buy, secure in the knowledge there is an effective system in place if products need to be repaired or replaced.”
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