How do I make sure my products are safe?

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Product Safety – A Managers Checklist

Whether you’re designing, manufacturing, importing or selling consumer products, you have to grapple with the question – How do I make sure my products are safe?

Some of the grappling is with the finer details of safety and compliance – questions of millimetre or milligram measurements.

But at the big picture end of the scale, there are some fundamental steps you can take that enable product safety.

All businesses making or selling consumer products need measures in place to ensure good product safety practice.

Product Safety Solutions has prepared a concise checklist to help managers identify and implement key product safety measures.

The Checklist

Executives, senior managers and small business owners can use this checklist to guide development, implementation and maintenance of effective product safety policy and practices across your business.Product safety checklist

The checklist outlines the main elements in an effective product safety program.

These are listed under three main headings of

  • Strategic prevention
  • Forward planning
  • Incident response

Corporate leadership is essential to effective product safety management. Customers and staff will have greater confidence if good practice is supported by senior managers.

Product safety requires co-ordination across a range of areas – design, production, sourcing, marketing, quality assurance, compliance, supply logistics and so on. A sound product safety policy should be maintained across all aspects of a company’s operations.

You can obtain your copy of the checklist via a Product safety checklist

Based on ISO Standards

Product Safety Solutions’ checklist is based on the guidelines provided in two important standards published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

ISO/IEC 10377:2013 Consumer product safety – Guidelines for suppliers*

This publication describes the principles and practical approach to effective product safety management. It explains key measures such as corporate culture, training, risk management, product traceability and documentation.

It provides practical guidance on assessing and managing the safety of products being supplied – it covers the design and production stages of a consumer product’s life.

There are sections outlining safety in design, including user behaviour patterns, sources for hazard identification and risk reduction measures. It also gives guidance for safety in production and in the marketplace and explains the consumers’ role in safe use.

ISO/IEC 10393:2013 Consumer product recall – Guidelines for suppliers*

This publication complements ISO/IEC 10377:2013 by going on to cover the product supply chain & distribution and the supplier:consumer relationship.

It provides practical guidance on both determining the need for corrective action (including recalls) and how to implement such action.

As with its sister standard, ISO/IEC 10399:2013 promotes and enables a proactive approach to product safety through forward planning and preparation.

Both publications are written for suppliers at all levels and ISO/IEC 10377 contains a supplementary section for small business. Students of business, commerce, manufacturing, industrial design and management will also gain benefit from studying these publications.

These standards are available from ISO and national standards publishers, including Australia’s SAI Global.

You can preview the standards using the following links

ISO/IEC 10377:2013 Consumer product safety – Guidelines for suppliers

ISO/IEC 10393:2013 Consumer product recall – Guidelines for suppliers

Visit our downloads page for the Checklist and other Product Safety Solutions publications.

*2017: These two ISO publications have now been published under the Australian Standards banner – see blog article New Australian ISO product safety standards

Product safety checklist