Risk assessment applied to comsumer products with reference to CE marking machines for use at work

  • D.W. Jenkins

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


New Approach’ Directives now govern the health and safety of most products whether destined for workplace or domestic use. These Directives have been enacted into UK law by various specific legislation principally relating to work equipment, machinery and consumer products.
This research investigates whether the risk assessment approach used to ensure the safety of machinery may be applied to consumer products. Crucially, consumer products are subject to the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 1987, where there is no direct reference to “assessing risk”.
This contrasts with the law governing the safety of products used in the workplace, where risk assessment underpins the approach. New Approach Directives are supported by European harmonised standards, and in the case of machinery, further supported by the risk assessment standard, EN 1050.
The system regulating consumer product safety is discussed, its key elements identified and a graphical model produced. This model incorporates such matters as conformity assessment, the system of regulation, near miss and accident reporting.
A key finding of the research is that New Approach Directives have a common feature of specifying essential performance requirements that provide a hazard prompt-list that can form the basis for a risk assessment (the hazard identification stage).
Drawing upon 272 prosecution cases, and with thirty examples examined in detail, this research provides evidence that despite the high degree of regulation, unsafe consumer products still find their way onto the market.
The research presents a number of risk assessment tools to help Trading Standards Officers (TSOs) prioritise their work at the initial inspection stage when dealing with subsequent enforcement action.
Date of AwardJun 2004
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMark Cooper (Supervisor) & H. Raafat (Supervisor)


  • comsumer product
  • safety
  • hazard
  • injury
  • accident prevention

Cite this