On April 4 Kelly Tolhurst MP, minister for the Department for Business, Industry and Skills, announced the publication of a review into Whirlpool tumble dryers, and its modifications programme of its faulty models.
The review clearly encourages the company to continue its programme of modification and encourages it to make its communications more robust, both of which we welcome, as we know there are still people out there who have not yet had their machines modified, so it is vital they are reached.
We also welcome the onus placed on consumers to ensure that they are registering their appliances at www.registermyappliance.org.uk to ensure they receive recall notices as soon as they are issued.
We’re pleased to see an evidence-based and measured approach being taken to such an important issue.
It’s an approach that we would advocate for all injury prevention, so that appropriate interventions can be designed where they are needed most.
For instance, the NHS reported that in 2017/18, accidental injuries accounted for 769,767 hospital admissions in England. Within this number, “contact with hot domestic appliances” accounted for 971, or 0.1 per cent of admissions due to accidental injuries. Meanwhile, falls accounted for 219,553 admissions, or 29 per cent of admissions due to accidental injuries. There are also many other hospital admissions caused by various products – such as powertools – that consumers buy and use in their own homes every day.
However, we lack the robust data that is needed to engineer safer products, educate people about everyday hazards or enforce appropriate safety regulations. Current NHS data isn’t detailed enough to provide fresh insights that would help designers, manufacturers, retailers and regulators to make products safer and help prevent the accidents that are causing large numbers of hospital attendances.
That’s why we are currently working with the OPSS and the NHS to improve the quantity and quality of product-related and A&E admissions data.
Anyone with an affected, unmodified tumble dryer is asked to unplug them and contact Whirlpool immediately for a free modification, either through their website or by calling 0800 151 0905. Anyone who owns a tumble dryer should also follow the manufacturer’s care guidance to prevent the risk of fires. More safety tips can be found at www.rospa.com/WhiteGoods
Sheila Merrill, acting head of policy
Posted: 4/8/2019 11:33:37 AM