Press release: Government launches new Office for Product Safety and Standards

first_img It has been my mission to make the public safe since I joined the fire service nearly 40 years ago. That’s why I’m pleased to see the government respond to our recommendations with concrete steps to ensure the safety of consumers, now and in the future. The new Office for Product Safety and Standards will strengthen the UK’s already tough product safety regime and will 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. I thank the working group for their efforts to help improve product safety and I look forward to working with them in this new phase. The government will continue to work with stakeholders such as consumer groups, manufacturers and retailers to ensure the office coordinates the UK’s product safety regime as effectively as possible.This will not lessen any of the legal responsibilities that sit with manufacturers, importers and retailers to present safe products to the market, and to take rapid effective action when safety issues arise with their products.Other actions as part of the government’s response to the working group include: working with the British Standards Institution to provide guidance on product recalls and corrective action conducting research to help manufacturers and retailers develop technological solutions to product marking and identification increasing the reach of Primary Authority to further share business, local authority and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) expertise to help protect consumers researching consumer behaviour to identify the best way to drive up the number of consumers registering appliances with manufacturers creating an expert panel to bring together trade associations, consumer and enforcement representatives to advise on product safety issues as they arise The government has today (21 January 2018) announced the creation of a new national oversight body tasked with identifying consumer risks and managing responses to large-scale product recalls and repairs.The new Office for Product Safety and Standards will enable the UK to meet the evolving challenges of product safety by responding to expanding international trade, the growth in online shopping and the increasing rate of product innovation.Today’s announcement comes as part of the government’s response to the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety. Established in October 2016 by former Consumer Minister Margot James, the group of product and fire safety experts was brought together to build on the recommendations made by Lynn Faulds Wood in her independent review into consumer product recalls.In addition to providing support and advice for local authority Trading Standards teams, the office will co-ordinate work across local authorities where action is needed on a national scale and will ensure the UK continues to carry out appropriate border checks on imported products once the UK leaves the European Union.Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said:center_img Neil Gibbins, Chair of the working group, said: Notes for editors The office will be based in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and will start work immediately. It will work closely with the BEIS Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor John Loughhead, to ensure it has access to cutting-edge scientific and technical expertise. The Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety was set up by former Consumer Minister Margot James to provide recommendations to improve the recalls process and the safety of consumer products. The group published its report in July 2017. The Office for Product Safety and Standards will cover general (non-food) consumer product safety. It will not cover vehicles, medicines and medical devices, or workplace equipment, which are already covered by other agencies. This remit is in line with the current responsibilities of BEIS on product safety. The remit of the office does not cover construction products, which are currently subject to a separate review being led by Dame Judith Hackitt. The government will carefully consider the recommendations of that review when it concludes. The Office for Product Safety and Standards will have a budget of around £12 million per year when fully operational. There are no changes to the roles and responsibilities of local authorities or other market surveillance authorities. The office will provide a number of specialist services centrally to support consistent national enforcement, including aspects of product testing and technical expertise. Primary Authority enables businesses to form a legal partnership with one local authority, which then provides assured and tailored advice on complying with environmental health, trading standards or fire safety regulations that other local regulators must respect.last_img read more

Carin’ for the Green

first_imgWhy shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day? Legend has it that St. Patrick himself used theshamrock back in the fifth century to illustrate how three separate leaves united by onestem resembled the Holy Trinity. “The oxalis may be the native Irish plant,” Thomas said. Oxalis deppei is growncommercially. Varieties can range from bright green to purple leaves with white to rosypink flowers. “But it doesn’t like full sun. In fact, it has to have shade. It will take Georgia’shumidity and clay just fine, but not the sun,” he said. “Planting it just on the surface ofabout four inches of forest humus would be heaven on earth to a shamrock.” When you shop for a pot of shamrocks, look for plants with most of the stems standingupright with unopened, fresh buds. Shamrocks are indoor houseplants that prefer an east or west window. A southernexposure would be too hot for them, Thomas said. But shamrocks don’t have to stay inthe house. Faith and begorra, ’tis almost time for the wearing o’ the green. St. Patrick’s Day(March 17), a traditional Irish religious day, translates to parties and parades inGeorgia. But one tradition holds true on both sides of the Atlantic: shamrocks. Georgians can buy a true field clover, Thomas said. Or they can get Oxalis deppei, alsocalled the Iron Cross, which is patented as the shamrock plant. The third choice isMarsilea, or water shamrock. On St. Patrick’s Day, shamrocks sprout on lapels and decorate floral arrangements aswell as greeting cards, balloons, hats and clothing. In some Irish-American families, a gift of a pot of “gold” (brass or gold foil will do)filled with shamrocks brings luck to the recipient.center_img “If they’re drooping over the side,” Thomas said, “the plant has been water-stressed. Itshouldn’t have a lot of old flowers because it blooms a long time. Old flowers wouldmean it’s past its blooming stage.” The plant may lose all its leaves in the fall. But that doesn’t mean it’s dead. “Shamrocks can be easily propagated from bulblets,” Thomas said. “In spite ofdropped leaves, if the bulb is still white, it’s just quiescent, not dead. It will usuallycome back in the spring.” Thomas said indoors or out, you should water your shamrocks regularly. But don’toverfertilize them. Dilute liquid houseplant fertilizer by half and water it in about everythree weeks. “The plants sold as shamrocks in Georgia can be any of three types of plants,” saidPaul Thomas, a horticulturist with the University of Georgia Extension Service. The shamrock is found on Irish medieval tombs and old copper coins, known as St.Patrick’s money. The plant was even reputed to have mystic powers because the leavesstand upright to warn of an approaching storm. Its name is derived from the Irish”seamrog,” meaning “summer plant.” “If you plant it in a protected location, a shamrock can be hardy in Georgia,” he said.”Give it plenty of mulch so the ground doesn’t freeze solid. It will survive.last_img read more

Novak Djokovic clinches sixth year-end No 1 ranking to equal Pete Sampras | Tennis News

first_img In September, Djokovic also overtook American Pete Sampras, who ended as No 1 for six straight years between 1993 and 1998, for the most weeks overall at the top ranking and will begin his 294th week in first spot on Monday In September, Djokovic also overtook American Pete Sampras, who ended as No 1 for six straight years between 1993 and 1998, for the most weeks overall at the top ranking and will begin his 294th week in first spot on Monday

Wisconsin aiming to beat the heat and ASU

first_imgSenior wideout Jared Abbrederis has exploited opponents all season to the tune of three touchdowns and 184 yards. photo: Jen SmallThe last week has been pretty hot in Madison, but for the Wisconsin football team things are about to get much hotter.No. 20 UW (2-0) heads to Arizona this weekend for a battle with Arizona State (1-0) Saturday night, where temperatures are projected to be around 95 degrees when the game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. in Tempe.As a result, head coach Gary Andersen elected to take the team west a day early — flying to Arizona on Thursday instead of Friday — so they have more time to acclimate to the desert-like surroundings.“That is a little bit of the thought process to get there on Thursday afternoon and practice because we will practice there Thursday afternoon,” Andersen said at his Monday press conference. “We don’t play with the sun shining, but we do play in the heat. So we’ll get used to that a little bit.“Regardless of how all that boils down, that doesn’t matter that we’re flying across the country. It doesn’t matter that we’re going two time zones. It doesn’t matter that it might be really hot. That’s part of traveling.”Echoing the remarks of their coach, team members say the heat doesn’t seem to have gotten into their heads either.“It’s all mental if you ask me,” redshirt sophomore running back Melvin Gordon said. “It’s just one part of the game, so we have to go in there knowing that the weather won’t beat you and we’ll be alright.”Saturday’s game will also mark the first time this season that Wisconsin will enter the game as the underdog, with many choosing Arizona State as 5.5-point favorites to win.For many of the new players on the roster, 75,000 fans screaming for a team other than Wisconsin — combined with the most talented team they have faced — will likely be an eye-opening experience.“We just told [the new guys] road games get pretty loud,” Gordon said. “You’ve got to be really focused. That’s the big thing. Other than that you just play football — that’s it — and that doesn’t change when you’re on the road.”On the field, the first couple of weeks for both teams have been eerily similar.Neither team has allowed a single point so far this season. Wisconsin shut out its first two opponents each of the last two weeks, while ASU shut out FCS opponent Sacramento State 55-0 last Thursday in its season opener.A big factor in ASU’s success against Sacramento State rests on the shoulders of junior quarterback Taylor Kelly. Kelly finished the game with video game-like numbers, including throwing for 300 yards and five touchdowns on 23-for-31 passing.A more unfortunate similarity, however, can be seen in both teams’ struggle with the kicking game early on this fall.In response to a 0-for-1 field goal attempt and 6-for-7 PAT showing Sept. 7, Andersen decided to reinstate a competition for the job heading into Saturday’s game.“It hasn’t gone the way we want it to be,” Andersen said. “So I’m going to look at myself and try to fix it and put them in positions to be successful and try to create a game-like environment because it’s not practice that’s the issue.”While Wisconsin went back to the drawing board this week, creating a competition between redshirt junior Kyle French and sophomore Jack Russell, ASU will have its own uncertainties should the offense be stalled in field goal territory.Last week against Sacramento State, freshman kicker Zane Gonzalez made only two of four field goals, which comes a year after a kicking platoon finished the season a combined 15-for-24 in 2012.Many Badger fans will remember that in Wisconsin’s last matchup with Arizona State, special teams played a critical role in UW’s slim 20-19 victory at Camp Randall.After Arizona State scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to bring the game within one, former ASU kicker Thomas Weber had the extra-point kick blocked, gifting UW a victory in front of its home fans.On offense for the Badgers, things don’t look any easier.In ASU’s lone game in 2013, they have given up an average of 1.6 yards per rush and only 5 yards per pass.For senior wide receiver Jared Abbrederis and company, numbers can only tell you so much. Instead Abbrederis said they just want to get out there and finally get their chance to prove themselves.“If we go out there and just be successful and play as a team, I think we will do well,” Abbrederis said.“We’re excited to go out there and just play football. They are going to be a good team.”last_img read more

Fanning says Senior Hurling set up keen to get started for 2016

first_imgThe Killenaule man joins John Madden of Lorrah on Mick Ryan’s backroom team for the Senior set up. Speaking on Tipp Fm’s Extra Time last night Declan Fanning revealed that the strength and conditioning team in place for 2015 will return for the forthcoming season to prepare the side for the physical challenges aheadlast_img