The UK door and window hardware industry will publish its response to the Government’s safety critical product consultation in early 2022.
The GAI is currently compiling a list of products which its members have identified as safety critical and are engaging with other industry associations – including Door and Hardware Federation (DHF) and the Automatic Door Suppliers Association (ADSA) – to contribute to the wider fenestration industry response.
The Construction Products Regulatory Framework
The existing regulatory framework for construction products only applies to products that are subject to a designated standard or which conform to a technical assessment. This leaves many construction products without general safety requirements, and they are not usually covered by consumer protection legislation.
Following the Grenfell Tower fire, the government would like all construction products available in the UK market to fall under a regulatory regime. This regulation will be carried out through legislation enacted under the Building Safety Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, and will strengthen regulations for the marketing and supply of construction products in the UK.
Safety Critical Products
Under this regime, there will be a statutory list of ‘safety critical’ products. Safety critical products are classified as those where product failure would risk causing serious injury or death.
Douglas Masterson, technical manager at the GAI, said: “Categorising products as safety critical will raise the bar for product safety in the UK. This range of products will be equal to the products under the scope of current harmonised and designated standards, so they will require third party certification and potentially UKCA marking.
“This is an excellent opportunity for us as an industry to propose our list of products which we deem to be ‘safety critical’ and have a key role in shaping future regulation. Our members have shared valuable insight based on their experience of dealing with not only products, but also the supply chain using these products every day.”
Impact on manufacturers
Among other requirements, manufacturers will have to complete a Declaration of Performance (DoP) for all safety critical products. They will also need to implement factory production controls and follow the specified system of assessment and verification of constancy of performance (AVCP) to ensure that the claimed performance is consistently met.
This will bring the regulation of these products in line with arrangements for products covered by the existing regulatory framework. The new regime will be enforced by the Construction Products Regulator – which operates under the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) – and trading standards.
The final list of safety critical products with be shared with members before being submitted in early 2022.