Protecting users from mechanical safety hazards
Mechanical functionality is an essential safety aspect for a wide range of consumer products. However mechanical safety risks are as diverse as the number and types of mechanical products available, making the task of identifying and evaluating such risks a complex process for manufacturers, importers and retailers. The challenge of ensuring mechanical safety can be further complicated by quality variations in components provided by supply chain partners. As such, a comprehensive approach to managing mechanical risk is required to assure product safety.
What is mechanical safety testing?
Mechanical safety testing is a specific type of safety evaluation that involves the assessment of the mechanical aspects of a product, and the conditions under which a mechanical failure could pose a potential safety risk to users. Mechanical safety testing is applicable to a broad range of products, including home furnishings and household products, hand tools, sports and leisure equipment and toys.Specific mechanical safety tests can include:
- Mechanical safety tests - Involves an evaluation and testing of a product’s shape and design, and whether sharp edges or points can result in user injury. Mechanical safety testing could also include an assessment of a product’s potential to squeeze, pinch or entrap fingers, toes and other appendages during anticipated use.
- Structural tests - Structural testing evaluates a product’s overall strength and durability under normal use conditions. Structural testing may assess other product characteristics, such as load-bearing capacity, depending on the specific type of product being evaluated.
- Component tests - Mechanical safety testing can also involve the testing of safety critical components, such as screws and hinges, that are used in a final product.
In addition to mechanical safety testing mandated by regulatory authorities, some retailers may require more in-depth mechanical safety testing as part of their product procurement process. Further, supply chain challenges may justify post-market surveillance and random testing to ensure consistent product quality and safety.
Why is mechanical safety testing important?
Mechanical safety testing is required for many categories of products sold or imported into the European Union (EU), the U.S. and other major market economies. In addition, mechanical failures can result in user injuries and even death, potentially exposing manufacturers, importers and retailers to costly legal action and the loss of brand reputation among buyers. Mechanical safety testing can provide access to global markets, protect users, and preserve a manufacturer’s reputation in a competitive market.
Our services at a glance
TÜV SÜD offers mechanical safety testing services that address the full range of mechanical risks associated with most types of consumer products. Our testing and certification services support efforts by manufacturers to comply with regulatory requirements and achieve market access around the world. TÜV SÜD’s mechanical testing can also identify and addressing product liability issues in advance, thereby reducing risks associated with unsafe products. The TÜV SÜD Octagon mark is accepted globally by retailers and consumers as evidence of compliance with all applicable product safety requirements and standards.
We can deliver our testing and inspection services globally with quick turnaround times and personalised service. And our quality control programmes can be customised for the specific testing needs of clients.
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