When you buy a new product, you are likely to see an assurance on the packaging that the product has passed certain safety tests. That notification lets consumers know that they can reasonably expect that the product will not harm them if used as directed. Third-party product safety testing is important for several reasons. It not only helps customers but also manufacturers.
There are several hazards testers look for in new products. The FDA’s Technical Electronic Product Radiation Safety Standards Committee sets the limits of radiation a product can emit in order to be within safe parameters, and testing ensures that a product meets that standard. Products are also tested to see how they stand up to certain temperatures or whether they may become more prone to combustion. A volatile product should not be allowed on the shelves.
Each product should also be tested to make sure it works the way it says is will. If an important part becomes loose with normal usage, for example, it could shock or otherwise injure the person using it. Testing it makes sure that this won’t happen.
A product that has to be recalled after it has already been released can cost the company that produces it a lot of money. Releasing a product in the first place is a rather large undertaking. When consumers are reimbursed for defective items, the company does not get a return in its investment. When testing is done all throughout production and again prior to release, the manufacturer can then send the product out confident that it will not have to eat the cost of the extra shipping, packaging, repair and disposal costs involved in a recall.
Even if a product is thoroughly vetted and proven ready to be placed in consumers’ hands, accidents can happen. When they do, the company is likely to be sued. The customer will most likely need to prove negligence on the part of the company, though, to win the case. A commitment to product testing offers legal protection to the company. Having a well-documented testing process that backs up the product in question can provide some protection for the manufacturer in settlement hearings or court.
While customer safety is probably every company’s primary concern, of course, the protections that product testing offers the manufactures themselves cannot be overlooked. Third-party tests assure both consumers and companies alike that the products are safe to go on the market.