What are the ramifications of supply chain safety violations?

September 12th, 2008

I speak on a regular basis about safety in the supply chain. Some think it is just a hook. It is in fact a passion. Today I was discussing the ramifications of EN 13869 with a retailer. This safety standard applies to those small cigarette lighters sold at the point of purchase at many supermarkets

I speak on a regular basis about safety in the supply chain. Some think it is just a hook. It is in fact a passion. Today I was discussing the ramifications of EN 13869 with a retailer. This safety standard applies to those small cigarette lighters sold at the point of purchase at many supermarkets, drug stores and convenience stores. This standard which is also related to ISO 9000 quality standards is known as BS EN 13869 and covers Lighters, Child-resistance for lighters, and Safety requirements and test methods.

Our discussion went on to cover where in fact the lighters ultimately come from, whether they are impacted by the resin market, the use of logo’s and branding restrictions related to those logo’s such as those of sport teams and the risk of the retailers logo also being placed on these lighters. Too often, these concerns are not considered when purchasing such a small resale product. Later in the day I went for my daily run, during which I passed a blue lighter lying on the side of the road. I wondered if this lighter still worked, or if it had a retailer’s logo on it? What if it has been damaged? What if a child picks it up and is injured by it? Who is liable? The only traceable element is the retailer’s logo. This certainly provides some food for thought when procuring these products. This author would make sure retailers request and retain all safety certifications of your supplier on file and additionally provide several levels of traceability as well.

If that does not inspire you the keep better records as regards safety, just check today’s release from the FDA. West Virginia Livestock Owner Sentenced in Criminal and Civil Contempt Case. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that a West Virginia cattle dealer has been sentenced to six months probation for refusing to obey court orders in 2006 and 2008 that prohibited her from introducing animals into the food supply until the FDA had approved her record-keeping system. The FDA initiated the case after illegal levels of drug residue were found repeatedly in calves that Shirley A. Rhodes of Sandyville sold for use as human food.

The fact is that safety is important. It needs to be included in all sourcing decisions and traceable information kept on file. Consumers deserve no less and quality suppliers owe it to their retailer partners.

Safety is our passion. We look forward to your comments.

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