News item

TSI makes an urgent call to reinstate database needed to prevent accidents

The Trading Standards Institute made the call for a national and EU-wide injury and accidents database to be put in place during its Conference in Manchester this week.

Speakers at the Pushing the Door Open on Europe agreed on a need for better market surveillance as part of improving consumer confidence in cross border shopping – but
TSI’s product and consumer safety lead officer Christine Heemskerk pointed out that this could not be done effectively without the necessary intelligence.

Christine Heemskerk said: “We need market surveillance across Europe, but this needs to be targeted and proportionate.
How can we do this without any current injury and accident data?  All such data we are now working on is 10 years old, and therefore don’t for example include the blind cord tragedies we have seen in the past few years.  Had we had a database in place we could have acted on this intelligence much quicker – some of these fatal accidents could have been prevented.
“We need not only a UK, but an EU injury and accident database as a matter of urgency.”

Arnold Pindar president of ANEC and chairman of the UK National Consumer Federation said: “The loss of the database 10 years ago is a serious problem.  It has been shown time and time again, that we don’t have the data we need to do standardisation in the right places at the right time.  There is a huge lack of data that is preventing us from making the right decisions.”

Malcolm Harbour MEP said: “The whole of the EU market surveillance is being reviewed this year.  It is on the political agenda and the consultation is now open.”

DATE:28 June 2012

Notes for Editors:
For more information on the former Home Accident Surveillance System (HASS) and Leisure Accident Surveillance System (LASS) visit

For further information, to attend the ceremony or to arrange an interview please contact the Trading Standards Institute press officer Irja Howie on 07780675815 or by e-mail on

Trading Standards Institute (TSI)
TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.

TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses.  We are also supporting the delivery of initiatives such as the advice services Consumer Direct, UK ECC and UK ECCS.

The Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2012
The Trading Standards Institute’s annual trading standards and consumer affairs Conference and Exhibition is the leading consumer affairs and trading standards event in Europe. The 2012 Conference is at Manchester Central from Tuesday 26 June to Thursday 28 June.

Some 1,500 people are expected to attend the conference, including representatives from local and central government and those interested in fair trading, representatives of business and commerce, together with consumer organisations.

Journalists and photographers are welcome to attend but should contact the press office on 0845 608 9430 to arrange passes.