you are designing in industry you need to think
about various regulations and legislation.
There are numerous organisations
which take care of the public and the consumers
interests. Most of these are set up by manufacturing
bodies to make sure that all their members follow
their voluntary code of practice. These groups
give valuable direction to designers and manufacturers.
The government also provides regulations by acts
of parliament. One example is for Designers who
need to protect their new design ideas from being
copied. Copyright, patents and registered design
ideas are some examples of how the designer can
- You are not normally required to remember all
the details of all legislations but the following
are worth bearing in mind when designing.
Protection Act - Tries to prevent the sale
of harmful or defective products.
The Consumer Safety Act
- This allows the government to ban the sale of
The Trade Description Act - This
makes it illegal to make false claims about a
The Weights and Measures Act - This makes
it illegal to sell products which are underweight
or short measures.
The Sale of Goods Act - This states that
products must be fit for purpose.
Food Safety Regulations and The Food Safety
Act - Provide guidance on food hygiene
The Food Labelling Regulations
- This requires specific information on
what goes onto food labels.
Within Britain products and components are checked
using tests worked out by the British Standards
Institute (BSI). These tests form sets which all
add up to make a standard. BSI standards are very
accurate specifications and manufacturers who
meet these specifications are given a kite mark
to display on their products. The kite mark informs
consumers that the product they are purchasing
has been tested against nationally accepted standards.
These same standards are run in Europe by another
body called the European Standards.
Consumer associations test
products against other similar products and grade
them against criteria as ‘value for money’
One of the most famous of these organisations
is the ‘Which?’ magazine. You can
use the same criteria as which to conduct your
own product evaluations.
the Which magazine website www.which.co.uk >>