Electrical Product Safety Conference 2019

Product Safety Conference 2019
Thursday 28th November 
Church House, London

Chaired by Linda McAuley, BBC Radio presenter, On Your Behalf

The Electrical Product Safety Conference took place on Thursday 28 November 2019. Experts and leaders from across the industry joined together to explore the study of human behaviour and what it can tell us about safer product design from conception, through manufacture and production to sale.

Speakers examined how emerging data can inform intelligent product design and look at innovations leading transformation in the way products are designed with future safety at the forefront.

The sell-out event was attended by designers, retailers, manufacturers, product testing houses, regulators, government bodies and safety experts.

Highlights from the 2019 Electrical Product Safety Conference

About the conference

Electrical Safety First hosts an annual, industry-leading, Product Safety Conference. It is now over a decade since we established this event, during which time we have seen product safety embed itself in the political and news agenda. Significantly, many of the subjects introduced at the conference are now being recognised as critical issues.

Each year, the event explores key themes and trends impacting on consumer safety and the electrical product industry, attracting a wide range of delegates - from government departments to manufacturers, retailers, importers, lawyers and test houses. We believe it is this ‘broad-church’ approach which is part of its appeal – and the fact that we bring to the forefront key and emerging issues impacting on the industry and consumers. So wherever you are in the electrical product chain – or beyond - you’ll want to attend! 


Download the agenda for the day here.


Linda McAuley
Radio Presenter

Linda is the award-winning presenter of BBC Radio Ulster's consumer advice programme ‘On Your Behalf’.

Linda first joined BBC Radio Ulster in 1978 and since 1995 she has been helping BBC Radio Ulster listeners sort out countless consumer problems on the Saturday morning programme ‘On Your Behalf’, regularly interviewing Trading Standards, the Consumer Association, Electrical Safety First, ABTA and other leading trade organisations.

In 2006 the Trading Standards Institute named ‘On Your Behalf’ as the ‘Best Consumer Television or Radio Programme’, while presenter Linda was awarded ‘National Consumer Journalist of the Year’.

In 2018, Linda received an MBE for her services to consumers, the latest honour for her, as she was inducted into the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) Radio Awards Hall of Fame in 2017.


Martyn Allen
Technical Director, Electrical Safety First

Martyn leads the Charity’s electrotechnical team as an impartial centre of excellence for the safety of electrical installations and products - including representing consumer safety interests on a range of British, European and International Committees.

Originally trained as an underground electrician with British Coal, he worked in engineering risk-management with Royal and Sun Alliance for 16 years before joining the Electrical Safety Council (the fore-runner of Electrical Safety First), in 2006. 

Martyn is a Chartered Electrical Engineer and Corporate Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).


David Bolton
Retail Products Policy Advisor, BRC

David joined the BRC 4 years ago as Retail Products Policy Advisor where he imparts his wealth of experience in all aspects of Technical and legal issues relating to the safety of non-food products and product risks, as well as being responsible for regulatory and scientific issues.

This follows 32 years with Tesco where he worked in a number of Technical, Trading Law and Policy Positions both in the UK and Internationally. Over the years he has developed extensive technical, legislative and commercial awareness, protecting consumers and brand reputation, including incident management.  

He works closely with Government, BSi, charities, other trade organisations as well as retailers to ensure his members needs are represented.


Stephen Curtler
Product Safety Manager, Electrical Safety First 

Steve joined Electrical Safety First in 2005, after holding a number of senior positions in the electrical industry for over 30 years. He is responsible for the product safety activities of the Charity, working in partnership with industry, government, local authorities and other key stakeholders. He also represents the interests of UK consumers on a number of European and national Technical Committees.


Emma Drackford
Communications Director, Electrical Safety First 


Emma joined Electrical Safety First in 2012 and oversees all of the Charity’s communications and public affairs activities. She’s worked in senior communications roles across the Charity Sector, Private Sector and Public Sector over the last 15 years, and her background in consumer behavior change campaigning, partnership working, and media lobbying enables her to guide the organisations communications to real change. She has taught, and holds the CIPR’s Diploma in Public Relations.


Colin Forrester
Business Development Manager, UL

Colin Forrester is UL’s Consumer Technology Business Development Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, involved in connectivity and security for the Internet of Things (IoT). Colin has two decades of experience in the testing and certification industry in the wireless connectivity and safety arena - from the early days of 2G cellular technology and including five years in Asia, establishing operations to deliver certifications to the nascent 3G and 4G handset vendors. With the growth of IoT, he has been working closely with a range of organisations, from start-ups to leading consumer brands, on issues relating to safety, cyber-security and interoperability.


Rod Freeman
International Products Lawyer, Cooley LLP

Rod Freeman is an International Products Lawyer at the international law firm, Cooley.  He leads a rapidly-growing team which supports leading international and innovative companies in defending product liability litigation - handling product-related B2B disputes and managing and resolving product safety and regulatory compliance issues, including managing international product recalls. Deeply embedded in the international product liability and product safety community, Rob serves on the Board of Directors of the International Consumer Products Health and Safety Organisation (ICPHSO). He also represents business and industry on the OECD Working Party on Product Safety and has been appointed by the European Commission to its Expert Group on Liability and New Technologies. 


Sami Gabriel
Chief Engineer, Vodafone Group Services 

Sami joined Vodafone, in 2000, and in his role there he orchestrated a complete national base station audit to evaluate radio frequency (RF) exposure compliance and helped draft the industry’s 10-commitments. He then moved to Vodafone Group as Chief Engineer in Research and Development with responsibility for RF exposure compliance of wireless devices and now leads the RF exposure compliance evaluation laboratory for R&D.  As a Vodafone Distinguished Engineer he has diversified into several areas of safety compliance from safety information documentation to product safety recall solutions.

Sami is a member of the IEEE International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety, TC34, actively contributing for over 20 years, and currently co-chairs the working group on IoT device compliance assessment.  He represents the United Kingdom as an appointed expert to the International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC), standards group TC106 and co-chairs the group on mobile device compliance assessment.

These standards groups define experimental measurements protocols and have based their selection of human models for exposure evaluation on design work by Sami, defined as the Standard Anthropomorphic Mannequin (SAM) phantom.

Sami is an expert advisor to the UK Mobile Operators Association and the GSM Association on mobile device SAR evaluation matters.

He is a fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and a member of its Engineering Safety Panel.  As an educator, he supports the utilisation of RF technology for medical applications and has regularly supported the National Physical Laboratory in their public education activities related to radio communications and mobile networks.

Sami’s academic achievements included the publication of work on the dielectrics of human body tissues, and this is widely considered the de-facto reference in most RF exposure compliance evaluation standards and most computational modelling applications. His published papers in peer-reviewed journals have attracted over 12,000 citations.


Michiko Jo
Senior Associate‎, DLA Piper UK LLP

Michiko Jo advises on supply chain related commercial contracts and regulations, including product safety, product liability, marketing and ‎consumer law. She has advised clients on product launches and corrective actions - such as multi-jurisdictional product recalls - as well as establishing distribution networks by assisting on business-to-business and business-to-consumer supply contracts and online sales platforms. Michiko is a commercial lawyer in the Intellectual Property & Technology Department of the London Office of the global law firm, DLA Piper.


Eva Kolker
Senior Advisor, BIT

Eva is a Senior Advisor at the Behavioural Insights Team (aka the 'nudge unit'). She recently published a report on applying behavioural insights to make workplaces safer. She has worked on projects in local government, health, early years, and occupational health and safety.


Simon Long
Principal Product Safety Engineer, Dyson

Simon is an experienced Product Safety specialist with global responsibilities both in new product development and market surveillance. Dyson recognises that simply meeting compliance standards does not make a product safe, especially with new technology and novel designs, so the product safety team looks beyond standards to see where the technology, manufacturing or consumer usage scenarios may create unsafe conditions then where necessary, to remove or mitigate the risks from the design prior to manufacture. Dyson also monitors all global safety claims to that safety related claims are identified, escalated and investigated correctly and fed back to new designs.


Wendy Middleton
Insights Lead, Office of Product Safety and Standards

Wendy has worked in the civil service for 15 years. A biologist by background, she started out by managing Defra’s animal welfare research programme. She then spent seven years working on bovine tuberculosis, eventually as head of science in Defra’s bTB programme.

From there she went to work with Defra’s Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA), Professor Ian Boyd, before moving to DECC (now BEIS) in 2015 to work with their CSA, Professor John Loughhead. More recently she was Head of Science for Climate and Energy, before moving to the Office for Product Safety & Standards in August this year, to create and lead their new Insights Unit. She is passionate about developing BEIS’ Science & Engineering Network, Women in STEM and the use of evidence in policy making.


Alexis Nikolaou
Technical Manager, John Lewis & Partners


Alexis is the Technical Manager for electrical products at John Lewis & Partners and the Quality Management System Lead for non-food products. With a decade of experience in retail and a background in Engineering studies, Alex has managed to bridge end-user experience to high quality specifications and processes with manufacturers nationally and internationally. Driving continuous product improvement and safeguarding the JL&P customer are key priorities in his role. Alex is also heavily involved in developing best practices for use of connected appliances and sits on the BSI committee for privacy by design.


Jeremy Opperer
Senior Manager, Exponent

Jeremy has extensive experience in product hazard and risk assessment, which he gained while working with a variety of brands in the consumer products, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and baby products sectors. For more than 13 years, he has applied his knowledge of engineering design, manufacturing, and the quality control process, to help his clients develop, manufacture and distribute, safe and quality products in the consumer goods market. Jeremy supports his clients in three main areas: proactive assessment, reactive incident investigations and by reviewing and improving the ‘concept to consumer’ product development process. He emphasises the consumer experience and the human factor in product use and interaction.


Luke Osborne
Energy and Emerging Technologies Solutions Advisor, ECA 

Luke is the Energy and Emerging Technologies Solutions Advisor for ECA, providing advice and technical coverage for Renewable Energy, Electric Vehicles, Energy Efficiency and Emerging Energy trends for ECA members as well as advising on energy policy issues.

He began his career completing a mechanical / electrical apprenticeship with Ford Motor Company in 1997. He has worked throughout the UK, Europe and Australia and also delivered training courses for engineers in Manila, Philippines and Mexico City, Mexico.

Following a move into design and development engineering, Luke furthered his Academic studies completing a BEng (hons) through the Open University, with a weighting towards renewable energy and sustainability, going on to own and run a Renewable Energy installation company prior to joining ECA.


Judith Peacock
Group Technical Director, Dixons Carphone

Judith is the Group Technical Director at Dixons Carphone - which includes Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse in the UK, in addition to businesses in the Nordics and Greece. Her remit includes overseeing the quality and safety of own-label and licensed branded products, responsible sourcing, and health and safety for the UK and Ireland.

Judith has worked in the electronics and electrical industry for over 25 years and prior to working at Dixons Carphone, she was employed by Tesco as a Technical Manager and latterly in after-sales, including customer helpline, repairs and product returns.


Nick Roberts
Associate Director, Kantar 

Nick is a director at Kantar (Public Division) and qualitative lead in their Behavioural Practice. He specialises in the application of behavioural insight to help drive positive behaviour change across a diverse range of subjects, including the take up of adult retraining for the Department of Education, the prevention of fly-tipping for Defra, and the reporting of domestic servitude in the Nigerian community for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. He is currently working alongside the Office for Product Safety and Standards and a number of manufacturers to develop a trial aimed at boosting consumer rates of product registration, and has previously led large-scale research into consumer attitudes to product safety.


Penny Walshe
Corporate Communications Manager, Electrical Safety First

Penny joined Electrical Safety First in December 2011 and manages the Charity’s consumer communications, focusing on developing strong, evidence-based media campaigns alongside engaging digital content to support the Charity’s strategic objectives. She is responsible for running and analysing the Charity’s annual consumer surveys, as well as campaign-specific research, which gives insights into consumer awareness and attitudes towards electrical safety issues.

Penny started her career at the BBC and moved on to work in advertising before leaving the agency side to work in-house as a communications specialist. She holds the CIPR’s Diploma in Public Relations.


Adam Williams
Electrical Safety First Trustee

Adam Williams is a consumer technology sales and marketing specialist, with over 20 years’ experience in bringing innovative technologies to markets across Europe. Starting out in electrical retailing, Adam has more recently led partnerships with Europe’s largest retailers for a range of global brands, including Samsung and Sony. In 2017, he helped establish a UK strategy for Enjoy Technology, which provides home set-up services for smart products.

Adam is currently Chief Revenue Officer at Lightwave, a leading smart home manufacturer providing innovative smart lighting, power and heating solutions through consumer and trade channels.  He is also a Trustee of the Electrical Safety First Board and member of the Smart Homes & Buildings Association.


To enquire about speaking opportunities please contact ellen.vester@electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk


UL helps create a better world by applying science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. We empower trust by enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to make the world a safer place. All of our work, from independent research and standards development to testing and certification, to providing analytical and digital solutions, helps improve global well-being. Businesses, industries, governments, regulatory authorities and the public put their trust in us so they can make smarter decisions. To learn more, visit UL.com.


Electrium, leading the way with devices that protect people & property.

As an electrical installation equipment manufacturer Electrium focuses on providing proven quality electrical safety products for professional specifiers and installers.

Exceeding expectations is what Electrium does. For example;

Preventing Electrical Fires with Wylex AFDDs.

Our Wylex miniature AFDDs with integral RCBO can be used on new or existing installations to prevent electrical fires from arc faults. These clever little devices offer maximum levels of protection for people & property, protecting against overload, short circuit, electric shock & arcs that cause electrically ignited fires. Meeting & beating the regulatory requirements.

For a bespoke, tailored package, please contact ellen.vester@electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk


Supported by the Office for Product Safety and Standards

The new Office for Product Safety and Standards has been established within the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to enable the UK to meet the evolving challenges of product safety by responding to expanding international trade, the growth in online shopping and the increasing rate of product innovation.

Who attends?

The Electrical Product Safety Conference is attended by designers, manufacturers, retailers, importers, installers, product testing house, safety advocates, lawyers and enforcement authorities.  The event attracts a senior audience interested in hearing the top insights and strategies in the field of electrical safety.

Essential information 

Register here

At the Electrical Product Safety Conference 2019 we will discuss the importance of human behaviour in a rapidly changing market and find out how those across the supply chain can use data to innovate and adapt to changing needs – bringing consumer needs to the heart of electrical product safety.

What will I learn at the Electrical Product Safety Conference 2019?
The key theme of the conference is human behaviour: how are designers, retailers, manufacturers lawyers and others in the industry dealing with the changing requirements and demands of consumers.

Who are the key contacts for the summit?
For all event enquiries, please contact ellen.vester@electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk.

How much does it cost to register?
The conference costs are:

Commercial organisation: £300 + VAT & booking fees

Not-for-profit organisation: £160 + VAT & booking fees

How can I register?
You can register easily here to reserve your place and avoid disappointment. 

Can I bring a guest?
Yes, but your guest would need to register and pay in the usual way. Click here to be taken to the booking form.

Where is the conference?
The conference will be held at Church House, Dean’s Yard, Westminster, London SW1P 3NZ

The nearest underground stations are St James’s Park and Westminster (District, Circle and Jubilee lines) which are both within a ten-minute walk. When you arrive you will see a small archway with a security cabin and a gate, next to Westminster Abbey. Go through the archway into Dean's Yard – Church House is at the end of the yard.

There are sheltered bike racks and cycle bars in the garage available for guests to chain their bikes to. Please ask at reception on arrival for further details.

Download a map

Can I transfer or cancel my booking?
Transfers and cancellations are not available and tickets are non-refundable.

Can I sponsor the Electrical Product Safety Conference?
Yes -  Please contact ellen.vester@electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk for more information.


"This year's Electrical Product Safety Conference was the best yet. The panels were informative and interesting and we were thrilled to also be awarded with this year’s Safety Innovation Award. The fact that our work to improve customer safety has now been recognised by Electrical Safety First is an achievement that we are really proud of."
Andrew Mullen, Beko Plc, Winner of the Safety Innovation Award 2018

 “We’re thrilled our WiFi hood received a ‘Highly Commended’ Safety Innovation Award from Electrical Safety First. Consumer safety is of upmost importance to us here at Hoover and, whilst we pride ourselves on producing innovative appliances, we’re really proud that our product has been recognised by the UK’s electrical safety experts for its unique safety credentials.”
Hoover Candy Group
, highly commended for the Safety Innovation Award 2018

“Electrical Safety First continues to deliver excellent work in helping to identify, communicate and reduce the risks associated with electrical products. We believe their campaigns remain important for helping to support product safety, as well as building trust between manufacturers, channel partners and customers.”
Paul Hide, Director of Membership and Marketing, TechUK

 “The British Retail Consortium is pleased to support Electrical Safety First, an important partner within the electrical industry, in its activities around raising awareness of the importance of using electrical appliances safely.”
David Bolton, Retail Products Policy Adviser, British Retail Consortium

Electrical Product Safety Conference 2018

Highlights from the 2018 Electrical Product Safety Conference:

Find out what speakers and delegates thought at our tenth anniversary conference, Reflecting on the Future.