Trading Standards celebrates commendation for its work at Heathrow Airport
Monday 21 June: Hillingdon Council's Trading Standards team has been awarded a commendation for its work at Heathrow Airport to prevent unsafe consumer products entering the retail market.
Winners were announced at the annual Regulatory Excellence Awards, run by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), which took place virtually on Thursday 10 June. It's the second time in a row that the team have been commended by the OPSS.
Thousands of shipments arrive at Heathrow Airport every week and the Trading Standards team routinely inspects and removes any products that do not meet national safety standards. This includes toys, cosmetics and electronic items. While most are safe and can continue to be delivered to retailers, some have to be seized.
Last year more than one million products were seized for failing safety standards, preventing consumers from purchasing unsafe products. Most recently, this included teddy bears destined for major retailers, which presented a choking and strangulation hazard for children, electrical adapters that had cables that could overheat and catch fire, and skin-lightening products with dangerous levels of chemicals that could cause severe damage to the skin. During the first coronavirus lockdown, the Trading Standards team's cargo inspections played a pivotal role in stopping unsafe PPE from being sold to the public. With support from their counterparts at Hounslow Council, they stopped 6.5 million face masks and 8,000 counterfeit hand sanitisers entering the UK retail market.
Cllr John Riley, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Public Safety and Transport, said: "We are delighted to be awarded this prestigious award once again. As a port authority, we are responsible for inspecting cargo at Heathrow Airport, where hundreds and thousands of products are destined for shops and retailers across the UK. It's a huge operation and a big responsibility. The team members are rightly proud of their work because they're not just protecting consumers in the borough from unsafe goods, but also nationally.
"This award is well-deserved and a testament to their dedication and I'd like to offer my thanks and congratulations to everyone involved."
The Regulatory Excellence Awards recognise outstanding work and innovation in combating coronavirus, helping businesses trade safely while protecting consumers. The council's Trading Standards team was one of nine finalists in the Product Safety category. Other finalists included three other local authorities; Electrical Safety First; British Safety Industry Federation; Newbury Community Resource Centre; British Toy and Hobby Association; and The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association.