Toy Safety is the first priority of the BTHA and the Association strives to support its members in attaining the high safety standards expected of a responsible toy industry.
One of the main roles of the BTHA is to help ensure toy safety and toy business go hand in hand. The BTHA does this in five ways;
- We work hard to try to stop unworkable legislation negatively affecting the way you are able to conduct your business.
- We utilise industry expertise from within member companies to break down new legislation into understandable information and guidance documents.
- We provide safety advice to keep you up-to-date with all the latest information via; safety advisory calls, visits, conferences and newsflashes.
- We create, or negotiate access to, tools and systems to help to deliver easy ways to meet compliance
- We subsidise toy safety expertise
Safety Advisory Service* – All members of the BTHA have access to a confidential safety advisory service which can help with safety related issues.
In the first instance the service allows you to ask, free-of-charge, about any safety issue over the telephone and our safety advisors will help with your query in a confidential and sympathetic environment. The free telephone or email service is there to answer general safety enquiries or issues you may have come across during the course of your business. There is a limit to the amount of advice that we can offer and the type of advice that can be offered without detailed knowledge of the product or trading conditions. The advisory service would be able to point members in the right direction and answer straightforward questions, limited to a few questions per year for each member. However where the advice becomes consultancy, which would require product samples or a more lengthy discussion, we suggest the subsidised consultancy offer detailed below or suggest you discuss the costs of independent consultancy offered by consultancy services.
Subsidised Detailed Toy Safety Consultancy* – In addition to the free telephone service, the BTHA offers members a more detailed level of advice.
The BTHA will subsidise a visit by one of our safety advisors to come to your offices and help with any technical advice on your products. The cost for the day would normally be £400 plus expenses, however the BTHA will subsidise the visit by £200 to ensure you have low-cost access to safety advice as you need it. Visits are limited to two visits per member per year (as availability of experts allow).
Safety Surgeries* – In addition BTHA safety advisors offer FREE safety surgeries on site at Toy Fair each year. You can book your appointment through the safety advisory service in advance of the fair.
Safety Newsflashes – Members will be kept up-to-date on the latest safety information via our regular safety newsflashes which will direct you to new information on the safety pages of the BTHA website. Once you are a member you can email the BTHA to ensure your in-house safety advisor is sent these updates directly, simply email the BTHA to let us know their contact details; firstname.lastname@example.org or update your contacts profile on the BTHA website.
Safety Pages of the BTHA website – The BTHA has created members-only access for sections of the new BTHA website which only members of the BTHA have access to. Before legislation and compliance guidelines are published we give members early advice on potential issues. These pages are locked to non-members and are accessible once members are logged-in to the website.
Once guidance/legislation is finalised it may be unlocked so that retailers and other partners can access information that will help members in their industry relationships and interpretations.
Toy Safety Expertise – The BTHA retains a number of toy safety experts to keep up-to-date on the latest developments and to give advice to the membership. These experts work with a wider field of toy safety specialists from the BTHA membership through the BTHA’s Technical Committee. They also meet regularly with advisors from the wider industry.
The group meets three times a year as a full committee and smaller working groups meet between these times to cover specialist subjects. Many of the members are specialists in their field and represent the wider toy industry in discussions, helping to develop the key toy safety standards through various working groups, both inside and outside the BTHA.
The work of the Technical Committee is fed back into the European Union and into other associations and key stakeholder groups (such as Toy Industries of Europe, the International Council of Toy Industries, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Exiting Europe and others) to ensure the BTHA has a voice during discussions on toy safety issues that will affect members.
One of the committee’s main roles is to develop guidance for BTHA members and to highlight potential upcoming issues for consideration. Once an upcoming issue has been highlighted the committee establishes the best experts to look into the subject and to draw up working guidelines to help standardise the response to the issue and clarify the toy industry’s position.
BTHA coordinated Primary Authority Partnership
In March 2014 the BTHA signed a memorandum of understanding with Milton Keynes Council and entered into a coordinated Primary Authority partnership. This means that unless companies opt-out, all members of the BTHA are part of the scheme (which is free) and will get legal assurance against any prosecution within the UK if they follow the guide advice.
Primary Authorities provide robust, bespoke advice that must be respected by all other local regulators. This enables businesses to invest with confidence in products, practices and procedures, knowing that the resources they devote to compliance are well spent. When advice or documents are assured by a Primary Authority, under certain circumstances, members following the guidance can be defended against any legal action within the UK.
BTHA Standards Service – FREE access to selected product Standards from BSI* – The BTHA are able to offer full members view-only access to standards via the British Standards Online system. Many members will each spend a considerable sum each year on relevant BSI standards. This service allows you to access them for free.
You are able to visit BSI online to view a list of up to 200 selected product standards that cover toys (please be aware that these will be available to view online but will not allow you to download or print the documents). The list of accessible standards in the BTHA subscription should cover the majority of members’ needs for toys, nursery and related electrical items. In addition to the standards members can set themselves up for e-mail notifications when standards change which will help to meet legal requirements relating to monitoring and using the latest product standards.
Toyograph* – Members have FREE access to the chemical risk assessment system development by the BTHA safety experts – Toyograph. Toyograph® has been developed by the BTHA in association with Bureau Veritas as a ‘Chemicals toolkit’ exclusively for FULL BTHA members. It has been designed to help identify the restricted substances that are likely to be present within commonly used toy materials so members can decide on appropriate, targeted compliance routes.
Toyograph® is an interactive web based tool designed to allow manufacturers to use their Bill of Materials to determine which materials are at risk of containing restricted substances above the limits specified in legislation or at levels that may be a safety concern. Toyograph is constantly updated to keep ahead of restrictions to help members to stay ahead of changes to the law and consider material choices in design well in advance of regulatory changes.
The Toyograph can be used to:
- Demonstrate compliance to standards and regulations as part of the Conformity Assessment.
- Assist in the obligation to Ensure Conformity of Series Production with regards to chemical compliance.
- Assist in carrying out the Chemical Safety Assessment as required by the Toy Safety Directive.
- Assist in the consideration of chemical safety and compliance during product development and product specification.
- Identify questions for factories concerning raw material content.
- The Toyograph is intended to cover commonly used materials and a defined legislative scope. To find out more about Toyograph log on to the members access area of the BTHA website and visit www.toyograph.co.uk
Yordas Hive® * – With the ever increasing number of restricted substances companies need a way to stay up to date with regulatory restrictions and with full details of substances. Yordas Hive® is a database of over 150,000 substances which are matched to more than 50 EU and global regulations. Users can search, filter and sort substances and download full details of an individual substance. Users can use this information for their own product knowledge as well as in responses to media and customer concerns. The BTHA subscription service is free to full members and includes the BTHA substance watch list that will highlight possible future restrictions for the toy industry.