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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Safe diy - inspection of power tools

< previous | next > 10.08.2018

Safe diy - inspection of power tools
  • The Trade Inspection Authority audited 348 batches of power tools such as saws, screw guns, grinders.
  • The auditors expressed reservations about 80 tools (23 per cent), mainly due to insufficiencies in documentation and instruction manuals.
  • UOKiK advises consumers what they should pay attention to when purchasing power tools.

In the first quarter of 2018, the Trade Inspection Authority audited 109 undertakings across Poland who offered power tools at their shops or warehouses. The inspectors audited 348 product batches, including saws, shapers, rotary hammers, grinders, screw guns and jigsaws. They assessed the accuracy of the declarations of conformity attached to the products (which certify that the equipment meets EU requirements), product marking and instruction manuals. Additionally, samples of 8 power tools were sent to the laboratory and inspected with regard to safety of use.

The inspectors impugned 80 products (23 per cent). This is significantly less than during the previous inspection, which was carried out in the first quarter of 2017, when the Authority expressed reservations about 34.2 per cent of the audited tools. The majority of the reservations concerned marking and insufficiencies in documentation – some undertakings removed it voluntarily. Particularly worrying were the irregularities related to instruction manuals – in 7 cases no instruction manual was attached whatsoever, and in 39 cases the manual had not been prepared correctly, e.g. it was in a foreign language or did not contain important warnings or full information on how to use the machine.

The laboratory tests found that 2 grinders threatened the safety of users (for instance, they featured no protection against accidental activation after loss and return of power supply or came with incorrect guards). On the basis of the inspection files of the Trade Inspection Authority, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection instigated 2 administrative proceedings in order to recall the dangerous products from the market.

What to pay attention to when purchasing power tools

  • Check if the device is CE-marked and if the manufacturer has attached a declaration of compliance in Polish. Both of these constitute the undertaking’s guarantee that the device meets the applicable technical and legal EU requirements. You should also look for other – no longer compulsory – certifications, e.g. the German “GS”, “TÜV” or “VDE” marking – they show that an independent entity has already checked if the equipment is safe.
  • Make sure that the body features no cracks, dents or other signs of damage and that it is not coming loose. The cables, switches and guards cannot come loose or be poorly fitted either. If the device features a handle, it should be made of smooth, lacquered wood, metal or be covered with a plastic guard – with no jagged edges or sharp parts.
  • Check if there is a Polish instruction manual.

Any doubts? Contact the Trade Inspection Authority.

Additional information for consumers:

Phone: 801 440 220 or +48 22 290 89 16 – consumer helpline
Email: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Branches of Consumer Federation
Consumer spokespersons – in your town or county

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone: +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 314
Email: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files