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How Environmental Testing Makes Products Safer


By Kayla Matthews

Most of us don’t think about the stages of testing and design products go through before they become part of our daily lives. But environmental testing is a crucial stage in the process. It helps companies create the best possible products and, most importantly, ensures safety for the people who use those products.

From testing products in different weather conditions to determining the best packaging for hazardous materials, environmental testing is applicable to all industries and products. Learn about the benefits of environmental testing so you can demand it from the companies you do business with.

Prepare for a range of environmental conditions

Some products are designed for indoor use. For example, the machinery in a clothing factory is not intended to be used outside of the building. Still, that same machinery may be exposed to different temperatures depending on the country where it’s located.

Other products, such as airplanes, are operated outside, but they may encounter a wide range of weather conditions, from extreme heat and cold to severe storms. Equipment malfunction in bad weather can lead to disaster, as the crash of Air France flight 447 illustrates. Icy conditions likely caused the airspeed indicators to provide incorrect readings.

There are also products built to withstand a variety of conditions, both inside and out. Consumer mobile devices, for example, must be safe in all environments. Imagine if your phone overheated and burned your hand in temperatures above 80 degrees.

To ensure maximum safety, products should be tested for their ability to withstand not only their intended environment, but also any conditions they could possibly encounter.

Exceed legal requirements for safety

Surprisingly, legal safety standards are often more broad than specific. The product must be safe for use, but manufacturers have the discretion to decide which tests are necessary to meet that standard. It is always better to exceed legal requirements than to simply meet them, however. Doing so distinguishes your company from the competition and also protects against potential litigation.

Utilize every available safety test for your product, and you can tell clients and consumers you have the safest product in the business. Consumer trust can be hard to win these days, but once you do earn it, you’re likely to be met with loyalty in return.

Catch flaws in the incubation stage of design

Safety testing should not be limited to the final product. Simulated environmental testing can identify design flaws from the beginning, and catching those flaws early in the process benefits customers as well as companies. Finding potential issues earlier rather than later saves money because there will be less likelihood of having to replace broken products under warranty. A product that is thoroughly safety-tested before it goes on the market also reduces the hazards and inconveniences customers may face.

In addition to catching flaws early on, regular testing helps companies improve upon existing designs to keep customers happy with a regular output of new and improved items. Don’t wait for complaints to spread like wildfire across social media. Proactive testing protects your company from negative associations and a bad reputation.

The reasons to conduct a full range of environmental testing are clear and compelling.

We should call on businesses to go above and beyond the law to ensure optimal consumer and worker safety for all products and parts.

Product testing is important for people around the globe, and you can become an advocate for its implementation in companies across a variety of industries.

Image credit: Flickr/Library and Archives Canada

3p Contributor

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