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Testing reveals ongoing safety and trade descriptions issues

MatchThe NBF’s latest round of due diligence finished product testing continues to highlight failures among manufacturers who are not following its code of practice, with several major flammability and trade descriptions issues identified.

During 2021, 21 mattresses, headboards, and mattress toppers were purchased – 11 from members and 10 from non-members. The products were tested, opened and examined. 

The results for the non-NBF member products showed several major failures in both flammability testing results and trade description issues, with some advertised fillings not present in certain products. 

The investigations carried out on the NBF member products showed that there were no major concerns regarding appropriate levels of due diligence testing being conducted for flammability and no major issues in relation to trade descriptions. Some areas for improvement were identified, such as the need for continuity of process control, where staff are rotated onto other duties due to staff shortage through covid outbreaks and the need to ensure full training is provided for staff covering other people’s work, along with the need for internal departments to work closer together in the decision-making process. All issues were discussed and resolved directly with the NBF members concerned.  

The results have been shared with the retailers of the non-NBF member company products so that they can use this information to conduct their own investigations. The findings on all products, have also been passed to the NBF’s primary authority partner, West Yorkshire Trading Standards.

Since the NBF began its due diligence testing programme in 2018, it has examined more than 110 products, split equally between NBF members and non-members. 

‘From its inception, our code of practice has been about reassuring customers that what they are buying from NBF members is safe, clean and honest. People can’t look inside a mattress to see what’s there or set light to it to see if it burns – they have to take on trust what they are told. The due diligence programme is a further check to try to ensure compliance beyond audit day. It’s gratifying to see members’ performing so much better than non-members, particularly on safety issues, but there is still work to be done,’ says Jessica Alexander, NBF executive director.