Half of all homes affected by unsafe products

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Faulty products continue to cause serious injury and harm to thousands of Australians, with more than 4.5 million items recalled by suppliers in the 2017-18 financial year.

New figures show at least 10 people a day are injured and require medical attention as a result of unsafe products, according to mandatory reports provided to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) by manufacturers and retailers.

“Ten injuries a day due to defective products is alarming, but we suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg as many more consumers don’t report injuries to the product suppliers at all,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Australians would be surprised to hear that it is not illegal to supply unsafe products in Australia, as it is in a range of places like the United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Malaysia and Brazil. We think consumers should be able to expect the products they purchase aren’t going to cause them an injury.

“The number of Australians being injured by unsafe products is far too high, and we encourage people to sign up to recalls information or follow us on social media so they can be alerted to any potential risks in their homes,” Ms Rickard said.

Recall notifications peaked significantly in the summer months, with products ranging from cars and caravans, to children’s toys and prams.

Around half of these notifications are referred to specialist safety regulators for assessment, like food, building products and hazardous chemicals.

Of the types of products the ACCC has sole responsibility for recalling, the highest represented categories included outdoor and camping products, kitchenware, furniture and items for babies and kids.

“Parents and people with young children are encouraged to be aware of recalls that may affect products they have in their home. But the high numbers of injuries across Australia indicate many people will be injured or know someone who has been injured by an unsafe product at some point during their lives,” Ms Rickard said.

“We strongly support the introduction of a General Safety Provision by the Australian Government, which is designed to stop unsafe goods from being sold in Australia.

“Consumers are encouraged to sign up to Product Safety Australia email alert to keep up to date with current recalls. When it comes to safety, you don’t want to take unnecessary risks.”

Key recalls for 2017/18:

Consumers can sign up for tailored email alerts on the products that are of interest to them and their families. Consumers can also report an unsafe product to the ACCC by completing a simple web form to help protect others from harm.

The Product Safety Australia website also provides consumers with safety education, lists the products that are managed by mandatory safety standards and explains which specialist agencies have responsibility for products that aren’t managed by the ACCC.

Have you ever been injured by an unsafe product in your home? What did you do about it?

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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 8
  1. 0

    Only half? I guess it depends on what you mean by “unsafe products”. I’m sure that EVERY home in OZ is full of dangerous products depending on how they are used.
    It never ceases to amaze me that importers are allowed to import all manner of goods with NO CHECK on the safety of such until a tragedy happens. Why are importers not forced to submit goods (a sample) for safety testing before sale in this country. Even Electrical goods slip in before being found to be unsafe. Just see how many goods are in the product recall system.

  2. 0

    Face towels, imported into Australia. It is really annoying that the product’s dye never stops running out when wet. What if such towels were impregnated with a bio-chemical, who would know until it’s too late?

    • 0

      “Australians would be surprised to hear that it is not illegal to supply unsafe products in Australia, as it is in a range of places like the United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Malaysia and Brazil.”

      What about Pakistan? China? Indonesia? Who checks them?

  3. 0

    You forgot to mention some of the people in them Ben. The things some people do never ceases to amaze me.

  4. 0

    Yes – but you shouldn’t expect it to protect you from inuring yourself with it…

  5. 0

    The Ink Station advert appearing in the middle of this gives one the impression that they supply dodgy goods. Such intrusive adverts do not benefit the supplier of such goods.

  6. 0

    So the ACCC says it is not illegal to supply unsafe products in Australia!
    Yet, they have been sitting on their hands, building lists of such products (creating employment for themselves!), but not insisting on having the laws changed? This is the same organisation (along with ASIC & APRA) which was asleep at the wheel as exposed in the RC against Banks / Fin Institutions.

    I note that they also say “We strongly support the introduction of a General Safety Provision by the Australian Government, which is designed to stop unsafe goods from being sold in Australia.” – Great, why is this not a stronger statement of a change to laws with severe penalties for those who don’t comply?
    After all, Prevention is better than cure, and the people expect the Govt and it’s appointed agencies to protect them – otherwise, why have them?

  7. 0

    Would it be fair to say most the products that consumers experience problems with have been imported? Now I wonder from whence said products came and why are consumers falling over themselves to buy up…..you’ve probably guessed it – price – and where nowadays are most these ‘must have’ items stocked, right again aren’t you – everywhere. If we continue to consume at the present rate then it’s only a matter of time before this wonderful country either sinks under the weight of all the crap OR (saints preserve us) the country from whence it came will beg us to recycle it back to them: the result of depleted raw materials. At least a safe return passage is guaranteed through the South China sea.



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