Illustrations of dangerous products and safety warnings.
 
 
 
 
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Tell Treasury you support safe products

The products we buy should be safe.

 

CHOICE is making a formal submission, calling for changes to make our product safety law fit for purpose. Add your name to tell Treasury that businesses should have to make sure the things they sell in Australia are safe.

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Demand safe products

We should be able to trust that the things we buy wont hurt us or people we care about. But right now, there is no law that says companies must sell safe products.

This is unbelivable. With dangerous cots and strollers, exploding Thermomixes and deadly Takata airbags all making headlines and injuring Australians, it’s clear we need stronger product safety laws in Australia.

Across the world, governments are stepping up to hold businesses to account and stop the flood of unsafe products. The UK, EU and Canada all include a requirement in their laws that products be safe. If they’re not, businesses can be hit with big fines.

CHOICE stroller and cot research

In July, CHOICE released safety test results for cots and strollers showing that alarming numbers fail key safety tests.

The sheer volume of these failures and the fact that almost all of these products are still being sold shows that even for the most strictly regulated products, enforcement of safety standards isn’t strong enough to keep Australians safe.

We deserve to have trust in the things we buy. They shouldn’t hurt us or our loved ones

FAQs

Despite having certification to say they pass legal requirements, a large number of the products we tested consistently fail to meet the mandatory standard, the voluntary standard, or both:

  • Portable cots (60 tested from 2011–2018): 98% or 59 failed
  • Strollers (129 tested from 2012–2018): 91% or 118 failed
  • Cots (139 tested from 2012–2017): 68% or 94 failed

Some of these tested products carry risks of strangulation, suffocation or finger, limb, neck and head entrapment, while others may allow a baby to fall out onto the ground or pierce their skin on sharp protruding edges.

The failures are categorised as:

  • very minor (for example, warning labels not present)
  • minor (for example, sharp edges, finger entrapment hazards)
  • serious (for example, suffocation or strangulation hazards).

We want a new law for safe products. This will be a simple, clear law that says if you’re a business who sells a product in Australia, it must be safe. If the law is breached, it should attract a hefty fine.

It will encourage businesses to think about the safety of their products earlier – with the threat of being hit with big fines if they don’t.

Under the current law, businesses tend to react to product safety problems. We want them to actively try to prevent them. We see individuals fight for remedies after a product injures them, or a business may launch a voluntary recall months or years after becoming aware of a safety risk. This isn’t good enough – we want safer markets.

This new law will give businesses a better incentive to make sure their products are safe before they start selling them.

Treasury is about to start consulting on options for improving our product safety law, including the introduction of a new requirement that products be safe in order to be sold. We need to show the government that this is something the Australian public wants, and will fight for.

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