Product safety for business
A business must ensure their products meet acceptable levels of safety and will not cause harm when used as intended. Products must meet the requirements of relevant mandatory standards and bans. New and existing products are monitored by state and territory regulators, who can conduct investigations and remove products from sale.
Product Safety in Australia
Product Safety laws are consistent across the country. A national 'one-stop-shop' Product Safety Australia website gives consumers and businesses access to standards, recalls, bans and other helpful information. Products covered include:
- Chemicals in consumer products: Bisphenol A (BPA), lead paint, etc.
- Clothing & accessories: care labelling, sunglasses, tongue studs, etc.
- Furniture: bean bags, bunk beds, novelty furniture, etc.
- Hardware & building materials: fire extinguishers, ladders, insulation, etc.
- Health & cosmetics: contact lenses, toothpaste, etc.
- Home wares: candles, hot water bottles, knives, etc.
- Infant & nursery: bath aids, carriers, dummies, prams, etc.
- Novelties: inflatable toys, cigarettes, lanterns, yo-yo water balls, etc.
- Spas & swimming pools: skimmer boxes, filters, outlets and covers
- Sports & recreation: basketball hoops, helmets, soccer goals, trampolines, etc.
- Tobacco & smoking accessories: disposable lighters, product labelling, etc.
- Toys: baby toys, balloons, cubby houses & tents, flotation & aquatic toys
- Vehicle accessories: car restraints; tinted headlight covers, jacks, mobility scooters, etc.
- Window furnishings: blind and curtain cords
Product Safety in WA
The Western Australian product safety unit provides advice and information to businesses and consumers on product safety. It also monitors the market to ensure unsafe products are detected and, where necessary, removed from the marketplace.
The unit does not regulate all products sold in Western Australia. Various other Government agencies also have a role in regulating certain products or industries.
Investigations of potentially dangerous products generally involves research and consultation with a variety of stakeholders. Investigations include gathering information about the product and any existing regulations, testing products, liaising with retailers, distributors and manufacturers, and discussing matters with advisory bodies. Investigations may result in prosecutions or infringement notices being issued if traders are found to have acted in breach of product safety laws.
Australian Product Safety Pledge for online businesses
The Australian Product Safety Pledge (the pledge) is a voluntary ACCC initiative which aims to protect Australian consumers from safety risks when shopping online by strengthening product safety measures across online businesses. It was modelled on a similar initiative in the European Union that has been successful in removing dangerous products from e-commerce businesses.
The ACCC encourages online businesses that facilitate the supply of products to Australian consumers to adopt the pledge, which outlines good practice approaches expected of industry.
Online businesses that are interested in taking the pledge to strengthen their product safety policies are encouraged to visit the Product Safety Australia website for more information.
For advice contact the product safety unit by email or call 1300 304 054.
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