Product safety general petition

Join the campaign for safer products

The products we buy should be safe, but right now our laws don’t require that all companies have to sell safe products.

In July, CHOICE released safety test results for cots and strollers showing that alarming numbers fail key safety tests. See the full list of failed products here.

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.

Add your name to show support for a new product safety law.

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.

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

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).

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 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.