You have the right to expect that the products you purchase will be safe and that the instructions provided with goods are accurate and easy to understand.
As a consumer, you have a responsibility to ensure that the products you purchase are used safely. You also play an important role in purchasing products that are safe. For example, you should:
- buy products that are appropriate for the user - eg toys with small parts are not appropriate for children up to and including 36 months of age
- respond to product safety recall notices
- read and follow instructions
- use products for their intended purpose only
- ask the supplier if the product meets an Australian or international safety standard
- use appropriate protective gear
- consider the environment in which the product is being used and the possible effects on others - eg young children should be kept away from exercise equipment that could harm them
- check the ongoing condition of the product
- take immediate action on safety problems by contacting the supplier or appropriate agency.
Safety warnings latest news - Consumer and Business Services
Bans can be placed on consumer goods or product-related services if there is a risk that they may cause serious injury, illness or death.
When a safety problem with a consumer product is identified, suppliers or government regulators may determine that the product needs to be recalled. A product recall is:
- the permanent removal of a good or a component of a good from supply or use, by return to the supplier
- the temporary removal of a good, or a component of a good, from supply or use for the purpose of bringing the good or component into conformance with a relevant safety standard or to make it safe.
For up-to-date information about product safety recalls directed at consumers in Australia, go to Product Safety Recalls Australia.
Supplier and manufacturer responsibilities
Product suppliers and manufacturers have an obligation to ensure that only safe products are marketed. They should:
- provide clear instructions for proper use (this includes warnings against possible misuses)
- be aware of, and meet, industry and mandatory safety standards
- develop product recall plans and procedures, including effective communication strategies to the public (eg advertisements in papers)
- incorporate safety into product design
- develop appropriate safety standards through product improvement
- implement a quality assurance program which includes consumer feedback
- respond quickly to safety concerns that arise.
Governments play a role in setting and implementing regulatory frameworks that encourage markets to deliver safe products to consumers. Governments can intervene where there is evidence of actual or potential product safety problems. They do this where intervention is justified in terms of costs and benefits to consumers and suppliers. Governments contribute to safety outcomes by:
- establishing and ensuring compliance with mandatory safety standards for specific consumer products
- promoting consumer awareness of particular product hazards
- promoting good product safety management practices to suppliers
- negotiating solutions between consumers and suppliers
- encouraging research to improve the safety of products.
If you have a concern about a product you have bought or used, contact the Product Safety Unit in Consumer and Business Services:
Phone - 131 882
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org