CFA supports mandatory safety and information standards for toppling furniture

Consumers’ Federation of Australia has made a submission to the ACCC consultation paper, Toppling Furniture Consultation Paper – Assessment of Regulatory Options.

The CFA strongly supports the proposal to enact mandatory safety and information standards to address product safety associated with toppling furniture. The move towards a more holistic approach to prevent, in the main, childhood injuries associated with unstable furniture is a model adopted for all further product safety initiatives. Voluntary actions to deal with the dangers associated with toppling furniture have not had the desired outcome and government intervention is required.

CFA’s submission notes that there are inadequate voluntary worldwide standards to prevent harm and notes that Australian Standards is reviewing its existing standard which could then be made mandatory. The submission also suggests that there needs to be consumer-testing of any information standards to ensure that it has an impact in the real-world, noting disclosure and warnings can be less effective than expected, or even ineffective, in influencing consumer behaviour.

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