New Toppling Furniture Laws Introduced

Furniture suppliers will be required to provide safety warnings to consumers about the dangers of toppling furniture hazards, after the Assistant Treasurer, the Hon. Stephen Jones, made a new information standard for toppling furniture.

Since 2000, 28 people, including 17 children under five, have died in Australia from toppling furniture, and each year more than 900 Australians suffer injuries requiring medical assistance from toppling furniture. Children aged up to 4 years are most at risk, with older Australians also vulnerable.

Furniture, such as chests of drawers, wardrobes, bookshelves, TV units or other tall items, which are not properly secured, can topple over when young children attempt to climb on, or pull themselves up on, those items of furniture.

The toppling furniture information standard was made by the Assistant Treasurer on 3 May 2024, following a recommendation by the ACCC.

The standard requires suppliers to provide safety warnings and advice about how to reduce toppling furniture incidents to consumers before, during and after purchasing furniture.

“A mandatory information standard is a critical step towards reducing the injuries and deaths involving toppling furniture,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.   

“We know that young children and the elderly are most at risk of toppling furniture injuries, and the most common cause of death is head and crush injuries and asphyxiation.”

“The new information standard will help increase awareness about toppling furniture risks, including by warning consumers to securely anchor furniture to prevent furniture tip overs,” Mr Keogh said.

The toppling furniture information standard will require suppliers to:

  • attach a permanent warning label to furniture;
  • include safety information and advice about anchoring furniture in manuals and assembly instructions; and
  • provide warnings about the hazards of toppling furniture in furniture stores and online.

The standard will apply to chests of drawers, wardrobes, bookcases, hall tables, display cabinets, buffets and sideboards with a height of 686mm or more, and entertainment units of any height.

Suppliers will have a 12-month transition period to implement the new information and labelling requirements.

Above is the ACCC media release (7/05/2024) on the new standard on toppling furniture safety. For more information for consumers, suppliers, or more background to this decision, please see the original article here (