Consumer Affairs warning on dangerous toys

Authorities have crushed thousands of unsafe items including toys and baby goods seized from Geelong businesses, and warned operators to put product safety first.

Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz joined Member for Geelong Christine Couzens for crushing of more than 2500 banned or unsafe products seized from businesses in the region since 2010.

Children’s toys made up the bulk of the products and included projectiles with potential to cause serious eye injuries, water toys posing drowning risk and battery operated toys with potential choking hazard.

Unsafe cots, children's nightwear, portable swimming pools and a monkey bike are also among items destroyed.

Consumer Affairs Victoria inspectors monitor for any products that breach Australia’s strict mandatory safety standards, and educate traders about their responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law.

Suppliers failing to comply with a mandatory safety standard can face fines up to $220,000 for individuals and $1.1 million for a body corporate.

Throughout 2016, Consumer Affairs Victoria inspectors in the Barwon South West region conducted 146 inspections and seized more than 300 non-compliant products.

Across Victoria, over 1000 targeted inspections were carried out in 200 towns and suburbs, with 11,000 children’s products among almost 70,000 items seized.

Ms Kairouz said businesses were on notice.

Ms Couzens said mandatory safety standards needed to be observed.

“Between 2009 and 2016, more than 130 children were treated at emergency departments in the Barwon South West region for injuries caused by toys,” Ms Couzens said.

People with concerns about product safety issues can contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 36 48 94 or visit consumer.vic.gov.au

Source: Victorian Government media release