Sadly, there have been at least 27 deaths in Australia from toppling furniture and televisions since 2000. Most deaths involved the toppling of storage furniture such as chests of drawers, televisions, and the furniture that televisions are placed on.
While many Australian retailers have been proactive in improving safety practices, the National Retail Association (NRA) welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recognising toppling furniture as a Product Safety Priority this year.
Industry-led best practice
The NRA has been a leader in developing strategies and guidance material for technical standards and product safety for many years. In 2016, the NRA Technical Standards Committee, consisting of quality assurance and product compliance specialists from multiple peak retailers, developed a Best Practice Guide for Furniture and Television Tip-Over Prevention. The Guide includes:
- detailed design recommendations to increase stability,
- recommendations for the supply of appropriate anchoring kits to secure items, and
- ways to provide safety guidance to consumers.
The Guide was integral in the development of the ACCC’s two-year National Strategy for Toppling Furniture and Televisions.Download the guide
ACCC seeking input
This week, the ACCC has published an Issues Paper on Toppling Furniture and Televisions seeking feedback from industry and stakeholders about the safety hazards posed by the common household objects.
Submissions to the Issues Paper will help the ACCC to assess the factors affecting safety and possible risk controls, including:
- safety standards
- information standards
- interim or permanent bans on particular types of furniture or television
- compulsory recalls
- education and awareness campaigns
The NRA particularly hopes that ACCC strategies will focus on improving overall product safety by addressing “at risk” products and markets, whilst supporting the positive proactive initiatives already implemented by many Australian retailers.
Make a submission
- Download the ACCC Issues Paper >
- Consultation closes 30 August 2021.
- NRA members can contact the Policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute to the NRA’s submission.
About this topic
The NRA Technical Standards Committee (NRA-TSC) brings together quality assurance and product compliance specialists from multiple retail categories to discuss challenges and solutions in terms of product safety and compliance.
Retailer guides developed by the NRA-TSC include:
- Children’s Apparel Product Safety Guidelines
- Industry Code for Consumer Goods that contain Button Batteries