Sadly, there have been at least 28 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.
Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS)
This week, the ACCC consultation sought feedback on proposed regulatory options to help reduce the risk of death and injury associated with toppling furniture, balanced with its effectiveness and appropriate cost/benefit.
The NRA Product Safety Committee has been a leader in this space for many years, having developed the only Industry Best Practice Guide for Furniture and Television Tip-Over Prevention in 2017.
The Guide aims to assist industry partners understand and mitigate critical safety hazards and focuses on:
- Product design: built-in stability with consideration of weight distribution, footprint and use
- Anchoring: device or kit provided or pre-installed to anchor products to a wall or other structure
- Consumer education: Ensure customers are able to make an informed decision and understand how to mitigate risk at home
NRA RIS response
The working group contributed their time and industry expertise to deliver an extensive research program and RIS response on behalf of industry. The NRA supports a mandatory safety standard and a mandatory information standard as it achieves substantial improvement to consumer safety without imposing undue costs.
- Permanent and durable warning label affixed to the furniture
- Safety information in assembly instructions highlighting risks and prevention measures
- Provision of warnings about toppling hazards in-store (e.g. placard)
- A suitably designed and tested anchor device supplied or integrated into the design
The NRA has also advocated for longer transition periods, taking into consideration the typical timelines for furniture supply and sale, product development and production, and unprecedented supply chain disruptions.
If you are interested in finding out more about furniture and television tip-over safety, consult the Industry Best Practice Guide or contact the National Retail Association at [email protected].
About the NRA Product Safety Committee
The NRA Product Safety Committee brings together quality assurance and product compliance specialists from multiple retail categories to discuss challenges and solutions in terms of product safety and compliance.
Other industry guides include: