Web­site alerts us to un­safe prod­ucts

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Gwyn­neth Hay­wood

It’s now eas­ier to check whether your con­sumer goods are safe thanks to the new Prod­uct Safety Aus­tralia web­site prod­uct­safe ty.gov.au.

There were 670 re­calls across the coun­try in the past fi­nan­cial year com­pared to 596 in the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year.

The top five cat­e­gories of re­called prod­ucts were:

Cars (182 re­calls in 2015-16 com­pared to 169 in 2014-15).

Food and gro­ceries (123 re­calls in 2015-16 com­pared to 71 in 2014-15).

Elec­tri­cal and gas (80 re­calls in 2015-16 com­pared to 104 in 201415).

Hob­bies, sport­ing and re­cre­ation (79 re­calls in 2015-16 com­pared to 44 in 2014-15).

Chil­dren’s prod­ucts (75 re­calls in 2015-16 com­pared to 78 in 2014-15).

Act quickly to re­move potentially harm­ful prod­ucts from your prop­erty if they have been re­called.

Busi­nesses can also use this help­ful tool to en­sure un­safe prod­ucts are re­moved from shelves.

As well as look­ing at the types of prod­ucts sub­ject to re­calls, the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion has also been ex­plor­ing what fac­tors may in­flu­ence re­call suc­cess.

The ma­jor find­ings were re­call rates were in­flu­enced most by: Price point. The avail­abil­ity of a cus­tomer list so sup­pli­ers can con­tact af­fected con­sumers. The life­span of a prod­uct. Con­sumer per­cep­tion of the risk and haz­ard of the prod­uct.

The first six to eight weeks of a re­call cam­paign are the most im­por­tant time be­cause that is when more than 80 per cent of all prod­ucts likely to come back, are re­turned.

The ACCC con­ducted a con­sumer sur­vey to de­ter­mine if there was a spe­cific price point at which cus­tomers would be mo­ti­vated to re­turn re­called prod­ucts.

The re­sults sug­gest 70 per cent of peo­ple will take back a re­called item that cost $25 or more.

Buy­ing and us­ing prod­ucts wisely is an im­por­tant part of self-pro­tec­tion and the ad­vice on the Prod­uct Safety Aus­tralia web­site pro­vides con­sumers with safety ed­u­ca­tion as well as list­ing the prod­ucts that are man­aged by manda­tory safety stan­dards.

The site also ex­plains which spe­cial­ist agen­cies have re­spon­si­bil­ity for prod­ucts that aren’t man­aged by the ACCC.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the web­site gives peo­ple the op­tion to sign up for email alerts on the lat­est re­called prod­ucts and even tai­lor the alerts by choos­ing prod­ucts that in­ter­est you.

Con­sumers can re­port un­safe prod­ucts to the ACCC by com­plet­ing a sim­ple web form.

This re­port­ing could help pro­tect oth­ers from harm.

Al­ter­na­tively, you have the op­tion of alert­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion WA about potentially un­safe prod­ucts for sale in WA by email­ing con­sumer@com­merce.wa.gov.au or call­ing 1300 30 40 54.

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