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AMA calls for consumer safeguards for toppling furniture

The AMA’s submission to the ACCC’s safety review into toppling furniture for more consumer safety information to guard against death and injury.

The AMA supports mandatory safety and consumer information standards to address deaths of young children from toppling furniture.

The AMA’s submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Toppling Furniture Safety Review notes that at least 28 deaths have been associated with toppling furniture since 2000 with an average of 900 injuries a year.

“Children under five years of age are identified as being most at risk along with a higher prevalence of accident and injury experienced by older people. These incidents are entirely preventable and the AMA supports the ACCC consideration of additional measures to protect consumer safety,” the AMA submission says.

The AMA supports the introduction of a range of regulatory and information measures to prevent furniture toppling. These include:

  • permanent warning labelling affixed to furniture
  • safety information in assembling instructions
  • in-store warnings regarding toppling hazards
  • provision of warnings about toppling hazards online
  • an anchor device supplied or integrated into the design
  • meet minimum stability requirements.

“While we support the above measures, we note that these can only be applied at a point of sale where new products are purchased,” says the submission.

“The AMA suggests that further consideration also must be given to how to reach consumers with non-affixed, non-anchored furniture at home to ensure that the safety information is distributed broadly and beyond those who are purchasing new furniture.”

This would also consider including sellers of second-hand furniture and online trading places, such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree.

The AMA has joined with other peak health and welfare groups calling on the new government to establish a Child Health Taskforce to identify priorities for child health and social determinants.

This call to action seeks a partnership with government to tackle some of the most complex intersectional issues impacting child health, including climate change, mental health, food security and poverty.

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