Retailer Clark Rubber has issued a national recall of a pool fence product after the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) found serious problems with its safety.
Despite its name, the Be Safe Pool Fence's gate system failed a number of quality tests. The QBCC claimed the most serious breach of standards related to the lock mechanism, which doesn't self-latch as required. There are also gaps in the fence that allow children to reach through and unlatch the gate themselves, negating one of the product's main purposes of preventing kids from falling into swimming pools.
Clark Rubber announced it would rescind the products nationwide after Queensland Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni announced a mandatory recall in the state. The company had originally refused a request from the QBCC to voluntarily recall the pool fences.
"This is an accident waiting to happen, and I'm pleased the QBCC acted swiftly to investigate and advise me of the issue. Ensuring the safety of our community is my number one priority," Mr de Brenni stated.
His comments came after the QBCC launched a pool safety and compliance initiative in January. Bret Bassett, the organisation's commissioner, said the measures would help to prevent drowning deaths, particularly among children.
"Speaking as a father, I know how important it is to keep pool safety front of mind, especially during the warmer months when we're spending more time in the water," Mr Bassett stated.
Swimming pools accounted for 45 per cent of drowning deaths among children aged up to four in Australia in 2016-17, according to the latest figures from Royal Life Saving.
Consumer advocacy group Choice warned of the hazards that Be Safe Pool Fences posed in January, following a public complaint.
Four-year-old Curtis Modrow was able to reach through the fence and unlock the gate latch before a family member spotted the danger and intervened. At the time, Clark Rubber described this as an "isolated incident" and placed the $2,000 product back on the shelves after an internal investigation.
Nevertheless, Australians are protected against shoddily manufactured products. People who suffer injuries due to faulty goods may be entitled to claim compensation under civil liability laws.
States and territories typically have different legislation governing product liability claims, so please contact an expert at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers today to learn if you are eligible for damages.