Unsafe products are present in approximately half of the country’s households, according to new figures from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Suppliers recalled more than 4.5 million faulty items in the 2017-18 financial year, with at least 10 people every day requiring medical attention due to injuries from defective goods.
The ACCC compiled the information from mandatory reports that suppliers and manufacturers provide to the organisation. The biggest product recalls of last year included Takata airbags, Infinity electrical cabling and certain Samsung washing machines.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said the number of injuries reported every day is alarming, but the true figure will be much higher because many people fail to inform suppliers when they are hurt by a product.
“We think consumers should be able to expect the products they purchase aren’t going to cause them an injury,” she added.
Supplying unsafe products is illegal in the United Kingdom, the European Union, Malaysia, Brazil and Canada, among other nations.
Unfortunately, Australia doesn’t have the same legal protections for consumers, although the federal government is currently considering introducing a general safety provision. This would place harsher restrictions and penalties on businesses that sell unsafe products.
“The number of Australians being injured by unsafe products is far too high, and we encourage people to sign up to recalls information or follow us on social media so they can be alerted to any potential risks in their homes,” Ms Rickard explained.
Parents of young children should be particularly careful of product recalls, given the high number of toddler injuries and deaths caused by toppling furniture and other hazards.
Anyone who sustains injuries due to defective products could be entitled to compensation under the country’s liability laws. Specifically, the Australian Consumer Law offers individuals a chance to seek damages for a range of economic and non-economic losses.
However, claimants typically only have three years from the date of their injuries in which to commence legal action. You should therefore contact an experienced product liability lawyer in your area as soon as possible after sustaining injuries from faulty products.
Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers provides comprehensive no-win, no-fee services to help you receive justice when you are hurt due to someone else’s negligence.