Last Updated on December 13, 2019
Ensuring the safety of customers is one of the most important factors of running a business. Consumer products supplied to the market must be safe and meet consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law. Unfortunately, every so often, a product that is unsafe accidentally finds its way into the market.
This is where consumer protection comes into play. Today, we have a look at how customers are protected against dangerous products, so read on to find out more!
Without a doubt, a product recall is one of the biggest safeguards against dangerous products. Should an unsafe product finds its way to a consumer, the product may need to be recalled. There are many product safety recall management services that exist for the sole purpose of ensuring that consumers are protected against dangerous products.
When a product is recalled, it is required by law that suppliers notify the minister responsible for competition and policy within two days. Depending on what kind of product is being recalled, it may also be required that a supplier notifies a specialist Commonwealth regulator of the recall.
Under the Australian Consumer Law, suppliers are required to report any deaths, serious injury or illness caused by their product or service. All participants in the supply chain of those consumer goods are also required to comply with this reporting requirement. This may include dealers, distributors, installers, retailers, manufacturers and importers or exporters.
Reports are to be submitted within 2 days of the incident and failing to do so may result in harsh penalties or even a closure of the business.
Product Safety Regulation
Under Australian Consumer Law, in a bid to protect consumers against dangerous products, ministers can regular consumer goods and product-related services by issuing safety warning notices. This will be available to the public in order to let consumers know if a product they have purchased may be suspected as being unsafe or unfit for consumption. These safety warnings will be shown on the news, in newspapers, on daily television, and on social media in order to reach as many people as possible.
Products can also be banned on a temporary or permanent basis based on individual situations and a compulsory recall issue can be required before a product can be safely sold in Australia.
Consumer guarantees exist to give consumers the right to a full refund if a product is deemed unsafe. If businesses don’t comply with the consumer guarantee, customers will have the full legal right to take action against the business. This can be the case even if the problem with the good was caused by the manufacturer and not the business.
Consumers can also seek compensation for any loss, injury or damage incurred because of an unsafe product that they have purchased. Businesses can avoid this from happening by ensuring that they comply with their consumer guarantee.
Last but certainly not least, let’s look at product liability. In most cases, importers and manufacturers of a product are liable. However, if a business or retailer fails to identify the manufacturer or supplier, they may be deemed liable.
Suppliers have the responsibility of ensuring that they conduct a regular review of their products, test to see if products are of standard and provide clear and thorough instructions to consumers. Failing to do so could result in hefty fines, business closure and action taken against the business by the consumer.
We hope that this article has given you some insight into the laws that exist to ensure the health and safety of consumers in Australia against dangerous products.