4 June 2009

New Safety Standard for Treadmills

The Consumer Affairs Minister Chris Bowen MP has today declared a new mandatory safety standard for treadmills.

This follows the identification by Australia’s consumer regulators of a significant hazard for young children with treadmills that can and has resulted in them suffering severe friction burns.

The new safety standard takes full effect from 1 December 2009 and follows a statutory warning that was issued by the Consumer Affairs Minister last November.

“The new mandatory safety standard will see all treadmills sold in Australia carrying a prominent label warning users of the need to keep young children away from the machine,” Mr Bowen said.

“Over the last three years more than 100 serious accidents linked to treadmills have occurred in Australian homes.

“The evidence from the consumer regulators and state-based injury data is that there have been an increasing number of small children suffering from severe friction burns when coming into contact with the moving parts of a treadmill.

“The label is no replacement for the responsibility of parents and guardians to keep young children away from treadmills – the risk of severe burns is very real.

“While the label provides an ongoing message to users of treadmills about the risk of injury to young children, suppliers now have a reasonable amount of time to ensure their products comply with the standard’s requirements.”

The development of this safety standard follows consultation that was undertaken by the ACCC with other consumer regulators, industry, and other stakeholders.

A Safety Alert brochure on treadmills has been published by the ACCC, to help treadmill users prevent injuries to children. It is available from the ACCC’s website.

4 June 2009