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Best practice guide for Australian suppliers

Toppling furniture and televisions can cause serious injuries and deaths. Australian suppliers now have a new resource to help prevent furniture and TV tip-overs.

Furniture tip-over prevention guide

A new guide for businesses making and selling furniture and televisions has been released today by Australia’s National Retail Association. The Best Practice Guide for Furniture and Television Tip-over Prevention is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of this issue.

Best practice for tip-over prevention includes designing stable furniture, providing anchors and educating consumers at point of purchase.

Writing the guide

To write the guide I chaired a working group of leading furniture retailers. My involvement followed work I did in 2015, as explained in my earlier blog article: Furniture Tip-overs – Safety strategy. It is great to have support of the National Retail Association which is showing leadership in product safety.

When we started the project we all had some understanding of the issues, but were surprised how many elements there were to doing it effectively.

Implementation

Stakeholders now have detailed information and benchmarks for making and selling safer furniture. For example:

  • Furniture designers can improve stability of their units and incorporate anchor devices into product design
  • Manufacturers can attach anchor devices and provide effective instructions and warning stickers
  • Importers can ensure their products meet these benchmarks
  • Retailers can choose to purchase only compliant products and help to educate customers at the time of purchase

All suppliers can now use the guide’s action plan to implement the safety measures. The Australian Furniture Association and Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association (for TVs) support the NRA’s initiative.

The 40-page best practice guide is available from the NRA website at no cost.

Workshops are being scheduled to help with implementation. See: Workshops on furniture tip-over prevention best practice.

Furniture anchor

Chest of drawers with anchor designed into the back

Government campaign

Consumer affairs agencies are also implementing a consumer education campaign across Australia. Awareness raising material will be distributed through a range of child safety and community organisations.

See the NSW government media release and Product Safety Australia web page.

This work is complemented by a video on the Product Safety Australia website and YouTube: