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  • Writer's pictureArida Lawyers

Avoiding Pitfalls: Navigating Product Safety Laws as an Australian Business

Updated: May 12, 2023

Strict regulations dictate the safety standards for products supplied and sold by businesses in Australia. Such regulations exist to safeguard consumers and enforce accountability for businesses.

As a business, adherence to relevant safety legislation and regulations is paramount to mitigate substantial losses and protect your client's welfare. This is applicable whether you provide consumer goods or related services such as repair or assembly of consumer goods.

Here are some potential repercussions of neglecting your responsibilities concerning product safety:

  • Compensation claims from an injured client or their family, covering losses due to injuries, illness, or death, or damages to other items (e.g., machinery) resulting from a safety defect.

  • Reputational damage, logistical issues, and time consumption arising from a product ban or recall notice.

  • Significant penalties under Australian Consumer Law for non-compliance.

  • Penalties for not communicating the requisite information to the relevant authority. For instance, not informing the relevant authority about a product recall, product-related injuries, deaths, or illnesses in a timely manner.

Which Mandatory Safety Standards Apply to My Product?

Australia's mandatory safety standards vary depending on the classification of a specific product or service. For each product, you'll need to consider its manufacture and design, its composition, any mandatory tests required for its sale, and whether it's necessary to provide a disclaimer or instructions alongside the product. A particular standard may also outline how the goods should be supplied and the qualifications the supplier must possess.

To determine if you're meeting your product safety obligations, it's important to understand what constitutes 'reasonably foreseeable use' for your product. Keep in mind that even misuse can be reasonably foreseeable.

How Can I Protect My Business Against a Compensation Claim Stemming from a Faulty Product?

If a business has taken certain precautions, marketed its goods lawfully, and included necessary disclaimers, it is less likely to face a successful compensation claim or penalty. Notably, some of the following defences will be available:

  • The defect didn't exist or was reasonably discoverable at the time of the supply;

  • The defect was caused by another linked product; or

  • The defect occurred due to compliance with a mandatory standard.

If you need assistance mitigating your risk or legal representation to address a consumer’s claim relating to the supply of an unsafe product, contact Arida Lawyers at 1300 146 390 or

This article provides general information relevant to our expert services. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you are seeking legal advice, you should contact us for a free initial consultation.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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