NSW: Stores Fined for Poor Toy Safety

Four Sydney stores have been fined more than $ 17,300 by the Fair Trading Commission for repeatedly selling toys and accessories that could harm children.

NSW Fair Trading commenced a crackdown on toy safety late last year.

All four stores had previously breached safety standards on previous occasions.

‘What is concerning is that those stores we have prosecuted have been recidivists,’ Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe told AAP.

‘I have told (prosecutors) that I wanted to take the fullest possible measures in respect of these retailers.’

One shop incurred a $ 4000 fine after it sold toy rattles that could lodge in a child’s throat.

The owners have come to Fair Trading’s attention for breaching safety standards four times since 2003 for selling such things as projectile toys and novelty mini cutters.

Another store was fined $ 5437 for selling a dangerous toy seal in its sixth breach of safety standards.

A further shop clocked up its fourth breach, copping a $ 5021 fine for selling a dangerous teether and rattle set.

A discount chain was also fined for selling a faulty child’s xylophone toy, with Mr Stowe saying the chain had previously been given four warnings for selling items like a banned candle holder and a non-compliant baby dummy.

Mr Stowe warned parents that bargain stores were among the worst offenders when it came to toy safety.

‘Parents, you need to be vigilant,’ he said.

‘I don’t think we would say never shop there (at discount stores)’ but we would say be aware’.’

The fines mark the Fair Trading department’s first suite of prosecutions under the new Australian Consumer Law and Mr Stowe warned store bosses could no longer consider themselves safe from prosecution.

‘I am particularly concerned when standards to protect children are breached,’ he said.

The discount store said it had been fined $ 1600 for a labelling error on a product which the company stopped selling 12 months ago.

The product, which was stocked between November 2010 and May 2011, was ‘immediately withdrawn from sale after the product was identified as being incorrectly labelled,’ the shop said in a statement.

‘We place the highest priority on ensuring our products are compliant with all standards and are safe to use,’ managing director Chris Bryce said.

OHS News

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