The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today issued a new Safety Alert on treadmills, aimed at helping treadmill users prevent injuries to children.
The Safety Alert follows a recent report by the New South Wales Product Safety Committee that found there was an urgent need to alert and educate users of treadmills about the hazards treadmills present to children.
The Safety Alert notes that over the past three years, more than 100 serious accidents associated with treadmills have occurred in Australian homes.
"Most serious injuries occur when children try to touch or climb on a treadmill while it is being used," ACCC Deputy Chair, Mr Peter Kell, said. "The best way to prevent injury is to use your fitness machine in an area that is not accessible to a young child.
"Serious friction burns can occur extremely quickly when small hands or fingers become trapped against moving parts - by the time the treadmill user can react, it's too late!"
The Safety Alert, which will be available in hard copy or from the ACCC's website, www.accc.gov.au, warns treadmill users to always keep young children away from fitness machines. It supplements other safety alert brochures published by the ACCC on goods which have proven dangerous to vulnerable members of the community, such as children and the elderly.
"The ACCC is working with State and Territory consumer protection agencies to publicise the dangers of treadmills to small children.
"It is also consulting industry and other stakeholders on a proposal to introduce mandatory warning labels on treadmills," Mr Kell said.
"The ACCC is developing a Regulation Impact Statement for a new mandatory safety standard which will require treadmills to carry a warning label alerting users to potential hazards."
Federal Consumer Affairs Minister, Mr Chris Bowen, has also issued a consumer warning under section 65B of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
For media inquiries to the ACCC Deputy Chair, Mr Peter Kell, please call Ms Lin Enright, ACCC Media, on (02) 6243 1108 or 0414 613 520.
For general inquiries, please call the Infocentre: 1300 302 502.
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