The Minister for Small Business, the Hon Michael McCormack, has announced a new mandatory safety standard under the Australian Consumer Law, updated to ensure consumers are fully informed about using elastic luggage straps safely.
The ACCC reviewed the safety warning required for elastic luggage straps. It found the warning did not fully inform users about what to do to avoid being injured and the seriousness of the injuries when elastic luggage straps are not used safely. The ACCC tested a new warning and found a high level of understanding of the warning’s safety message among consumers surveyed.
While injuries have reduced markedly since the standard was first introduced in 1989, there are around 30 Australians a year still admitted to hospital with preventable eye injuries. Some of them will be permanently blinded.
The ACCC recommended the Minister make a new safety standard after consultation with suppliers and safety experts. The warning label wording has been amended to read ‘WARNING. Rebounding hooks cause blindness. Place hooks with care. Keep face and body out of rebound path. DO NOT overstretch. DO NOT use when strap has visible signs of wear or damage.’
This mandatory standard currently includes a transition period to assist with the changeover to the new mandatory standard.
Details about the standard
The standard will reduce the risk of users of elastic luggage straps not being sufficiently informed of the dangers and how to avoid them, lessening the risk of injury or death to consumers.
The standard covers products commonly known as octopus or ‘occy’ straps or bungee cords which are generally used for securing luggage or cargo.
Up to 30 June 2019, suppliers have the option to comply with the requirements from either Consumer Goods (Elastic luggage straps) Safety Standard 2017 or Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standards) Regulations 1979 - Elastic luggage straps.
From 1 July 2019 suppliers must only comply with the requirements in Consumer Goods (Elastic luggage straps) Safety Standard 2017.
Retailers and suppliers can find information about the new safety standard requirements and what they should do on the the Product Safety Australia website.
The safety standard is registered on the Federal Register of Legislation as Consumer Goods (Elastic luggage straps) Safety Standard 2017.