Who is affected?
Australian businesses involved in the supply of window coverings [importers, distributors, retailers, and installers], consumers and government are affected. In the context of blind and curtain installations, consumers are any person or business that owns, rents or leases a residential or commercial property.
“Although the Regulations only apply to corded curtains and blinds installed after 1st July, 2011, effectively the intent of the regulations applies to all existing corded curtains and blinds as well, by virtue of Section 185 of the RTRA Act ,…….. the onus on Owners and Agents to ensure their rental property is safe and fit to live in”.
DON’T RISK LIVES: Insurance policies don’t cover you for negligence
Insurance policies do vary, however most have an exclusion clause that means that the insurance company may not have to pay out where the Owner breaks the law or has been advised that there is an issue and elects not to act to rectify the issue or harm. The question of legal liability aside, who would willing want to risk the life of a child and subsequent knowledge that a death or tragedy could have been avoided if prior action was taken by simply addressing the issue.
Contact Safety Watch Australia on 3890 7286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this added service to assist with your Risk Management today.
A few facts to consider….
Suggested wording to send to your owners who do NOT complete corded window furnishing inspections:
CORDED WINDOW COVERINGS * New Laws that affect all Lessors * The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) identified a major hazard with loop cord systems as children face a risk of strangulation. The ACCC places a conservative estimate of the number of children dying of such a cause in Australia since 1990 at 15. As a result, the ACCC issued Mandatory Standards that regulates corded internal window coverings. This is known as Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standard – Corded Internal Window Coverings) Regulations 2010.
The Regulations apply nationally and specify the Mandatory Safety Standards in the design, construction and labelling of corded window furnishings. From 1 July 2011 all suppliers, which includes Landlords, must comply with the Mandatory Safety Standards in relation to any corded window covering such as Vertical Blinds, Venetian Blinds, Holland Blinds, Roman Blinds and curtains and any fitting containing cords, such as Curtain Rods and Tracks. Landlords are responsible for ensuring that the property and the products provided work effectively and safely and that the products come with instructions and safety information as required by the law. It is likely that any corded window furnishings in your property manufactured before December 2010 do not comply with The Trade Practices Mandatory Safety Standards. In our role as your Managing Agent, it is our duty of care to ensure our Landlords are informed and educated about the Regulations and advised to take steps to remove or reduce the risk of harm to Tenants and their visitors from potential injury caused by loop cord window coverings. Landlords who fail to take action may be in the line of fire of liability risk in the event of a child’s death or injury caused by a non-compliant corded window covering at a rental property. Insurance Policies vary, but most have an exclusion clause that means that the insurance company does not have to pay out for negligence claims where the Policy Owner knowingly takes no action or breaks the law relating to fixing a defect or making the premises safer.
The mandatory standard came into effect from 1/1/2015 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2014L00363