Australia: Safety guidance on concentrations of particular chemicals in certain consumer goods


The ACCC has published guidance on safe concentrations of particular chemicals in consumer goods. The guidance prescribes concentrations of chemicals, below which a safety concern does not exist. It includes a list of 22 hazardous aromatic amines which can be derived from certain hazardous azo dyes in clothing, textiles and leather articles. Guidance is also provided for safe concentrations of formaldehyde in clothing and textiles.

via Safety guidance on concentrations of particular chemicals in certain consumer goods.

21st October 2014

(Australia) Minister warns against dodgy energy saving devices


Minister for Fair Trading Stuart Ayres and NSW Energy & Water Ombudsman (EWON) Clare Petre today issued a joint warning to all consumers to be on the look-out for cold callers and online traders claiming to sell energy saving devices for domestic use.

Mr Ayres said NSW Fair Trading had investigated a number of consumer complaints about the devices, which can cost up to $2,000 each.

“We have proved under stringent testing conditions that these devices are a complete con,” he said.

To watch a video of the power saving devices being tested, go to Fair Trading’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky1MotsVLGU

via Minister warns against dodgy energy saving devices.

PSA Parts Pty Ltd—Two Power Replacement Li-Ion Laptop Battery Pack (Australia recall notice)


PSA Parts Pty Ltd—Two Power Replacement Li-Ion Laptop Battery Pack.

Product description

Two models of replacement Li-Ion laptop battery pack to suit various Toshiba and Hewlett Packard laptops.

What are the defects?

There is a risk that a capacitor inside the battery can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Traders who sold this product

Sold nationally through computer and specialist battery stores. In addition, the batteries were sold online through various websites.

Australian Communications Consumer Action Network – Why (disability) access matters


YouTube videos featuring some of Australia’s best-known disability advocates talking about the technologies and apps that have changed their lives as well as their daily frustrations of dealing with websites and apps that haven’t been made accessible to people with disability

via Australian Communications Consumer Action Network – Why access matters.

Australia EESS Q&A – UPS & PDU


Note: this Q&A contains personal opinions only, that are of a general nature. They have not been reviewed or endorsed by any organisation or regulatory agency, but are provided as a friendly informational perspective only. In all cases, readers should rely on their own research and professional & legal advice.

Q: Are UPS or PDU covered by L2/L3 categories in the EESS (for example as battery chargers)?

A1a: I’m going to assume the enquirer meant a 230 V ac input-output UPS was intended.  The short answer is: although a UPS does charge a battery, it appears to be L1 equipment only. This is because the regulatory definitions are in AS/NZS 4417.2, and B.2.36 there specifies that for the device to be covered by L3 for Australia or L2 for NZ, it has to have an output voltage not exceeding 50 V a.c. or 120 V d.c only, which is the ELV range. In case of doubt, the referenced battery charger standard is AS/NZS 60335.2.29, and the latest version of that says it only applies to equipment with ELV outputs, so that can’t be applied to an LV (230 V range) output device either.

A1b: If the UPS has a detachable power cord set, the mains plug, flexible cord and the appliance coupler all need individual certification at L3. It’s a good idea to use already-certified standard cord sets, so if you’re using already approved parts in the cord set for the UPS,  you don’t have to certify them again to use with the UPS. If the cord set is non-detachable, only the mains plug is an L3 part.

A2: PDU (I assume the enquirer meant power distribution unit) is a little trickier. The short answer is they’re generally L1, but it depends, so please read on: The closest regulatory category to that is B.2.34 “Outlet device” in AS/NZS 4417.2. 

A2a: A PDU consisting of appliance outlets such as IEC 60320 types in a strip would be exempt from L2/L3 as a whole, because the definition for outlet device covers socket-outlet devices (as per definition B.2.45) only. 

A2b: Further, if the PDU was built into a machine, such as a rack, it’s not portable, and that would exempt it from B.2.34 as well even if it used AS/NZS 3112 socket-outlets.

A2c: The socket-outlet (if used instead of AS/NZS 60320 (IEC 60320) appliance outlets) itself would be L3, because of definition B.2.45.

A2d: The supply flexible cord (B.2.47) would also be exempt from L2/L3 if it is directly connected to the equipment (non-detachable) – because of part (f) of the definition.

A2e: The power attachment mains plug also needs to be considered L3 per B.2.35. Again, it’s a good idea to use certified parts if the part used is within the definition.

Hope the above observations will be of use to somebody. Again, the answers depend on your own product circumstances, and there might be other arrangements I haven’t discussed above, so its important to seek your own professional advice.

PWR.

The Battery Controlled – Button battery safety


I highly recommend everyone to watch both videos attached to the following Australian Safety regulator’s web page. It’s essential safety information for *anyone* who might have children under five years old in their house.

The Battery Controlled – Button battery safety.

If a child swallows a button battery, the battery can get stuck in the child’s throat and burn through the oesophagus in as little as two hours. Repair can require feeding and breathing tubes and multiple surgeries.

Children under five years old are at the greatest risk.

Q&A on the Australian safety standard AS/NZS 60950.1:2011 with Amdt 1:2012


The following answers to the questions sent to me are my from own perspective, given for guidance only. These are not definitively authoritative, however they are given in good faith, so if you need to make business decisions on these matters you’d need to seek your own counsel, as no liability will be accepted for any possible errors or omissions or if something doesn’t cover your situation. If there are any errors in my responses below I’d be delighted for anyone to enlighten me further.

  1. AS/NZS 60950.1:2011 – This is already published in 2011; revised in Nov 2012 to add Amdt 1 issued by IEC TC108.
  2. Please advise if it is mandatory and if there is any effective date established?
    • PWR#: No specific dates have been established for use of Amdt 1 with telecommunications equipment at this time (but see item 6 below). It may be used now for non-telecommunications safety approvals (e.g. EPSs). Earlier editions would be usable only at the electrical regulators’ discretion.
  3. Any AU/NZS national differences?
    • PWR: There are no new mandatory national differences in the amendment, but note that AS/NZS 60825.1 can be used in lieu of IEC 60825-1. This is worth noting because the Australian laser standard also has significant national differences, and compliance with that might not mean compliance with the IEC standard has been achieved (worth keeping in mind for products sold overseas that were tested in Australia).
  4. ACMA is now attempting to adopt the standard in item 1 as its telecom standard.
    • PWR#: That is correct.
  5. ACMA is not introducing any significant national differences except as indicated at the website given below.
    • PWR#: ACMA is not introducing any differences that are not already in AS/NZS 60950:2011 + Amdt 1:2012.
  6. Will this standard be mandatory in AU/NZS for telecom equipment and if yes, what will be the effective date?
    • PWR#: Yes, but the date is a bit more complex… The ACMA “Standard” that’s being amended is essentially a hidden legal instrument that makes Australian Standard AS/NZS 60950.1 +Amdt 1 mandatory, and the ACMA standard essentially contains no technical requirements itself. The intent is that compliance with Australian Standard AS/NZS 60950.1 +Amdt 1 will satisfy the requirements in the ACMA standard (which is also given the same designation for legal reasons, but I’ll call it the “ACMA standard” to try to avoid confusion.) The ACMA standard, when published (probably in August/September) will then make the CURRENT REVISION of the Australian Standard mandatory on publication, and so on into the future. It also allows that products manufactured or imported within twelve months of the new Australian Standard or revision being published can be tested to the prior version of the Australian standard (but not to earlier versions than the one prior). This means, for example, that a product manufactured or imported up to 2013-11-09 (the first anniversary of the publication date of Amdt 1) may comply with AS/NZS 60950.1:2011 with or without Amdt 1:2012, however AFTER 2013-11-09, all new certifications must be done in accordance with AS/NZS 60950.1 + Amdt 1 in place. I hope this clarifies.

http://beta.acma.gov.au/theACMA/Consultations/Consultations/Current/draft-telecommunications-technical-standard-as-nzs-60950-1-2011-amendment-2013.

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