Warning over USB chargers after woman dies from apparent electrocution


Authorities are warning consumers against buying rip-off USB-style chargers after a young woman wearing headphones and holding her laptop was found dead with burns on her ears and chest, in an apparent electrocution.

The woman’s death is under investigation by police, and Fair Trading was unable to release any further details….

she was found with a lap top and headphones in her ears.”[She had] burns on both ears and her chest,”…

the rip-off, cheap chargers were low quality plastic that could melt.

The devices found by Fair Trading had no insulation on (mains) pins or approval marks.

 

Consumers who have already bought unapproved and non-compliant USB-style chargers, used to charge phones and tablets, are advised to bend the pins on the chargers and throw them away immediately.

 

People should also not use any electrical devices while they are plugged in and charging.

via Warning over USB chargers after woman dies from apparent electrocution.

Baby bath aids – Product safety bulletin


This bulletin covers the mandatory product safety standard for baby bath aids and the need to properly label these products.

In Australia, between 1997 and 2005, six infants under 13 months drowned while in a baby bath aid.

According to the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia, children under two years of age are most vulnerable to drowning or near drowning in the bath. The incidents almost always occur when the competent adult supervising the child leaves the child unattended—even if it is for less than a minute. Children can drown within seconds in very little water.

The mandatory standard aims to protect children from the possibility of drowning by providing a permanent warning alerting the parent or caregiver that a baby should never be left alone in the bath or left in the care of another child.
Baby bath aids – Product safety bulletin.

EESS equipment registration (Australia) transitional arrangements update


Extracts from an email and notice received from the ERAC Secretariat, dated 28 February 2014, republished with permission:

IMPORTANT NOTICE ON EESS REGISTRATION

  • Queensland introduced the EESS on 1 March 2013 with a transition phase extending to 28 February 2014. Due to the ongoing transition in other jurisdictions the EESS requirements after 1 March 2014 are:
  • If a Responsible Supplier has taken all reasonable actions for registration they will be considered as having met the requirements for registration as far as can be expected (This is due to some Certificates not yet being available on the national database).
  • Private certifiers can now upload their certificates to the EESS database. Regulators will continue to work through options to have NSW Fair Trading certificates details added to the national certification database.
  • To assist Responsible Suppliers, any level 3 equipment that is currently registered, or registered after 1 March 2014, will not require renewal of registration until further notice (the original equipment registration expiry date on the database will not trigger a requirement to renew).

See the PDF document in the link below for all the details and the fine print…

1 march 2014 EESS transitional final

It is understood that these transitional arrangements will be periodically reviewed. Further details should be placed on the official EESS web site later this week.

DISCLAIMER: As usual, this information is provided in good faith and is subject to interpretation and individual circumstances. No liability of any kind will be accepted arising from the provision or application of this information. Suppliers are expected to make their own independent legal and professional enquiries regarding their own business arrangements.

(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.

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.

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.

EESS database upgrade (Australian electrical equipment safety certification process)


(The following was received from the EESS secretariat recently, who wanted it circulated in industry…):

The responsible supplier/equipment registration database is being upgraded following feedback from users. The testing of these changes is in final stages and, if they all work, the release of the updates will occur shortly.  An email will be sent to all registered responsible suppliers just prior to the upgrade going live.

Major changes include:

  1. The 10 digit supplier number (i.e ERAC000123), which is also the responsible supplier username for logging onto the system, has been simplified to be EX (where X is the digits of the existing supplier number – i.e. the ‘RAC’ of ERAC is removed and the 0’s of the supplier number is removed).
  2. So for example a supplier number of ERAC000512 simply becomes E512.This becomes the registration number for all documentation and can be used to mark on a product as the supplier number if required (for example NZ Radio Spectrum Management marking requirement). It also becomes the user name for the responsible supplier to log onto the EESS database, note the responsible supplier password will not change.
    Note: use of the existing 10 digit number on documents and equipment will be recognised as being the valid supplier number issued by ERAC where it has already been marked on equipment or the marking process has already been initiated.
  3. The phone number field in responsible supplier details allows for more than 10 digits, as well as the recognition of + for the country code (to allow for NZ company registrations).
  4. When registering as a responsible supplier there is now an ‘affiliated supplier’ field for a responsible supplier to nominate the related New Zealand company for which the responsible supplier is taking responsibility for the equipment supplied by that company (and vice versa if the responsible supplier is a New Zealand registered company).
    Affiliated Supplier –  A company that is a related entity to the company registered as a responsible supplier. Affiliated suppliers are limited to Australia/New Zealand related entities. If the responsible supplier is located in Australia the affiliated supplier is the related entity in New Zealand, if the responsible supplier is located in New Zealand the affiliated supplier is the related entity located in Australia.  The responsible supplier (registered in either Australia or New Zealand) registers and takes responsibility for all items supplied by the affiliated supplier . A company listed as an affiliated supplier, by a responsible supplier, does not need to register as a separate responsible supplier.
  5. Authorised representatives are now de-selectable or selectable byresponsible suppliers via the ‘edit profile’ section for responsible suppliers.
  6. Authorised representatives will be able to add level 1 equipment as well as register level 2 and 3 equipment.
  7. Authorised representatives added by a responsible supplier will be able to action any equipment registration of the responsible supplier (not limited to just the equipment the Authorised representative had originally actioned).
  8. The ‘details description’ field is no longer mandatory to have data entered.
  9. Equipment registration length has been modified to allow choosing 5 year registration option when certificate has less than 5 years, but more than 2 years, before expiry (note the registration expiry date is still linked to the certificate expiry date so choosing the 5 year registration option may only result in, for example, a 4 year 3 month registration if the certificate expires in 4 years and 3 months). Equipment with certificates that expire in 2 years or less will still only be given the 1 or 2 year option.
  10. Where a certificate profile has multiple brands and models and the responsible supplier is only importing/manufacturing some of those brands/models, the responsible supplier will now be able to choose via a tick box which models/brands they are a responsible supplier of – or they can choose to select all models/brands of that profile.
  11. Level 1 equipment details can now be entered in several different ways
    • existing method,  type / brand (and optional model number)
    • using a csv file to upload detail of multiple equipment (brand and type are still mandatory)
    • inputting a certificate of suitability number to import across the level 1 equipment detail
  12. The certificate number of registered equipment will now be viewable in the public search section.
  13. Level 1 equipment details will now be searchable in same public viewable location as level 2 and 3 equipment.
  14. Receipting errors fixed.
    Uploading of Certificates:
  15. The manual upload for certifiers to add details of their certificates is in final stages of testing.
  16. The xml process for certifiers to automatically upload their certificate details is being tested with several certifiers.
  17. A ‘certificate lock down’ system is being included to limit ability to register certificates to responsible suppliers as chosen by the certificate holder (in general, process will be the certifier will add a password onto the database when uploading certificate details. The certificate holder will give this password to a responsible supplier so the responsible supplier can put in that password to use the certificate details to register equipment).
  18. The ‘deed of access’ for certifiers to sign is being finalised (essentially this is a document required to be signed by certifiers to ensure they accept use of the database ‘as is’ and do not add any virus, malicious software, damage the database in any way, that the data they input will be true an correct to best of their knowledge and they will indemnify regulators in regard to use of their data by anyone).

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How to conduct a successful recall – Product safety bulletin (Australia)


A successful product safety recall has a clear message that reaches all affected people. This bulletin will give you some suggestions for how to conduct a recall successfully.

This bulletin is also available in Simplified Chinese.

via How to conduct a successful recall – Product safety bulletin.

80+ Silver Power Supply Units set to be the new normal. – PC & Tech Authority


The major thing is that from October first pretty much all power supplies sold in Australia will have to sport a minimum 80+ Silver efficiency rating, thus knocking a large number of budget units off the market altogether.

via 80+ Silver Power Supply Units set to be the new normal. – PC & Tech Authority.

Mandatory reporting under the Australian Consumer Law — Webinar – YouTube


Mandatory reporting under the Australian Consumer Law — Webinar – YouTube.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) hosted a live webinar on 10 April 2013 to help explain the mandatory reporting of product-related death, injury and illness.

This is a video recording of that Webinar.

Some questions were able to be answered during the webinar; a lot more have now been answered and are available on the following website: www.productsafety.gov.au/mandatoryreporting

 

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