The Australian Cablemakers Association today endorsed concerns raised by the ACCC about the slow progress of the recall for faulty Infinity and Olsent brand electrical cables. ACA Chairman Andrew Davenport said the consumer watchdog’s admission today that less than two per cent of the dangerous cable had been removed and replaced should ring alarm bells for regulators and politicians across the nation.
“It has been almost two years since the ACA’s testing revealed that these cables had the potential to cause fires or electrocution, as a result of deterioration of the insulation,” Mr Davenport said. “It is alarming that, so far down the track, very little has actually happened in terms of removing the dangerous cable and replacing it with product that complied with the Australian Standard.”
Mr Davenport also expressed concern that the certification process that allowed faulty electrical cable to be imported and installed in the first place had not been changed, even though the Infinity cable disaster had exposed major flaws in the system.
“Since the Infinity cable issue, the ACA has exposed several other sub-standard products through our Approved Cable Initiative (ACI) regime. The most serious of these, ECABLES, also resulted in a recall. “And yet the laws that allow products to be brought in from overseas and sold without being tested for compliance with the standard remain in place. “Right across the construction sector, Australia is now grappling with the safety risks of sub-standard products. In the case of electrical equipment or components there is a very simple solution – put an immediate end to the self-certification process that allows product on to the market based on the assurances of the importer.
“State Governments and electrical safety regulators need to address urgently the certification process. Products should not be allowed on to the market unless they have been tested and shown to comply with the Standard.
“Until this flawed self-certification system is improved, we will continue to see these kinds of incidents occurring, and lives and property will continue to be put at risk.”