Collapse of cable company highlights serious flaws in electrical safety regime

The collapse of an electrical cable import business following a national recall of faulty product has highlighted serious flaws in the process for approving products for sale, the Australian Cablemakers Association (ACA) said today.

ECables Pty Ltd was placed into liquidation earlier this month, following the recall of a range of its cable products which had failed to meet the required standard in independent testing. Although the cable was intended to be rated to 110 degrees, its insulation was shown to melt at temperatures far lower than this rated level,creating a very real risk of fire or electrocution.

The ECABLES products have been used in a range of building projects including apartments, hotels and commercial installations, predominantly in Victoria.

ACA Chairman Andrew Davenport said the collapse of the company would have serious financial consequences for many owners and electrical contractors,and it would make the process of removing and replacing the dangerous cable even more difficult.

“This is very bad news for electrical contractors who have installed this cable, and the owners of the buildings in which it has been used,” Mr Davenport said

“It was already a challenge to replace all the faulty cable. Now that challenge will become significantly greater.

“This also highlights yet again underlying issues with the self-qualification process which allows faulty products on to the market.

“The ECABLES recall followed hot on the heels of the nation-wide recall of some Infinity and Olsent brand cables. We need to know how this product, which is clearly faulty, is able to be sold to Australian consumers and installed in our buildings and homes.

“Two serious safety failures so close together clearly point to a deeper issue with the self-qualification process for product accreditation. ACA would like to see this issue examined urgently.

“And most of all, this second major failure points to the need for consumers to insist on quality Australian-made cable products when they are building or renovating.

The safest way to be sure of your safety is to look for the Approved Cables Initiative logo on any products you buy.”