We are committed to providing consumers with safe products
All consumer products we supply must be safe and meet consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law. We do not sell banned products and ensure that all our products comply with relevant mandatory standards before they are offered for sale. As well as safety testing and compliance with required standards, our divisions implement product recalls where possible safety issues arise.
As part of Coles commitment to delivering great quality affordable products, Coles regularly reviews its own brand products and makes changes where required. Nearly 100 improvements were undertaken with Coles Brand suppliers, including relaunching Coles Little Explorer nappies with a stronger outer material. During the year, only one Coles Brand product was recalled and 163 products received industry accolades. This year Patties Foods initiated a recall following a concern that the Nanna’s mixed berry product stocked by Coles and other retailers had been linked to potential Hepatitis A contamination.
This year Kmart had six voluntary product recalls for Kmart brand products compared to four last year. The six recalls related to mugs, a hammock, a lamp, car seat covers, power boards and an apple cutter. All recalls were undertaken as a precautionary measure, with no major product-related injuries reported, although minor injuries such as bruising, cuts and burns were reported in relation to the hammock, apple cutter and mugs.
Throughout this year Target has adopted best practice principles to comply with both International and Australian standards. For instance, there are currently no specific legislative requirements in Australia governing the restrictive use of chemicals in the production of apparel or home textiles. Target has made the decision to adopt a number of apparel/textile standards from the European Community Regulation.
Safety manuals have been reformatted and made available to our supplier base outlining Target’s ongoing commitment to providing safer products. A safety focused culture is being promoted throughout product development with a particular emphasis on early identification and mitigation of risk.
Bunnings continues to proactively engage with suppliers to ensure adherence to product safety standards. Bunnings conducts regular product audits to ensure conformance with relevant mandatory standards, and in addition undertakes independent safety tests on selected product to confirm compliance to safety standards and customer expectations.
This year Officeworks had two voluntary product recalls for Officeworks branded items. The two recalls related to a USB wall charger and a children’s table and chair set. The recalls were undertaken as a precautionary measure, with no product-related injuries reported. Officeworks undertook a review and update of its packaging safety marking manual which is being implemented for private label products.
Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety provides safety products to industry, so it is vital that products adhere to rigorous safety standards. Bullivants is a specialist provider of lifting, rigging, safety and related services to the industrial sector. As a corporate member of five Australian and international standards organisations, Bullivants maintains ongoing safety best practice to provide a comprehensive solution to help customers operate safely and efficiently.
Coin and button cell batteries
Wesfarmers retail businesses have improved the safety of products containing coin and button cell batteries. Appropriate warning messages now appear on our own-brand products and product packaging and battery compartment security have been improved. Replacement coin and button cell batteries are sold in child resistant packaging and placed on higher store shelves to minimise access by children. Initiatives are underway to source more products with secure battery compartments.
We will continue to work towards reducing product-related injuries in the coming year.
GRI Reference: G4-DMA (Product and Service Labelling), G4-PR1, G4-PR3, G4-DMA (Customer health and safety)