Bedroom dressers that will tip over highlight the recent recalls and safety alerts from Health Canada.
Three cabinet and dresser manufacturers were subject to product recalls related to tip-over hazards: Herman Miller and Design Within Reach, Homestar Finch and Chadwick. In each case, consumers were warned about the risks of falling cabinets and entrapment without the use of wall anchors. Two of the three recalls were jointly made with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and manufacturer.
A 2018 feature from U.S.-based Consumer Reports detailed the U.S. regulations in place that were essentially voluntary industry-designed standards, the lack of consumer awareness – and feasibility – of wall anchors and also included some heart-wrenching stories from parents who found their children dead underneath toppled bedroom dressers.
Among the other notable recent product recalls:
- Safety shoes manufactured by Taurus were ironically found to be unsafe because the steel plate used in the product was not certified to CSA standards shown in the shoe’s labelling. Almost 2,000 units of this product were sole in Canada between May 2019 and May 2020.
- Portable generators from Honda and Yamaha were both recalled because of fire hazards. The Honda generator’s problem arises from salt water entering the AC output connector in the generator. More than 24,500 units of the product were sold in Canada and Honda pledged to contact each purchaser about the recall. The Yamaha generator sold 1,500 units. Its risk originated from cracked fuel tanks.
- If a fire did break out, the Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector purchased from third-party sellers via walmart.ca might not help. The unbranded white, round battery-operated detector is not certified to Canadian standards.
- Varathane Bar and Table Finish sold in Canada for more than 12 years was recalled in April because of a lack of labelling information and child-resistant packaging. It is intended as a single-use product, but lacks the required warning indicating that, and also lacks a child-resistant closure that could lead to serious illness or injury, including death. More than 120,000 units of the product have been purchased in Canada since January 2008.
Health Canada’s online database is searchable, which is important because there is no assurance that a Health Canada recall notice will make products disappear from store shelves or web sites.
Health Canada also provides a number of Twitter feeds, email notifications and mobile apps to help consumers stay aware of recalls and warnings. There is a Consumer Product Incident Report Form for consumers who have experienced health or safety incidents.
Consumers who may be worried safety regulators are not giving product safety problems the attention they deserve can also share their experiences online at the Consumers Council of Canada homepage.