The recent recalls from Health Canada’s list of unsafe products reads like an extract from a Stephen King novel.
From lawn mower blades that may “detach unexpectedly” to missing guards on hedge trimmer shear blades, to saws that pose injury hazards from unsecured saw blades or guards that break easily, the most recent batch of Health Canada’s recall notices showcase a variety of injury risks from unexpectedly dangerous tools.
Rear guard assemblies that can break or detach posing a laceration hazard to the user led to the recall of 12-inch sliding compound miter saws under the Dewalt brand name sold at numerous retailers. Almost 1.5 million of these saws were sold in the United States and Canada between April 2019 and May 2022.
Multiple gas cut-off saws made under the Hilti brand were also recalled because faulty washers that secure the blade may fragment and fly off during operation. Slightly more than 100 saws were sold in Canada after July 2021.
Sun Joe lawn mowers with the model number 24V0X2-17LM were recalled because the blades detached unexpectedly. Of the approximately 350 units sold in Canada between September 2020 and July 2022, there were four reports of detached blades.
Makita LT Cordless Hedge Trimmers were sold without proper guards on shear blades from April 2022 to June 2022, and were recalled as a result. The missing guards resulted in laceration and injury hazards to users. Fewer than 100 units of this product were sold in Canada.
The images of lawn mower and hedge trimmer blades flying off and potentially lacerating consumers may be vivid, but there are a few other child-related recent product recalls that share some gruesome descriptions.
UPPAbaby All-Terrain RIDGE jogging strollers were recalled because of a “fingertip amputation hazard” posed by the mechanics of the stroller’s rear disc brakes. The brakes have openings which could allow a non-occupant to get a fingertip caught in the brakes and amputated or lacerated while the stroller is in use. In Canada, about 1,400 units of the recalled product were sold between October 2021 and August 2022. There was one reported incident of a fingertip amputation in the United States.
The MamaRoo and RockAroo infant swings and rockers made by 4moms also pose risks to children while NOT in use. The devices’ straps can dangle below the seat and pose a strangulation hazard to crawling infants. The issue is not a hazard to infants placed in the seat of these products. Almost 88,000 units were imported into Canada from January 2010 to August 2022.
And the Kidoozie Brand My First Activity Desk poses a most unusual risk to the kids who use it. The now recalled product (designed for children under 12 months of age) poses a “jaw entrapment and protrusion hazard” when used as a crib toy. “When a child’s jaw becomes entrapped in a product, there is potential for damage to teeth and gums,” according to the recall notice. More than 1,800 units were sold in Canada between January 2020 and March 2022.
Health Canada’s online database is searchable, which is important for consumers to know, because there is no guarantee that a Health Canada recall notice will make products disappear from store shelves or online stores.
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.