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Product safety guidelines for sports equipment.

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Sport is often thought of as a way of life in Australia, and manufacturers of sports equipment are required to adhere to a number of stringent regulations as to how their equipment is produced and maintained.

Manufacturers and suppliers take these requirements extremely seriously, and go to great lengths to make sure that the equipment is not only safe, but also meets all relevant consumer legislation.

Mandatory reporting

Safety is an extremely high priority in all sporting activities, and any defective equipment can have serious and even fatal consequences.

Under Australian law, anyone who supplies any type of sports equipment that is considered a consumer product, is required to make a mandatory report if there is any belief that the product may have caused death or serious injury to any individual.

This requirement applies to anyone who is associated with the production or installation of a product, not just manufacturers. It applies to retailers, distributors, installation experts and anyone who repairs the product.

There are strict time guidelines in place for this requirement, with a supplier having a maximum of two days to notify to the Commonwealth Minister a mandatory written report.

Consumer safety

The principle of consumer safety is a thread that runs through the entire manufacturing and supply process of all sports equipment products. It is crucial that a product is made and marketed with a specific purpose in mind, and everything to do with the production is geared to this end.

This can include how the product is packaged, any instructions and warnings for its assembly and how it is to be used, and for what purposes the product might be reasonably expected to be useful.

To helps ensure confidence and trust in the production process and in all areas of the supply chain, product testing is widely used at many different stages ofmanufacturing by acknowledged industry experts.

Sports equipment libraries

A manufacturer of sports equipment invests a lot of time and effort to establishing and maintaining sports equipment libraries that are often operated by local councils or community centres. They aim to give children access to a wide range of sporting products that otherwise they might not be able to afford to buy or use.

Manufacturers recognise the need for individuals and families to play and exercise together, and how a library of sporting equipment can help facilitate this. Such equipment often includes items such as basketballs, footballs, golf sets, cricket sets and a wide range of athletics equipment.

Manufacturers will often help in the establishment of these libraries, and will try to ensure that individuals and families understand the nature of the products, and how they are best used, in order to maintain the safety both of the products themselves, and of the people using them.

Safety in schools

Safety in physical education and sport is taken extremely seriously both by national and local government and councils, and there are many guidelines in place for schools to ensure that sporting activities are conducted in a safe and secure manner.

These guidelines and policies normally relate to areas such as inspection and maintenance of all sporting equipment, and any repairs being undertaken is needed. This should always be documented according to local policies.

They can also apply to activities such as basketball or netball where manufacturers are required to place large warning labels about the dangers of improper use of their equipment.