$80,000 fine for selling dangerous travel plug adaptors

Those responsible for a chain of convenience stores in central Auckland which sold electrically unsafe travel plug adaptors despite repeated warnings have been fined a total of $80,000.

They were convicted under Section 163C of the Electricity Act 1992 and regulations 80 and 84 of the Electricity (Safety) Regulations 2010 and were sentenced at the Auckland District Court earlier this week.

The two companies have been unable to say how many of the unsafe travel adaptors they have sold through their chain of 15 stores in central Auckland.

Energy Safety Compliance Officer Richard Lamb says the adaptors did not have adequate protection to prevent contact with live parts, and present a very real risk of fire and electrocution. The adaptors are of particular concern given that plugs are used at skirting board level and easily accessible by infants and young children

'These adaptors are simply not safe to use. Energy Safety repeatedly warned the companies to pull them from their shelves, but they continued to sell them.

'Given the location of these stores in the heart of Auckland near hotels, hostels, and transport hubs it is likely these adaptors would have been purchased by visitors, and could have spread around New Zealand and beyond.'

Energy Safety has become concerned at the number of unsafe electrical travel plug adaptors being sold.

'Any business looking to sell electrical goods must abide by the law and the regulations. They should only stock safe goods. Retailers must understand that they will face the full consequences if anyone is hurt because of faulty goods that they have supplied.'

The standard for socket-outlet adaptors - Approval and test specification (AS/NZS 3122:2005) is being revised and available as a draft for public comment.

Summarised from Worksafe media release 7 August 2014

Published in consumer and occupational safety.