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Health Canada - Safety of free-standing clothing storage units over 30 in. (762 mm) in height in Canada

Health Canada - Safety of free-standing clothing storage units over 30 in. (762 mm) in height in Canada

In the past few weeks, the furniture industry has expressed uncertainties and concerns about the implementation by Health Canada of the ASTM F2057-14 safety standard for free-standing clothing storage units over 30 in. (762 mm) in Canada.

 

Since 2011, according to the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA), it is prohibited to manufacture, import, advertise, or sell a consumer product that is a "danger to human health or safety” http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-L.68/index.html. One of the factors Health Canada considers, includes whether or not a product meets the performance criteria of a consensus-based safety standard. The purpose of the ASTM F2057-14 Standard Safety Specification for Clothing Storage Units is to reduce injuries and deaths of children from hazards associated with tip over of free-standing clothing storage units, such as chests, door chests, and dressers, over 30 in. (762 mm) in height.

 

The Quebec Furniture Manufacturers’ Association (QFMA) contacted Health Canada which confirmed that all free-standing clothing storage units over 30 in. produced or sold in Canada must comply with the standard. However, Health Canada recognizes that a transitional period is needed to allow the industry to adapt to this standard.

 

In the coming weeks, Health Canada will issue a note to the industry to clarify certain details of the implementation of these measures: we will send it to you as soon as we receive it.

 

Our discussions with Health Canada allow us to believe that:

 

  1. the implementation of these new measures will be gradual;
  2. all free-standing clothing storage units over 30 in. produced or sold in Canada will have to meet the ASTM F2057-14 safety standard, in 2017. The date will be announced shortly;
  3. Health Canada inspectors will not intervene in this matter before 2017. The date will be announced shortly;
  4. a transitional measure including the use of safety brackets to securely anchor the unit to the wall would be accepted.
     

Lastly, the QFMA wishes to emphasize that it supports any standard or measure aimed at improving public safety, but it is important that its members should be allowed sufficient time to implement them adequately.