Poor plastic coating prompts cable recall

By Kate Tilley
Correspondent

Published: August 29, 2014 2:10 pm ET
Updated: August 29, 2014 2:12 pm ET

Image By: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission A sample of the type of cable being recalled throughout Australia.

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy Oceania Electrical/conduit
Companies & Associations

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Australia’s competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has ordered a major recall of 2,485 miles of electrical cabling due to poor-quality plastic insulation coating.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard estimates the recall cost at A$80 million (US$74.8 million). She says suppliers will bear the lion’s share of the cost.

An ACCC statement said 18 major electrical retailers and wholesalers across Australia were told Aug. 27 to recall all stocks of polymeric-insulated and PVC-sheathed insulated cables under two brand names, Infinity and Olsent.

Rickard told Plastics News there are about another 40 smaller wholesalers selling the cables.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said a taskforce of consumer agencies, building regulators and electrical safety regulators is coordinating the recall.

The cables, imported from China by Sydney-based Infinity Cable Co. Pty. Ltd., failed to comply with ageing requirements outlined in the Australian and New Zealand electrical safety standard. Infinity Cable Co. is now in liquidation.

Sims said: “Testing has found the cables will degrade prematurely and, if disturbed, the insulation could break and expose live conductors, resulting in possible electric shock or fires.”

All sizes and configurations of the white and orange mains power cables supplied under the two brands are affected, ACCC said.

The cables were supplied throughout Australia from 2010 to 2013. ACCC estimates 40,000 Australian homes, commercial and residential buildings contain the suspect cabling.

“The cables will age at different rates subject to ambient temperature and may become brittle from 2016 onwards, so there is urgency they be replaced as soon as possible,” Sims said.

ACCC said any affected cable installed in accessible areas or near heat sources must be removed and replaced. Suppliers have been asked to assess and work on the oldest or highest risk installations first.

All stocks of unused or removed cable will be returned to suppliers for destruction and to arrange refunds or replacements.

“This recall serves as a reminder that companies sourcing or accepting products from cheaper overseas suppliers must have quality assurance processes in place to ensure compliance with Australian safety standards,” Sims said.

Initially, the New South Wales state government issued a mandatory recall in October 2013, but early this year electricity industry representatives asked ACCC to coordinate a national response.

Asked why it has taken so long to launch a national recall, Rickard told Plastics News it is a “complex issue involving seven jurisdictions and 21 regulators and needed the assistance of experts to fully understand the problem to ensure the solution is effective and achievable.

“Fortunately the nature of the risk enabled the taskforce to take sufficient time to develop a considered solution,” she said.

There are no reports of failures yet and ACCC is satisfied the risk is “not imminent. However, people need to be aware and take careful steps to manage the risk in coming years.”


Comments

Poor plastic coating prompts cable recall

By Kate Tilley
Correspondent

Published: August 29, 2014 2:10 pm ET
Updated: August 29, 2014 2:12 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

California may require more recycled content in bottles

April 24, 2015 11:16 am ET

California lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that would bump up the required recycled content in plastic bottles for beverage companies to...    More

Image

Study suggests infants at lower risk from BPA exposure than expected

April 23, 2015 4:58 pm ET

A new study shows that newborn babies may have less risk from bisphenol A exposure than originally thought.    More

Image

Michigan OSHA fines injection molder

April 23, 2015 4:09 pm ET

Michigan-based injection molder Grand Rapids Plastics Inc. faces $558,000 of fines following inspections from state regulators investigating the June ...    More

Image

Clopay Plastics suing Berry over breathable film trade secrets

April 23, 2015 2:08 pm ET

Clopay Plastics Products Co. is alleging Berry Plastics Group Inc. stole trade secrets involving its breathable film technology used for baby and...    More

Image

Jeco adds Ferry rotational molder to handle increase in business

April 23, 2015 12:27 pm ET

Jeco Plastics Products LLC is ramping up for more work, adding a new Ferry 2600 rotational molder that will provide more capabilities.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events