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Update from Product Safety Australia – Toppling Furniture

20 May 2024
15 Min Read

Furniture suppliers will be required to provide safety warnings to consumers about the dangers of toppling furniture, after the Assistant Treasurer, the Hon. Stephen Jones, made a new information standard for toppling furniture, the Consumer Goods (Toppling Furniture) Information Standard 2024.

This new standard applies to certain types of furniture and will require suppliers to attach a permanent warning label to furniture; include safety information and advice about anchoring furniture in manuals and assembly instructions; and provide warnings about the hazards of toppling furniture in furniture stores and online.

Suppliers must comply with these requirements from 4 May 2025.

Products the mandatory standard applies to

Freestanding household furniture can be dangerous if it falls or topples over.

Warnings and safety information must be provided when supplying these 3 categories of furniture.

Category 1

A clothing storage unit or bookcase with a height of 686 mm or more. A clothing storage unit is an item of furniture intended to primarily store clothes. It has one or more doors or drawers.

Category 2

Entertainment units of any height typically used for housing televisions, home theatre systems or gaming consoles.

Category 3

Hall tables, display cabinets, buffets, and sideboards with a height 686 mm or greater.

Products the mandatory standard does not apply to

The mandatory standard excludes:

  • furniture that was bought by a consumer and is being resold
  • second-hand furniture, including furniture that was previously bought and used commercially
  • furniture designed to be fastened to a wall or other structure and that can’t be used unless it’s attached.
15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

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Prohibition of the use of Engineered Stone | Next Steps from Ministers

25 Mar 2024
15 Min Read

Commonwealth, State and Territory Work Health and Safety (WHS) Ministers met on Friday 22nd March 2024 to agree on a number of key implementation matters associated with a prohibition on the use of engineered stone benchtops, panels and slabs and to endorse a stronger regulatory framework to manage the risk of exposure to respirable crystalline silica from other materials and products.

Ministers agreed draft amendments to the model WHS laws to give effect to the prohibition on the use of engineered stone from 1 July 2024. These amendments:

  • make clear that the prohibition applies to engineered stone benchtops, panels and slabs,
  • specify that all sintered stone and porcelain products (including benchtops, panels and slabs) are excluded from the prohibition, and for the avoidance of doubt, clarify that porcelain products and sintered stone for this purpose are products that do not contain resin, and
  • clarify that finished engineered stone products (such as jewellery, garden ornaments, sculptures, kitchen sinks) which do not require processing or modification, and pose minimal risk to the health and safety of workers, are not prohibited

Ministers agreed jurisdictions may adopt a transition period for contracts entered into prior to the announcement of the prohibition. This means that work that involves the supply, installation or processing of engineered stone benchtops, panels and slabs between 1 July 2024 and 31 December 2024 would be exempt from the prohibition provided the work is carried out under, or for the purposes of, a contract that provides for the installation of engineered stone entered into on or before 31 December 2023. Activities undertaken during this period must be appropriately controlled and will be subject to stronger WHS regulations for high-risk crystalline processes, also agreed at the meeting

Once amendments are finalised, Ministers agreed to implement these regulations by 1 September 2024 for all work with substances containing at least 1 per cent crystalline silica. In the interim, regulations prohibiting uncontrolled processing of engineered stone, sintered stone and porcelain benchtops, panels and slabs will continue to apply.

Safe Work Australia will provide advice relating to further development of the exemption framework to WHS Ministers for consideration by the end of April 2024.

Ministers agreed to meet again in May 2024 To read the full details of the communique click the below link, Friday 

Supporting the Industry

ACFA will keep the industry updated in relation to the ban on engineered stone and developments from further Ministers meetings and will continue to raise our industry challenges through representation on the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Work Health and Safety Committee and Silica Reference groups.

If you haven’t already done so, ACFA would encourage you to speak with your supplier on alternative options as more options continue to become available that may suit your business or customers

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

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ACFA Finalists Announced

16 Oct 2023
15 Min Read

ACFA Award Finalists Announced ahead of Industry Dinner.

The industry is set to come together on Friday 15th of September as the winners of the 2023 ACFA Industry Awards are announced. The Industry Awards have become a significant event in the industry’s calendar, with an entertaining night of dinner, drinks, and laughter celebrating industry excellence is being held at Dockside Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour and is a great opportunity to promote your business and network with industry and enjoy a well-deserved fun night out.

The evening is always renowned as a great night of networking and celebration of the industry.

ACFA’s CEO, Dean Brakell explained: “One of the aims of the National Industry Awards is to bring people together, face-to-face, to celebrate the industry and outstanding achievements. The Entertainment for the evening is always kept a secret by the ACFA Team until the night, with a room full of laughter heard. 

The finalists of this year’s awards can be found across ACFA’s social media and website and are ready for everyone to peruse this year’s projects. Each year the quality of entries continues to raise the bar, demonstrating the calibre of craftsmanship and professionalism of our industry. The 2023 awards capture the projects created between 1st July 2021 and 30th June 2023.

The independent expert judging panel consists of industry representatives who have a strong knowledge of the industry, operations, manufacturing, and trends. Bias towards any person or company is controlled through the ‘blind’ judging process – any reference to a company or person is removed from the material the judge’s reviews.  This ensures every entry is evaluated on equal grounds.

15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

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Continuing to Raise the Bar

18 Sep 2023
15 Min Read

The 2023 ACFA Industry Awards Night was a clear demonstration of the way our industry continues to raise the bar with the outstanding examples of what our industry is producing.

The 2023 Awards were held on Friday 15th September 2023 in Sydney, to recognise outstanding achievements within the furniture, joinery and cabinet-making industry. The awards showcase the hard work, dedication and craftsmanship of individuals and businesses across the country.

The ACFA Industry Awards are an important event for the Australian furniture cabinet-making industry, as they provide a platform to showcase the best of what the industry has to offer. The awards also help to raise awareness of the industry and its importance to the Australian economy.

Jim Snelson, CEO of Polytec, Premium Partner for the ACFA Industry Awards, paid tribute to all those who had entered the awards; “Tonight is an opportunity to acknowledge, reward and cheer on all of those companies and individuals who have done an outstanding job over the last few years”

The ACFA/AWISA Cabinet Maker of the Year went to Northern Kitchens and Joinery, who was thrilled to take home one of the major awards of the night. “This award means so much to me and my team. It really is a reward to my whole team for the hard work they put into each job we produce. This is certainly a team award”

In addition to the awards themselves, the ACFA Industry Awards also provide an opportunity for networking and socialising within the industry. The awards night is a well-attended event, with 300 guests in attendance this year.

In his speech, the ACFA CEO Dean Brakell made the important acknowledgement “to thank all the industry suppliers who support and sponsor the ACFA Awards each year. Without you, this night cannot be the success it is. We look forward to seeing what projects 2024 has to offer”

2023 ACFA Industry Awards Highlights
15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

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End of Native Timber Harvesting in Victoria from 2024

22 Jun 2023
15 Min Read

As a specialised association, we are proud of what we have achieved.

The Victorian Government announced the end of native timber harvesting.

On 23 May 2023, the Victorian Government announced the end of native timber harvesting in Victoria 1 January 2024.

To assist and support downstream supply chain manufacturers of hardwood products, such as flooring, furniture, staircases, balustrades, architectural features, cladding and pallets, the Victorian Government will be providing grants and support through the Timber Supply Chain Resilience Package to assist business in the transition. The program will commence from 1 July 2023.

Register Your Interest

Businesses that may be affected by the end of native timber harvesting are encouraged to register their interest in the Timber Supply Chain Resilience Package.

Businesses that register an interest will be informed and invited to formally apply when the program opens on 1 July 2023.

To register an interest in support through the Timber Supply Chain Resilience Package you can complete the registration form below (by clicking the link) or call Business Victoria on 13 22 15.

Timber Supply Chain Resilience Package Registration Form

Addition: the closing date for applications to the Timber Supply Chain Resilience Package has been extended to Tuesday 30 April 2024. Businesses that process native hardwood to manufacture products such as flooring, staircases, furniture, doors, windows, cladding and pallets are encouraged to apply.

Up to $145,000 of support is available to manufacturers who are highly impacted by the end of native timber harvesting in Victoria, and grants of up to $3,000 for moderately impacted manufacturers.

Businesses will be contacted and will be provided further details on the specific grants and support available to them through the program.

Transitional Support

The following transition support options are available for workers, families and employers:

  • Native timber downstream impacted supply chain manufacturers should contact: Business Victoria 13 22 15
  • Native timber sawmill employers should contact: DEECA Forest Transition Team 1800 318 182
  • Directly impacted native timber workers and families should contact: Worker Support Service 1800 177 001
  • Directly impacted Opal Maryvale Mill workers and families should contact: Opal Worker Support Service 1800 177 001
  • Native timber workers, families and communities seeking jobs, skills and training support should contact: TAFE Gippsland Jobs and SKills Centre 1300 282 317
15 May 2024

On Friday 10 May 2024, WHS ministers agreed to 2 sets of amendments to the model WHS Regulations, which will help protect workers from silicosis caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. These amendments give …

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