Minister tells fitness buffs to keep hiking and biking

Published: 
19 Oct 2017

SAFETY standards for exercise bikes and treadmills have been maintained to ensure the safety of users, Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack says.

"As Minister responsible for Consumer Affairs, one of my highest priorities is for Australian consumers’ safety," Mr McCormack said.

"Australians should feel confident when they purchase a good, the item will operate in a safe way when used correctly.

"We have all been on a treadmill or exercise bike and understand the physical pain inflicted as we try to get in shape but that is where the pain should stop.

"That is why I was determined to review the Product Safety Standards for exercise cycles and treadmills to ensure consumer safety."

Mr McCormack said exercise cycle designs which were common before the standard was introduced in 1994 were typically chain-driven and used fan-style wheel spokes to create resistance, both of which were major causes of injuries.

"The primary purpose of the safety standard for exercise cycles is to reduce the risk of injury, especially to children, including traumatic amputations and crushing caused by exposed chains and spokes," Mr McCormack said.

"Since the introduction of the standard, the design of modern exercise bikes has changed to remove these safety hazards.

"It has been 10 years since the standard was last updated and this decision means these products, whether they are manufactured here in Australia or imported from overseas, will retain the current safety standard preventing any cheap alternatives with bad design features or a reversion to past designs appearing in the marketplace."

Mr McCormack said the safety standard for treadmills has been reviewed and maintained to ensure suppliers display clear warning labels alerting users, including parents and carers, of the dangers associated with treadmills.

"Treadmill design and technology has come a long way over the years to include handrails and emergency stop equipment increasing user safety," Mr McCormack said.  

"I have decided to keep the current safety standard in place because young children can sustain severe friction burns if they come into contact with the moving conveyor belt of a treadmill.

"Treadmills are very popular in Australian homes but they can be very dangerous and a clear warning label will help ensure parents keep young children away from these machines, even when they are not in use.

"The safety of Australian consumers and their families is paramount, and by actively reviewing Product Safety Standards of everyday consumer goods, the Turnbull Government is keeping Australian consumers and their families safe."