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“Thump! A Dresser Falling on a Child": Prevent These Accidents

  • Date2024-06-20
  • Hit182

“Thump! A Dresser Falling on a Child": Prevent These Accidents

- ACRC recommended the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards "measures to strengthen the prevention of dresser tip-over accidents"

- Recommendation includes expanding the scope of products subject to a safety test and strengthening the notice about wall anchors

(29, May. 2024, ACRC)

 

Safety tests for dressers will be strengthened to reduce accidents where children are injured by dresser tip-overs.

On May 13, the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC, Chairperson Ryu Chul Whan) established "measures to strengthen the prevention of dresser tip-over accidents" and recommended them to the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards.

According to an analysis of risks related to furniture tip-over accidents conducted by ACRC in cooperation with the Korea Consumer Agency, 105 furniture tip-over cases were reported to the Consumer Injury Surveillance System (CISS)* from 2020 to 2023.

*A system designed to collect, analyze, and assess data about risk and danger faced by consumers through institutions required to submit risk data and counseling centers nationwide, including 58 hospitals and 52 fire stations, in accordance with the Framework Act on Consumers (operated by the Korea Consumer Agency)

Among 83 out of them, where the age of victims could be identified, 33 cases, accounting for approximately 40%, were furniture tip-over accidents involving infants and toddlers aged six or under. This highlights the need for caution from furniture companies, guardians, and others.

* (Major case) A three-year-old girl was taken to the hospital with a head and facial injury after a dresser tipped forward and trapped her while taking clothes from a drawer.

According to the current supplier suitability verification standard (notified by the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards), the height standard for dressers subject to a safety test is 76.2 cm. Therefore, dressers that are shorter than the standard are not subject to the testing procedures for tip-over accidents, which may have risks.

Moreover, dressers under 76.2 cm do not even have a caution notice for tip-over (falling), and for dressers with a height of 76.2 cm or taller, the caution notice for tip-over is included at the end of safe handling instructions, making it difficult to notice.

At the same time, safer dressers have been developed, which allow only one drawer to open at a time to prevent tip-overaccidents. However, under the current systems, the test must be conducted with all drawers opened, which makes such dressers fall short of standards, excluding them from the market sales. This issue was raised during a meeting with foreign chambers of commerce in Korea hosted by ACRC in August 2023.


Furthermore, the Commission recommended strengthening the wording of safe handling instructions, such as by highlighting warnings about furniture tip-overs and clearly stating the obligation to provide wall anchors.ACRC referred to foreign cases, such as the US, and recommended improvements to lower the height standard for the safety test for dressers below the current 76.2 cm to ensure more dressers become subject to the test.

In addition, ACRC recommended ensuring that dressers developed to prevent all drawers from opening at once unless they are secured to the wall are also subject to the safety test.

ACRC Vice Chairperson Kim Tae Gyu said, "The recent institutional improvement recommendation will contribute to supplying dressers that meet strengthened safety standards, leading to reduced number of accidents where children are injured by dresser tip-overs. I hope that this recommendation will serve as an opportunity to raise the alarm about safety accidents of dressers.“

 
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