Ladders recalled, owing to safety concerns

The Terra Firma ladder that was being distributed by Makro, has been recalled

TERRA FIRMA The Terra Firma ladder that was being distributed by Makro, has been recalled

1st September 2023

By: Simone Liedtke

Creamer Media Social Media Editor & Senior Writer


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The National Consumer Commission (NCC) has issued a critical safety warning to all individuals who possess Mainstay and Terra Firma multi-hinge aluminium ladders, Model JC 403, 150 kg.

“It is imperative that users cease using these products immediately and return them to the point of purchase for a full refund,” says NCC acting commissioner Thezi Mabuza, who adds that the recall follows the realisation that the ladders failed to meet essential safety standards, thereby posing potential risks to users.

The two models, distributed by retail stores Game (Mainstay) and Makro (Terra Firma) have been deemed noncompliant with SANS 50131 by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

The ladders do not adhere to the prescribed minimum material thickness and static load requirements.

“This lack of compliance renders the ladders unsafe for use and may result in severe injuries or even fatalities,” Mabuza states.

The supplier, retail company Massmart, informed the NCC after conducting an extensive series of tests at the SABS, which conclusively indicated that the ladders failed to meet the stipulated safety standards.

However, Mabuza notes that the supplier had also received complaints from consumers regarding the quality of the ladders. No injuries or fatalities were reported at the time of writing.

As of July 13, 2023, 57 000 units of these ladders have been sold in South Africa.

Of the 57 000 ladders, about 3 037 were also exported to various countries including Kenya, Mozambique, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi and Tanzania.

Mabuza emphasises that the responsibility for ensuring product compliance with safety standards lies with importers and retailers.

“According to the Consumer Protection Act, goods that pose any potential risk to consumers must be recalled,” she says, urging consumers who bought these ladders to immediately discontinue using them, and return them for a refund.

The NCC is closely monitoring the recall process according to its recall guidelines, which include the dissemination of information about a recall from the NCC and the supplier, both of whom have issued media statements.

Massmart has also placed advertisements in newspapers to inform consumers of the safety risks with the ladders, and the subsequent recall process.

The NCC and supplier agreed on a reporting schedule, and the intervals are based on the nature of the goods, as well as the nature of the risk manifesting in the recalled goods necessitating the recall.

In cases where the goods recalled must be destroyed, the NCC requires that they be destroyed at an accredited destruction facility, and a destruction certificate must be submitted when a supplier requests closure of the recall.

Where feasible, the NCC monitors the destruction or audits the information on the destruction certificate.

“This incident serves as a reminder to suppliers and consumers of the shared responsibility for ensuring product safety and compliance,” Mabuza concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor



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