Product Safety Research Program


Why the research project is important

There are significant consequences of unsafe consumer products on population health, with conservative government estimates of around 780 deaths and 52,000 injuries in Australia per year from consumer products, costing at least $5 billion annually. Product Safety is a cross-cutting issue contributing to many injury types across all population groups. It is multifaceted, with harm being physical and/or psychological, acute and/or chronic, and causation ranging from product proximity to malfunction, as well as potential contributing human behavioural factors.

What the research seeks to do

The Product Safety Research Program aims to develop innovative approaches to improve product safety surveillance and generate robust evidence to inform a full range of injury prevention strategies from education and product design to regulatory action (i.e. product safety recalls, bans, standards).

What are the research outcomes/ impact

AusHSI’s interdisciplinary team has worked over the last decade to develop approaches to strengthen product safety injury surveillance in Australia. This work is currently focused on addressing significant product safety knowledge gaps for older Australians through the creation and interrogation of an Intelligence Platform to identify leading consumer product-related injuries and deaths, leading classes of hazardous products and risk factors, and human rights issues related to unsafe products. Its recent child product safety project highlighted the extent of consumer product involvement in paediatric injuries, monitored injuries associated with mandated children’s products and identified leading classes of unsafe children’s products and related injuries. The team has also evaluated injury risks associated with e-scooters, power tools, quad bikes, bicycles, ladders and infant products. The program focuses on strong, collaborative relationships and QUT is one of the founding members of the multi-agency Consumer Product Injury Research Advisory Group.

Funding Body

Australian Research Council Discovery Project – Addressing significant product safety knowledge gaps for older Australians.

Australian Research Council Discovery Project – Evaluating the congruence of consumer product safety regulator responses and incident data to improve the safety of Australian children.

Further Details

QUT / Jamieson Trauma Institute

Professor Kirsten Vallmuur

Dr Catherine Niven

Dr Jesani Catchpoole

Dr Kim Vuong


Consumer Product Injury Research Advisory Group
(AusHSI, Queensland Office of Fair Trading, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Queensland Health, Queensland Electrical Safety Office, Queensland Family and Child Commission, Queensland Paediatric Quality Council, CARRS-Q, University of the Sunshine Coast, Kidsafe, Guardian Childcare)

Professor Ioni Lewis, CARRS-Q

Dr Ruth Barker, Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit

Professor James Harrison, Flinders University SA

Professor Laurie Buys, Australian Catholic University

A/Prof Kelly Purser, QUT

A/Prof Alan Abrahams, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, USA

Dr Helen Badge, Australian Catholic University

Dr Holger Möller, University of New South Wales