Pump importer fined $1.2 million for Townsville death

Electrical Safety Office
Wednesday, 15 May, 2019

Pump importer fined $1.2 million for Townsville death

The director of online business the Pump Factory Pty Ltd has been fined $1.2 million after an unsafe submersible pump imported from China resulted in a woman’s death.

Two years ago, the woman was electrocuted by the submersible pump installed in the backyard well of a Townsville home.

In Townsville Magistrates court, Pump Factory sole director Zoran Kacavenda pleaded guilty as an individual and as a business to breaches of the Electrical Safety Act 2002 which caused the woman’s death.

The court heard that in March 2016, the company purchased hundreds of submersible water pumps from a Chinese manufacturer and sold them online in Australia under its own name and as Kasa Pumps and Kasa Factory. Both the company and Kacavenda failed to ensure the devices were safe and met the relevant Australian standards.

The Electrical Safety Office (ESO) led the investigation into the death and found the pumps were substandard quality and poorly designed, allowing internal wires to tangle, rip out of their connections and come into contact with the metal body of the pump. It also found the home had no electrical safety switch installed on the circuit the pump was plugged into, which could have prevented the death.

According to the ESO, the ruling is a stark reminder for importers to ensure their products are safe before importing or offering them for sale in Australia. It is encouraging the community to contact online sellers and ask if their electrical product meets Australian safety standards before they buy, look out for the RCM mark on tested and compliant products, and ensure safety switches are installed on all circuits in a home.

Any owners of the faulty pumps sold in Queensland should stop using them immediately and organise a refund. For more information, click here.

Image credit: ©iStockphoto.com/DNY59

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