In July 2016, a new industry code1has been developed in Australia to guide all businesses in the supply chain in making decision about button battery (also named as coin or disc battery) safety during product design, selection or sale.
The code provides guidance on the construction of button-powered devices and important safety information for use on retail packaging, point of sale and in user instructions. It is voluntary but is strongly supported by leading Australian suppliers and consumer safety stakeholders as an industry benchmark for safety purpose.
Highlights of the essential requirements are as follows:
Consumer goods must be designed and manufactured such that the batteries are not accessible to small children during normal or reasonable foreseeable misuse. Australian and international safety standards are suggested to perform the use and misuse test on battery enclosure and the fastener mechanism;
The battery compartment should be secured and either requires a tool (preferably with a captive screw, a bolt or mechanism) to gain access to the batteries, or requires two or more independent and simultaneous action to be removed;
Warning information must be placed at point of sale, including online, to indicate the product is button battery operated and alert consumers the potential hazards to small children (e.g. “WARNING – KEEP BATTERIES OUT OF CHILDREN”); and
It is recommended to affix the warning symbol (e.g. ANSI C18.3 or IEC 62115) to the packaging or instructions of products and supply the products with button batteries in suitable child-resistant packaging.
The requirements do not apply to professionally prescribed and fitted medical devices such as hearing aids.