Heart Gets Behind Football Safety

Football enthusiasts around Victoria were today reminded of the risks of using unsafe equipment by Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O'Brien.

Football enthusiasts around Victoria were today reminded of the risks of using unsafe equipment by Minister for Consumer Affairs Michael O'Brien.

Speaking at Olympic Park this morning, Mr O'Brien emphasised the risks that come from using moveable football goalposts that do not meet the mandatory safety standard.

Mr O'Brien was joined at Olympic Park by Melbourne Heart goalkeeper Clint Bolton and club CEO Scott Munn, who both welcomed the opportunity to remind Football enthusiasts of the importance of product safety.

"Not everyone may realise that there is a national standard in place to ensure that Football goalposts that are used at clubs, schools and parks are safe and to reduce the risk of injury," Mr O'Brien said.

"Goals can pose a risk of injury or death if they become unanchored during use or if they are used inappropriately, such as playing or swinging from the goalposts."

There have been seven deaths and one paraplegic injury related to moveable Football goalposts in Australia since 1986.

In 2003 a three-year-old child died in NSW when an unsecured football goal toppled over and struck her on the head. The Football goal weighed 180kg and had no rear ground bar.

"Melbourne Heart is passionately committed to promoting football as an athletic, fun and safe game," Melbourne Heart CEO Scott Munn said.

"We strongly support any measure that helps ensure people stay safe on and off the field."

Since June, staff from Consumer Affairs Victoria have been visiting Football clubs and schools, educating them about the standards and checking the Football goalposts which they use.

Inspectors from Consumer Affairs Victoria have already visited 30 schools and Football clubs across the state, and will visit more throughout July and August.

Consumer Affairs is also consulting with Victorian-based football goalpost manufacturers to inform them about the standard.

Under the safety standard, moveable football goalposts weighing more than 28 kilograms must: • have at least one anchor point at each side of the rear ground bar; • have three permanent warning labels, one on the crossbar and one on each upright post; and • not fall over or fail to return to its original position when tested in accordance with the national standard.

Injuries relating to Football goalposts can be due to: • instability; • goals becoming unanchored; • inappropriate or ineffective installation; and • inappropriate use, such as swinging on goalposts or crossbars.

For further information about the product safety standards on moveable soccer goalposts visit www.productsafety.gov.au.