Confusing warning

July 23, 2012

Here’s a warning I saw the other day (click the image to see it full size if it’s unclear):

But what does it mean? The first part is simple and clear enough, but what’s the ‘(For Australia and New Zealand only)’ bit all about?

Does it mean that only young children and infirm persons in Australia/NZ can’t use this sewing machine without supervision, but they can if they don’t live in Australia/NZ? or if they aren’t operating the machine in Australia/NZ?

My guess is that there’s some sort of regulatory compliance thing happening here, where the Australian and New Zealand authorities require specific wording in a warning for certain products.

But it’s not clear.


  1. Hi Rhonda,
    Yes this sounds like a regulatory requirement where specific wording is required (as confusing as it may sound). I work in an industry where we have to use the following wordy statement in our customer manuals. “This appliance is not intended for use by persons (including children) with reduced physical, sensory or mental capabilities, or lack of experience and knowledge, unless they have been given supervision or instruction concerning the use of the appliance by a person responsible for their safety.”

  2. I wonder if this was some kind of instruction inserted for internal use when the instructions were written and was never intended to be part of the final copy. Possibly slightly different written materials are put in boxes for different destinations but this slipped through as actually wording.
    I am sure a few people on this list have seen quite interesting comments slip through that were never intended for the rest of us to see:-)

  3. When I was in the States, I was amused to see notices stating “Warning. this item contains a substance known to the State of California to cause cancer”. What I guess this means is that there are laws in California that require a cancer warning to be applied to items containing certain substances, and that item contains the substance. But the implication to me is that the state of California is privy to superior knowledge about carcinogenic substances that lesser mortals (and states) are not allowed to know.

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