Why Bunnings' new rule could change the Aussie sausage sizzle forever

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

The controversial changes to the iconic Bunnings sausage sizzle could serve as a warning to other community groups hosting fundraisers, a personal injury lawyer has cautioned.

While the move for onions to be placed under the sausage has been widely scoffed at as a sign of Australia becoming a nanny state, it’s a safety precaution community groups are now being urged to take.

The placement of the onions on a sausage sanga has been a hot topic around Australia this week. Source: AAP

In the wake of the controversy, a 65-year-old Queensland farmer revealed he received compensation from Bunnings after becoming seriously injured slipping on a wayward onion at a shop floor three years ago, landing on his back.

A Victorian nurse also said she was suing the hardware giant, claiming a stray Bunnings sausage sizzle onion almost cost her life.

Snag overhaul ‘necessary’: lawyer

James Chrara, NSW general manager of Shine Lawyers, backed the move saying it was not overkill, but rather necessary.

Bunnings have advised all sizzle operators to place onions on the bottom for safety reasons. Source: AAP

“While we can laugh at the headline, and I personally love a Bunnings snag, at the end of the day, a nurse was injured as a result of this slip and those responsible for the fall need to take that fall seriously and take steps to prevent similar accidents in future,” he told Yahoo7 News.

“[Bunnings has] many tradies come in on a daily basis to purchase tools and materials and many of these tradies are sole traders that depend on their health and wellbeing for income.

“If they suffer a serious injury as a result of a slip and fall, it could have disastrous consequences for their business and families.”

Duty of care applies to any sausage sizzle

The Bunnings snag overhaul could have serious implications for barbecues fired up across the country, with sizzlers urged to take necessary safety precautions themselves to prevent slipping hazards.

Community groups including schools, sports and surf life saving clubs are at risk of being sued themselves if they do not take safety precautions.

“The same duty of care applies across the board for any sausage sizzle in any location,” Mr Chrara told Yahoo7 News

The sausage sizzle overhaul even poses implications on the favoured ‘democracy sausage’ with the upcoming Victorian state election on November 24.

Community groups including schools, sports and surf life saving clubs, are at risk of being sued. Source: AAP

Safety advice for groups hosting sausage sizzles

Shine Lawyers advised those hosting sausage sizzles to regularly check the site for potential safety risks.

“The same applies to supermarkets, shopping centres and of course, Bunnings where a surface, if contaminated by a foreign substance such as food scraps/onions can become slippery and lead to serious injury,” Mr Chrara said.

Every individual who sustains a fall is entitled to make a claim once a breach of duty can be established, he said.