Product Safety and Product Security
Based on Toshiba Group Basic Policy on Product Safety and Standards of Conduct for Toshiba Group, we ensure product safety and product security, and positively disclose full information of safety to customers.
Medium- to Long-term Vision
- Complying with relevant laws and regulations on Product Safety
- Eradicating serious product incidents arising from own negligence
- Proactively disclosing information on serious product incidents
- The number of incident reports under Consumer Product Safety Act
- Target 0 → Number of cases 4
Breakdown: 2 cases that were suspected to have been caused by products; 2 cases* in which the causes unknown.
Future Challenges and Approaches
We will boost our efforts to swiftly retrieve products after a recall has been announced in order to ensure the safety of our customers in the market. We will also promote company-wide activities according to security of our products, systems and services.
- Basic Policy on Product Safety and Product Security
- Structure of Response to the Occurrence of Product Accidents
- Preventing Occurrence and Recurrence of Serious Product Accidents
- Disclosure of Product Safety and Quality Information
- Initiatives for Enhancing Product Security
Basic Policy on Product Safety and Product Security
In keeping with the Standards of Conduct for Toshiba Group on Product Safety and Product Security, Toshiba Group endeavors to comply with relevant laws and regulations, to ensure product safety and product security, and also to proactively disclose reliable safety information to our customers. Furthermore, we continually research safety-related standards and technical standards (UL Standards*1, CE Marking*2, etc.) required by the countries and regions where we distribute products, and display the safety compliance of our products in accordance with the relevant standards and specifications.
- *1 UL Standards: Safety standards established by UL LLC (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) that develops standards for materials, products, and equipment and provides product testing and certification.
- *2 CE Marking: A certification mark that indicates conformity with the safety standards of the European Union (EU). The CE marking is required for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA).
Structure of Response to the Occurrence of Product Accidents
If an employee discovers information on accidents involving Toshiba products in the market, he/she promptly alerts the accident response staff in the relevant companies. Then the necessary measures are discussed and enacted by the CPL Committee*1 of relevant companies, chaired by a senior executive, or if necessary, the Corporate CPL Committee. In the event of a serious accident attributable to a product that is likely to recur, we inform customers of the danger and request that they cease using such products, promptly report to the competent authorities, and establish countermeasures as soon as possible.
Furthermore, we are developing an information system to enable swift communication with quality assurance divisions and top management regarding information on product accidents obtained by repair and service staff as well as on how such incidents are being handled by Toshiba.
In FY2020, Toshiba disclosed a total of four accidents in the list of serious product accidents on our Japanese website*2: two cases that were suspected to have been caused by products, two cases in which the causes unknown.
- *1 CPL Committee: CPL is an abbreviation combining CL (contractual liability) and PL (product liability). The CPL Committee of Group companies is chaired by its president, and promptly determines measures to deal with product accidents and quality issues.
- *2 Accident report based on a Consumer Products Safety Act (Japanese)
Toshiba Group's Structure to Respond to Occurrence of Product Accidents
Preventing Occurrence and Recurrence of Serious Product Accidents
Toshiba Group is working to ensure product safety with 93.2% of manufacturing sites with a product development process conducting design reviews related to product safety (as of March 2020).
In addition, in 2011 we created the “Guidebook for Preventing Reoccurrence of Accidents (e-book),” which is a compilation of accident cases that have occurred in Toshiba Group. The information can be accessed by personnel in charge of quality and safety-related issues in the company via the intranet. A serious accident not only signals an alarm for the quality and safety of products, but also can provide precious insight into product development and assessment. We will promote the system of sharing information within the Group and strive to prevent reoccurrence of product accidents.
Guidebook for Preventing Reoccurrence of Accidents (Japanese)
To Ensure Compliance with Laws, Regulations, Rules, etc. on Product Safety
The Chief Quality Executive plays a central role in ensuring thorough compliance with product safety-related laws, regulations and rules throughout the Group and also conducts periodic monitoring and audits. We provided e-learning to all related personnel in Japan (73,112 in FY2020 with participation rate of 99.7%) concerning the Electrical Appliances and Material Safety Law in Japan since the law has an important bearing on the Group’s products. By increasing understanding of the law we aim to prevent more accidents.
Toshiba Group is involved in standardization work of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) through activities at Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association (JEMA), Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) and Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB). These activities allow Toshiba to keep abreast of the latest information and adhere to the standards specified by these organizations.
Sharing Information on and Response to Serious Product Accidents
Toshiba Group convenes a meeting for persons in charge of the Electrical Appliances and Material Safety Law who gather from Toshiba Group companies to prevent occurrence and recurrence of serious accidents through breaches of the law. The meeting serves as the basis for sharing product information from respective companies. Information on serious accidents caused by procured items is also shared at meetings that aim to promote the quality of such items. The information is logged in a database as a means to enhance the quality of procured items. Product security liaison meetings are used to share examples of accidents and the latest information on product security obtained from such related organizations as Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center (JPCERT CC). We are working to prevent accidents caused by product vulnerabilities.
Disclosure to Ensure Safe Use of Products
Although products are equipped with various safety features, they may not be sufficient to ensure complete safety if products are in use for very long periods of time or the operating environment or conditions are extreme.
To ensure safe use of products, Toshiba Group describes correct handling of products in users’ manuals and, if necessary, through alerts placed in newspapers and on the website, or by means of leaflets, educational materials, etc.
Further, in case of Toshiba brand products which businesses are transferred outside Toshiba Group such as home appliances and visual products, we also endeavor to promote information disclosure by sharing product accident information with the companies which businesses have been transferred.
Activity Example: Education on the Proper Way of Using Elevator and Escalator
Elevator / Escalator safety campaign
at a kindergarten
Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corp. organize nationwide safety campaigns to provide instructions concerning the correct use of elevators and escalators, mainly to children in kindergartens and elementary schools. This event, held at kindergartens and community spaces in residential buildings, has been continuing for over the last 30 years, thanks to the cooperation of local communities, including the children and guardians who participated in such events.
Recently, owing to the growing concern in case of earthquake, we held a safety campaign, using a trailer caravan to demonstrate how to respond in a situation in an elevator during an earthquake or power failure. Since February 2017, a virtual reality (VR) space has been used for a VR caravan to give people hands-on experience of what to do if such a situation arises. The event, using a trailer caravan, was held in five locations in FY2019.
Safety Campaign Using a Trailer Caravan
Equipment used in the virtual reality space
Virtual reality spatial images
Disclosure of Product Safety and Quality Information
In the event of a serious defect or accident resulting from a Toshiba product or service, we promptly report the details to the competent authorities in accordance with prevailing laws and regulations. Also, in order to notify customers of such accidents as quickly as possible, depending upon the severity of damage or frequency of occurrence, we disclose product accident information directly to our customers via newspapers, websites, etc. Through our corporate website, we disclose information on accidents involving our products as posted on the website of the Consumer Affairs Agency. We also proactively disclose information concerning serious accidents, even when it is unclear whether such accidents are attributable to Toshiba products or not.
Further, in case of Toshiba brand products which businesses are transferred outside Toshiba Group such as home appliances, we also endeavor to promote information disclosure by sharing product accident information with the companies which businesses have been transferred.
Also, we prepare flyers on products that are subject to recall and have particularly high risks of causing a fire, such as air conditioners, battery packs for laptops, vertical washer-dryers, and compact fluorescent lights. We are also developing various activities to recall our products more quickly, such as checking whether customers have any defective products when visiting them for repairs or inspections, distributing flyers together with power meter reading slips and checking whether there are any products subject to recall in care recipient’s home by care managers.
We are requesting all Toshiba Group employees, including not only their families but also their relatives, neighbors and friends, to provide product information and to cooperate in repairing defective products.
Composite flyer of recall
In FY2020, we launched a recall company notice in the Japanese market and started replacing and collecting recalled products. The number of products subject to the recall is 1,301.
Initiatives for Enhancing Product Security
To ensure security for products, systems, and services, Toshiba Group works to ensure security for product development processes and external products used in its products under its product security management system.
We have devised plans to enhance its product security preparedness according to risk-based priorities, defining four focus areas for product security: maintenance and management of the PSIRT* framework, handling of vulnerability information, response to product security incidents, and secure development management. We are making a Group-wide effort to prepare product security checklists that summarize the security requirements to be checked at each product development stage as well as guidelines and standard recommended tools corresponding to each of the checklists. We also ask our suppliers to understand Toshiba Group’s approach to product security and cooperate with us in providing secure products, systems, and services by preparing guidelines.
Please refer to the Cyber Security Report for details on our product security efforts.
- * Product Security Incident Response Team