Consumer Product Safety

Accident Information Special News 21 (The report in the 1997 fiscal year)

July 1, 1998

In the National Safety Day, July 1, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry releases the contents of the accident information collection results (the fiscal year 1997), which have been collected for preventing the product accidents from occurring and reoccurring. The points are as follows.

1. Number of Accident Information Collected in Fiscal Year 1996, 1140

The number of the accident information collected in the fiscal year 1997 was 1140. It increased approximately 10% compared with the fiscal year 1996. (It must be drew attention that the increase in the product accident information was the effect of the consumers' increasing interest in the product safety and the substantiality of the accident information collecting system and does not mean the increase in the whole accidents.)

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2. Situations of Accidents Classified by Articles

The accident information related to the three article fields of the combustion appliances (348 cases), the domestic electrical appliances (336 cases), and the vehicle and the vehicle-related products (171 cases) occupies 75% of the collected product accident information.

As the background of increase in the accident information of the combustion appliances, there are cited that the accident information released on the newspapers was thoroughly collected.

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3. Situations of Damage

Approximately 44% (496 cases) of the accidents involve the human injury and approximately 39% (443 cases) spread the damage to that except for the accident item. The death accidents were approximately 7.6% (87 cases) and the seriously injured accidents approximately 7.5% of the whole accidents, and those caused by the combustion appliances occurred frequently with 41 cases and 30 cases respectively.

  1. (1)As for the death death accidents, the 47% (41 cases) was the accident by the combustion appliances (burned to death and death by carbon monoxide intoxication by fire).
  2. (2)The major origins of the death accidents were solely the wrong use and the careless usage, which occupy 54% (47 cases) of the all, while 2 death cases occurred by the problem of the product itself (so-called "energy-saving trivet") and 1 case occurred by the problem of the product itself and also affected by the usage (petroleum fan heater).

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4.Origins of Accidents

Among the accidents, those thought to be solely caused by the wrong use and careless usage are the highest, approximately 41% (464 cases) of the all, by the unknown origin approximately 24% (270 cases), and by problems in design, structure, and label approximately 16% (1819 cases).

  1. (1)As for the accidents solely caused by the wrong use and the careless usage, the combustion appliances (242 cases) were outnumbered and the domestic electrical products (103 cases) ranked second.
  2. (2)As for the accidents caused by the unknown origins, the domestic electrical products (86 cases), the vehicle and vehicle-related products (79 cases), and the combustion appliances (61 cases) occupy the approximately 84% of the all. Most of them were ignition accidents and the accidental products were fiercely burnt so that it was difficult to unfold the origins.
  3. (3)The accidents solely caused by problems in the design, structure, and label were the domestic electrical products (73 cases), the personal belongings (30cases), and the health and sanitary products (23 cases).
  4. (4)The occurrence of the accident whose origin is judged to be the product was decreasing tendency such as approximately 33% in fiscal year1995 and approximately 23% in the fiscal year 1996, and in the fiscal year 1997, it is approximately 18%, with 5 points decrease compared with the previous year.
  5. (5)In contract to the accident occurrence caused by the products, the occurrences of the accidents caused by the wrong use and carelessness showed the increasing tendency, approximately 34% in the fiscal year 1995, and approximately 37% in the fiscal year 1996, and, it increases to approximately 41% in the fiscal year 1997.

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5. Test for settling accident information by Ministry of International Trade and Industry

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry performs test for settling accident information on those required to unfold the origins out of the collected accident information for taking appropriate administrative actions.

In the fiscal 1997, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry performed the 49 tests for settling accident information (Including the product accident information collected in the fiscal year 1996).

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6. Reoccurrence Prevention Measures in Ministry of International Trade and Industry

As for the accidents caused by the products, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry instructed the makers to take necessary actions and from the viewpoint of the accident reoccurrence prevention, publicly released the information (manufacturer's names of the appropriate products, brands, and types) for specifying the appropriate products. The emergent and serious cases in particular were released in each time it occurred.

As for the accidents caused by the products out of those unfolded the origins, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry instructs the makers and the related industries to take necessary actions such as intensification of the management of the production process from the viewpoint of the accident reoccurrence prevention.

Among them, three cases of "ear care goods" (accident occurrence: in 1997) which may cause disorder in the auris interna, a "circulation type bath water heater" (accident occurrence: in 1996 and 1997) which may cause smoking and ignition, and the so-called "energy-saving trivet" (accident occurrence: in 1997) which has possibility of causing the carbon monoxide intoxication were announced to call the attentions of the general consumers and also widely notified the consumer related organizations by released on the "Accident Information Special News" of the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation.

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7. Reoccurrence Prevention Measures of Enterprises

Products reported to be spontaneously recalled, or recalled or replaced by releasing the announcements on the newspaper were 25 (38 companies in total).

  1. (1)The products reported to be spontaneously recalled, or recalled or replaced by releasing the announcements on the newspaper are 25 (38 companies in total) such as an electric water heater and a car audio.
  2. (2)Besides these, the respective companies took various actions for preventing the reoccurrence such as the improvement of the product, the improvement of the production process, the intensification of the quality control, improvement of the expressions, and the review of the instruction.

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