Consumer Product Safety

For the press announcement special mention news in the 1999 fiscal year

July 3, 2000

In July 3, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry provides the information of the accident information collection results (of fiscal year 1999),
which has been collected for preventing product accidents from occurring or from reoccurring.

1. Number of Accident Information

The product accident information collected in fiscal 1999 was 964.

The product accident information collected to National Institute of Technology and Evaluation of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in fiscal 1999 was 964.
Compared with that of fiscal 1998, it has decreased by approximately 5 %.(It is required attention that the decrease in the product accident information does not always show the decrease in the whole number of the accidents.)The major cause of the decrease is the decrease in the notifications from the National Consumer Affairs Center by 64 cases.

[Separate Figure 1-1 (Number of accident notification cases and transition in number of product defect, wrong use and carelessness cases occupied in the product accidents)]

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2. Situations of Accidents Classified by Articles

There are a lot of accidents caused by combustion appliances, domestic electrical appliances, vehicles and vehicle-related products, and compared with the previous year, only the accidents by the combustion appliances increase, while the products accidents other than this decrease.

The accident information related to the three article fields of the combustion appliances359(334 in the previous year), the domestic electrical appliances 268 (306 in the previous year),and the vehicle and the vehicle-related products 168 (166 in the previous year) occupy 82% of the collected product accident information.

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3. Situations of Damage

Approximately 41% (393 cases) of the accidents involve the human injury and approximately 37% (358 cases) spread the damage except for the products causing the accidents. The casualties were approximately 10% (100 cases) of the whole accidents and their major causes were the combustion appliances (59 cases) and the domestic electrical appliances (20 cases). The serious accidents were approximately 5% (52 cases) and their major causes were the vehicle and vehicle-related products (14 cases) and the combustion appliances (13 cases).

  1. (1)As for the casualties, the 59% (59 cases) was the accident by the combustion
    appliances.The details are the fire and the carbon monoxide intoxication, etc. in this order.
  2. (2)The major origins of the casualties were solely the wrong use and the careless usage, which occupy 52% (52 cases) of the all, while none occurred caused by that "the product itself has a problem" and "the product itself has the problem and the usage also affects the occurrence of the accident."

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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 43% (410 cases) of the all, by the unknown origin approximately 22% (214 cases), and by problems in design, structure, and labeling approximately 11% (106 cases).

  1. (1)The occurrence of the accident whose origin is judged to be the product was decreasing such as approximately 19% in the fiscal year1996, approximately 18% in the fiscal year 1997, and approximately 14% in the fiscal year 1998, and in the fiscal year 1999 it is approximately 11%, with three point decrease compared with the previous year. [Refer to Separate Figures 1-1 and 1-2 (Number of product defect, wrong use and carelessness cases occupied in the product accidents and fluctuation in the ratios (%).) It is same in the (2).]
  2. (2)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 37% in the fiscal year 1996, approximately 44% in the fiscal year 1997, and approximately 46% in the fiscal year 1998, however, it decreases to approximately 43% in the fiscal year 1999.
  3. (3)The accidents solely caused by problems in the design, structure, and labeling were the domestic electrical products (49 cases), the vehicle and vehicle-related products (20 cases), and the personal belongings (15 cases).[Refer to Separate Figure 2 (Fluctuations in the ratios (%) of the product defects and wrong use / carelessness usage classified by the major articles.It is same in the (4).]
  4. (4)As for the accidents solely caused by the wrong use and the careless usage, the combustion appliances (237 cases) were outnumbered and followed by the domestic electrical products (91 cases).
  5. (5)As for the accidents caused by the unknown origins, the domestic electrical products (69 cases), the vehicle and vehicle-related products (68 cases), and the combustion appliances (47 cases) occupy the approximately 86% of the all. Most of them were ignition accidents and the accidental products were fiercely burned so as to be difficult to unfold the origins.
  6. (6)However, in those of the fiscal 1999, 167 cases are under the investigation so that the classification number of the origins is not the definite number and it will be corrected at every time when each investigation is completed.

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5. Test for Settling Accident Information by Ministry of International Trade and Industry

For taking appropriate administrative actions, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry performs tests for settling the accident information on those required to unfold the origins among the collected accident information.

In the fiscal 1999, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry performed 40 tests for settling the accident information on the bicycle, the petroleum fan heater, the simplified gas range, the color TV, and the gas hot water supply device (Including the product accident information collected in the fiscal year 1998).

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6. Reoccurrence Prevention Measures Taken by Ministry of International Trade and Industry

From the viewpoint of the accident reoccurrence prevention, as for the accidents caused by the products, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry instructs the makers to take necessary measures and also provides the information (manufacturer's names, brands, and models) for specifying the appropriate products.

From the viewpoint of the accident reoccurrence prevention, 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 measures such as intensification of the management of the production process.

Among them, in the fiscal 1999, to call the attentions to the general consumers, "Accident Information Special News" of the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation widely informs the consumer related organizations on the 'hair drier" which may cause the short circuit and the ignition.

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7. Reoccurrence Prevention Measures Taken by Companies

It was the 22 products (24 companies in total) reported to the NITE to be voluntarily recalled, or recalled or replaced by releasing the announcements on the newspaper.

  1. (1)The products reported to the NITE to be voluntarily recalled, or recalled or replaced by releasing the announcements on the newspaper were 22 (24 companies in total) such as an electric refrigerator, an electronic ballast, a hot-water bottle heated by a microwave oven, and an air cleaner with humidifying mechanism.
    As for the electric humidifier, accidents reoccurred repeatedly so that the announcement was released three times.
  2. (2)Besides these, the respective companies took various measures 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 labeling, and the review of the instruction.

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8. Fulfillment and Intensification of Information Provision

In November 1999, "Accident Information" (http://www.jiko.nite.go.jp/) for releasing the accident information and the announcement information at all times was opened on Internet Website as well as the leaflet by the annual report and the accident information provision for every quarters of the year.

  1. (1)The following information is provided with a search mechanism added thereto.
    1. (a)Accident information: Approximately 2700 cases from the fiscal years 1996 to 1998 and 897 cases excluding those under investigation in the fiscal year 1999
    2. (b)Announcement: Approximately 90 cases from 1986 up to now
    3. (c)Accident Information Special News: 28 cases
    4. (d)Complaints and accident origin unfolding method: Approximately 500 cases.
  2. (2)From June 2000, origin unfolding organization network participation organizations
    (companies) are also released on the "Accident Information".

Separate Figure 1-1 Number of accident notification cases and transition in number of product defect, wrong use and carelessness cases occupied in the product accidents

Separate Figure 1-2 Number of product defect, wrong use and carelessness cases occupied in the product accidents and fluctuation in the ratios (%)

Separate Figure 2 Fluctuations in ratios (%) of product defects and wrong use / carelessness usage classified by major articles
[Household electric products]

[Combustion appliances]

[Vehicle and vehicle-related products]

Contact us

 Risk Analysis and Public Relations Division  Product Safety Technology Center  National Institute of Technology and Evaluation
Phone number:+81-6-6612-2066
Fax number:+81-6-6612-1617
Address:1-22-16, Nankokita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 559-0034 Japan MAP