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Ensuring Product Safety

Basic Policy on Product Safety

Based on Toshiba Group Basic Policy on Product Safety, we are committed to eliminating product accidents. In order to ensure customer safety, we comply with the prevailing safety-related laws and regulations and proactively disclose full information to customers.

Toshiba Group Basic Policy on Product Safety

  1. We comply with the applicable laws and regulations on product safety in Japan and overseas.
  2. We widely gather information on product safety incidents and disclose such information in a proactive manner.
  3. We swiftly report product safety incidents to the competent authorities in accordance with laws and regulations.
  4. In the event of a serious incident attributable to any of our products, we swiftly institute a product recall and notify customers without delay.
  5. We issue alerts, as necessary, and employ warning labels to encourage safe use.
  6. We thoroughly analyze the causes of any product safety incident and strive to prevent recurrence.

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Providing information on product accidents

An employee who becomes aware of information concerning a Toshiba product accident must alert the division(s) in charge of dealing with safety issues concerning the product in question. The CPL Committee,* chaired by the President of the in-house company, then acts upon the matter. In the event of an 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.
In FY2012, Toshiba disclosed a total of 47 accidents in the list of serious product accidents in our website: 20 cases that were suspected to have been caused by products, 25 cases the cause of which was unknown, and two cases in which it was determined that the accident had not been caused by the product (as of April 9, 2013).
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.

*
CPL Committee: CPL is an abbreviation combining CL (contractual liability) and PL (product liability). The CPL Committee, chaired by a senior executive, promptly determines measures to deal with product accidents and quality issues.

Toshiba Group's Structure to Respond to Product Accidents

Toshiba Group's Structure to Respond to Product Accidents

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Strengthening the system to prevent reoccurrence of serious product accidents by sharing information within Toshiba Group

Guidebook for Preventing Reoccurrence of Accidents
Guidebook for Preventing Reoccurrence of Accidents

In 2011 we created the “Guidebook for Preventing Reoccurrence of Accidents,” which is a compilation of accident cases that have occurred since 2004 in Toshiba Group. The Guidebook was distributed to division managers and meetings were held to explain the content to the persons in charge of quality issues in the Group in order to strengthen measures to prevent reoccurrence of accidents. In addition, the information was converted into an e-book for access 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.

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Response to long-term used product accidents

To ensure safety we have asked our long-term users of CRT TVs to conduct safety checks. For refrigerators, to prevent electric fires or smoke caused by long-term use and deterioration, we distributed flyers requesting customers to stop using products that had been used for more than 25 years since the purchase.
We also provide information on inspection and labeling system for long-term use products and also provide consultations.

Announcements to ensure that products are used safely and appropriately (Japanese)

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Measures to Building Safety Product Culture

Since FY2008, we particularly worked on reinforcing our management system for ensuring compliance with the Electrical Appliances and Material Safety Law in Japan (hereinafter “the Law”), since the Law has an important bearing on the Group's products. The Chief Quality Executives and the person in charge of the Law initiated a revision of the internal regulations and created common audit items related to the Law for the entire Group. We also verified the business notification status and compatibilities of the technical standards based on the Law. Furthermore, education through e-learning was provided to all concerned employees in Japan and working overseas (approx. 103,000 in total participated in 2012)

Toshiba Initiative: Promoting Product Safety Information Sharing

In Toshiba Group, the plans and results of product safety-related activities of in-house companies and key group companies are investigated and the information is shared by the Group. As part of the process, information is organized from the perspectives of “organization,” “process,” “technology,” “human resources/ culture,” and “information,” and the results of activities in relation to the target are evaluated on a self-assessment basis.
To boost activities, in FY2011, the persons in charge of product safety issues in in-house companies and Group companies began holding meetings to exchange opinions and information. Even though products differ from person to person, they can learn much from each other by sharing views on product safety, thereby helping to improve product safety.
Such product safety exchange meetings were rated highly by third parties and cited by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as a reason for officially commending Toshiba as a company that excelled in taking product safety measures. In FY2012, we held such meetings four times.

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Safety Considerations Concerning Electromagnetic Waves

Toshiba Group is involved in standardization work of the International Electrotechnical Commission through the activities at the Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association (JEMA) for home appliances and the activities at the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB). These activities allow Toshiba Group to keep abreast of the latest information. We are adhering to the standards specified by these organizations to ensure safety concerning electromagnetic waves.

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Product Safety Evaluations by Third Parties

We ensure thorough compliance with the product safety-related rules and regulations throughout the Group and also conduct periodic audits. The Chief Quality Executive plays a central role in holding product safety-related events aimed at raising the safety awareness of employees and proactively discloses information on initiatives for product safety based on third-party evaluations.

Example: Toshiba Group officially commended in FY2012 as an outstanding company that excelled in taking product safety measures. Toshiba received Director-General for Commerse, Distribution and Industrial Saftey Policy Award in the METI Minister's Awards for Best Contributors to Product Saftey

2012年製品安全対策優良企業マーク

In November 2012, Toshiba Group was officially commended by a Director-General for Commerce, Distribution and Industrial Safety Policy Award the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as an oustanding company that excelled in taking product safety measures in the FY2012 6th METI Minister's Award for Best Contributions to Product Saftey.

Important Evaluation Points in the Screening Process

Initiative for ensuring sharing of product safety information among businesses

As different businesses are subject to different statutory limitations and product risks, Toshiba Group has set up a new series of meetings for exchanging product safety information in order to ensure that each business unit’s effective methods for taking safety measures are shared with others. In this way, the Group works to better realize our safety initiatives.

Evaluation tests to prevent product defects

Toshiba Group strives to prevent product accidents by using both thermal fatigue simulations and multiple stress tests in our PC and TV development processes to predict product defects.

Establishing a product safety management system led by quality supervisors

By assigning to each business a quality supervisor responsible for overseeing quality and safety throughout product life cycles, Toshiba Group has built a product safety management system across our wide range of business sectors and simultaneously established closer cooperation among our business units.

Reference website: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s website concerning the official commendation of companies that excel in taking product safety measures

Evaluation of CSR by External Parties

Example: Toshiba TEC Corp. officially commended in FY2009 as an outstanding company that excelled in taking product safety measures with a Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry award

Toshiba TEC receiving the award from METI
Toshiba TEC receiving the award from METI
2009年製品安全対策優良企業マーク

Group companies also develop their own programs for product safety. Toshiba TEC Corp. developed its product safety program with the aim of winning an award for its product safety measures from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and receieved a METI Minister's Award in the FY2009 in the METI Minister Awards for Best Contributors to Product Safety in the category of "large manufacturer and importers". We will continue to make challenges at Toshiba Group.

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