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14 Examples of Product Safety

Product safety is the risk of injury or sickness associated with a product or service. This considers hazards related to the product in real world conditions. The following are illustrative examples.

Standards Compliance

As a consumer, it is almost impossible to evaluate safety on your own. For example, a bicycle helmet may seem sturdy but you need to understand the physics of an impact to fully model performance in an accident. Safety standards and regulations provide guidelines and tests that can be used to ensure and evaluate the safety of products. These may be specific to a product, such as safety standards for bicycle helmets or may be generally applicable such as product fire safety regulations. Generally speaking, safe products seek a wide range of safety certifications and the firms behind the product are well versed in safety standards.

Diligence & Reputation

The safety reputation of a firm. For example, a firm that scores low on a safety compliance test that immediately recalls and improves products may be more reliable than a firm that simply ignores poor test results. Firms with poor safety diligence may use weasel words to describe safety that have no legal or technical meaning. They may promise that they take safety seriously without referring to anything concrete such as a score on a reputable third party safety test or evaluation.

Reliability Engineering

Reliability engineering is the practice of designing products and services to be resistant to real world stresses. For example, an aircraft engine that is designed to operate in a wide range of weather conditions with high reliability. Aircraft engines are also designed to consider a broad range of hazards such as bird strikes.

Mistake Proofing

Products and services designed to prevent human error. For example, a safety harness that is designed such that it is almost impossible to put it on incorrectly.


Products designed to be safe for children such as the avoidance of small, loose parts that represent a choking hazard.

Inherent Safety

The baseline safety of a product. For example, a spoon is safer than a knife. Inherent safety can be a influenced by design and formulation. For example, non-toxic children's crayons as opposed to a product that contains toxic chemicals.


A product that is easy to install and operate may be safer than a product that is difficult to use. For example, an aircraft with automated features that allow a pilot to focus on critical elements of a flight that require human attention.


Clear instructions and labeling. Instructions may include multiple languages and useful diagrams to improve their comprehensibility for all users. This is particularly critical for information pertaining to safe usage, installation and hazard warnings. For example, color temperature may be used to highlight warnings.

Error Tolerance

A product that continues to operate when errors occur. This can be relevant to safety. For example, a vehicle that doesn't halt when the engine overheats but displays a warning and restricts the speed of the vehicle. This allows the driver to get to a safe place to stop.

Fail Safe

Products that fail safely. For example, elevator brakes that require power to remain in the off position such that an electrical failure causes the brakes to activate.

Ingredient & Material Safety

Hazards related to the ingredients of food and materials in products such as health hazards, fire hazards and other hazards such as reactivity.


Manufacturing and operational conditions and practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease. For example, processes that ensure food is free from pathogens.

Safety Features

The performance of products with respect to hazards. This includes avoidance of hazards such as an accident prevention system, safety equipment such as seat belts and resilience to hazards such as the crashworthiness of a vehicle.

Disaster Preparedness

Products and services that consider disaster hazards in their design. For example, an elevator that is linked to an earthquake detection system such that it can often secure itself and provide instructions to passengers before an earthquake arrives.
Overview: Product Safety
The risk of injury or sickness associated with a product or service.
Related Concepts

Safety Design

This is the complete list of articles we have written about safety design.
Active Safety
Defensive Design
Error Tolerance
Graceful Degradation
Mistake Proofing
Moving Parts
Passive Risk
Passive Safety
Reliability Engineering
Residual Risk
Safety Controls
Safety Needs
Secondary Risk
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Active vs Passive

The difference between active and passive safety.

Defensive Design

An overview of defensive design.

Self-Destruct Mechanism

An overview of self-destruct mechanisms as a safety feature.

Tactile Information

The common types of tactile information.

Flight Envelope Protection

An overview of flight envelope protection.

Earthquake Detection System

An overview of earthquake detection systems.


The definition of hazard with examples.

Err On The Side Of Caution

The definition of err on the side of caution with examples.

Reliability Engineering

A list of reliability engineering techniques.


The definition of self-healing technology with examples.

Composite Material

Common examples of composite materials.

Material Strength

The definition of material strength with examples.


The common types of error with examples.

Reliability Quality

An overview of reliability as it pertains to quality with examples.
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