What is Safety?

What does safety mean?
According to ISO/IEC GUIDE 1990, a guideline for creating international safety standards formulated in 2014 and revised in 51,

Safety is defined as "freedom from unacceptable risk"

Is defined as.
In general (especially in Japan), many people may think of "absolute safety" when it comes to safety, but in this definition, there is no unacceptable risk = risk is acceptable. It can be said that the state of being reduced as much as possible is "safe".

International safety standards define risk as "a combination of the probability of occurrence of harm and the severity of harm." It is believed that

In the background of this idea, there is no such thing as "absolute safety", and the definition is based on the idea that there is always a danger lurking in something that is convenient. It can be said that the degree of is a problem.

Differences in Safety Awareness

Awareness of "safety" varies between countries and ethnic groups, and recognizing and accepting these differences is especially important in today's world where everything is expanding globally.
It is said that it was Isaiah Bendasan's "Japanese and Jews" (1971) that made the Japanese aware of the difference in safety awareness from the West.

Among them, "Jews live in hotels even if they pay a lot of money to protect their precious lives, whereas Japanese people have said," Safety is naturally protected. There is a statement that it was not necessary to be aware of it as "or something that someone will protect."

Until now, there was no dangerous thing in Japanese consciousness, and it seems that there was a strong tendency for so-called "absolute safety" that no matter what you do, it will not be dangerous.With that kind of consciousness, when an accident occurs in a system called safety, criticisms are concentrated, and the collapse of the safety myth and the agitation of the media may also be a feature of the consciousness of "safety".
On the other hand, there is no absolute safety in Europe and the United States, and it seems that the degree of danger is considered to be a problem.We believe that accidents can occur even if we say safety, and it seems that safety is used to mean that the risk of accidents that may occur is suppressed at a low level.
This Western way of thinking is directly related to the way of thinking of the above-mentioned "ISO/IEC GUIDE 51".
Therefore, it must also be understood that different countries may have different levels of acceptable risk.

Japanese Way of Thinking
Western Way of Thinking
If you try your best, you can prevent disasters from happening a second time.
Disasters always occur based on skill level, even if you try your best.
  • People are the main cause of disasters
  • Prioritize measures for humans over those for technology
  • Disaster prevention is a technological issue
  • Prioritize measures for technology over those for humans
Create a management system, educate and train people:
Safety can be ensured by tightening regulations
Because people always make mistakes,
safety cannot be ensured unless we improve technical capabilities
Aim to make people and facilities under the Industrial Safety and Health Act,
 tighten regulations every time a disaster occurs
Make equipment safe, and implement technological measures
that will stop an accident from becoming serious if one occurs
Safety can generally be achieved for free
Achieving safety will generally cost money
  • It is difficult to accept that safety costs money
  • Dealt with visible “concrete dangers” at the lowest cost possible,
    but did not dig deeper into technological measures to deal with disasters that may not occur
  • Safety costs money
  • Identified sources of danger, evaluated risks, and spent based on the evaluations.
    Made efforts to reduce the disasters that could occur,
    through which various techniques and tools were born
Technology to eliminate dangers found (Technology that detects danger)
Technology that verifies safety using logic (Technology that confirms safety)
Emphasis on frequency (number of occurrences)
Emphasis on severity (Serious accidents)

Masao Mukaidono (ed.), Society of Safety Technology and Application (2000): Kokusaika Jidai no Kikai System Anzen Gijutsu, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun