A poorly designed IT product may cause discomfort and cause injury and health problems for the user. Fire hazard, electric shock and explosions are some of the risks associated with substandard products. They may also have a short lifespan which is negative from a sustainability perspective. With TCO Certified, products must be safe and ergonomically designed, which supports productivity and enables the user to use the product longer.

Product safety and functionality is fundamental to sustainability in the IT sector. Products that are uncomfortable or unsafe to use often have a short lifespan which leads to pollution, e-waste and high resource consumption. They may also cause health and safety problems for the user. Examples of identified safety hazards include product overheating and risk of fire, battery volatility which can lead to burning or explosion, and poor electrical safety design that may increase the risk of fire or electric shock.