Targeting Zero Occupational Injuries Through Risk Reduction by All Personnel, from Top Management to the Plant-floor Frontlines

Management Approach

Basic ConceptEach and Every Employee Has the Ability to Identify Dangerous Situations

At the core of safety, it is important that each and every employee has the ability to identify dangerous situations and take appropriate steps to protect themselves. Even if equipment can be made completely safe, it is necessary to recognize that work and actions taken by individuals can have hidden risks. For this reason, we are making concerted efforts at safety education and raising sensitivity to risks, while following rules and creating a protective corporate culture.

Constructing a work environment in which employees can work with safety and security is our responsibility as a company and we consider it to be one of the most important priorities for management. SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group is implementing total safety activities (i.e. zero occupational injuries, zero equipment-related accidents, zero commuting-related accidents, and zero extended sick leave) based on five themes*.

* Five themes:

(1) Intrinsic safety of equipment; (2) safety management using OHSMS; (3) safety education of employees; (4) risk prevention through risk detection activities and other initiatives; and (5) auditing of health, safety, and accident prevention.

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Activity Policy and Promotion System

We formulated and shared the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group Safety Policy among all Group employees as our basic philosophy on occupational safety.

In terms of our efforts related to occupational health and safety, policies and activity guidelines are formulated by the Safety Sub-committee established under the Sustainability Committee. These efforts are put into practice and promoted by the Safety & Environment Group of the Manufacturing Infrastructure Enhancement Center.

We collect a range of occupational health and safety data. Data generated from ongoing work at SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group production and implementation sites and from research activities is tabulated along with data from partner companies (contractors) outside the Group.

In fiscal 2020, two meetings of the Safety Sub-committee were held online in September and March.

In event of an actual occupational injury, information including the form of employment of the injured party is collected. Improvements as required are also sought when there is a problem with the management of a business site. While SEKISUI CHEMICAL does not undergo such external certifications as ISO 45001, the Company does promote activities based on international standards at business sites. This includes reflecting ISO and Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) requirements in audit evaluation items.

  • 9-002

Safety-promotion System (from FY2020)

Occupational Safety Committee Held

The Occupational Safety Committee at each business site of SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group holds a meeting every month, as mandated by law.

Taking into consideration the need to prevent the spread of COVID-19, committee meetings were held online in fiscal 2020.

In addition, the Central Occupational Safety Committee, consisting of members from corporate headquarters and labor unions, is set to meet once a year. In fiscal 2020, for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19, committee meetings were canceled, under agreement between the Company’s Human Resources Headquarters and the Labor Union Headquarters. Meetings are scheduled to restart from fiscal 2021.

The Central Occupational Safety Committee was created on the basis of collective labor agreements for labor and management to work together to conduct disaster-related investigations and make strategic proposals related to occupational health and safety. Every employee can potentially become a member of the Central Occupational Safety Committee.

Based on the outcome of the Occupational Safety Committee’s deliberations, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group aims to strictly comply with laws and regulations, including the Industrial Safety and Health Act, ensure the safety and health of employees at work, and create a comfortable workplace environment. The Central Occupational Safety Committee and the Occupational Safety Committees at each business site assess workplace environments, draw up and implement solutions to workplace problems, and decide rules with regard to various topics related to occupational safety and health.

Declaration of Commitments to Safe Business Practices by the Leadership of Each Division

Based on the recognition that it is of the utmost importance for the top managers at business sites to exercise leadership and take the initiative in safety activities, leaders from each division, including the president, declare their commitment to safe business practices each fiscal year, and their personally written declarations are published on the intranet.

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A safety declaration posted on the intranet

Implementation of Safety Audits

Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS) audit evaluation reports are drafted, and self-assessments and corporate safety audits are employed at each business site. Evaluation items are revised annually, which include incorporating ISO 45001 requirements.

In fiscal 2020, with a view to preventing the spread of COVID-19, safety audits were postponed to the second half of the fiscal year. In some business sites, they could be audited remotely online. By these and other measures, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group succeeded in completing safety audits as initially planned at 17 business sites in Japan.

In the remote audits, document audits were executed with comparable efficacy to in-person audits. Site inspection tours, on the other hand, were more time-consuming than usual, as they required communication between auditors at remote sites and on-site staff touring the facilities with wearable cameras. In the future, the Group plans to make continuous improvements to its safety auditing procedures, to ensure that they are carried out appropriately to the purposes and circumstances in each case.

Implementation of Occupational Safety Assessments

Article 14 of the Group’s Safety Management Rules stipulates that a comprehensive preliminary occupational safety assessment must be undertaken by the business general manager concerned when launching a new business. Based on this stipulation, the relevant divisional company that is looking to launch a new business implements an assessment.

In terms of medical examinations for employees, measures are applied based on the medical examination results of high-risk individuals under the work aptitude assessment guidelines for high-risk individuals (for health management officers).

Major Initiatives

Development of Human Resources to Take the Initiative in Safety Activities

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group has encouraged employees to acquire safety related qualifications since fiscal 2017 for the purpose of enhancing safety activities.

In fiscal 2020, 18 employees (80 in total since fiscal 2017) were certified under the “safety leader” qualification to serve as personnel who take the initiative in safety activities. Safety leaders are tasked with identifying and mitigating risks at their respective workplaces, holding workshops with other safety leaders Group-wide, and promoting the standardization of safety training curriculum.

In addition, we also encourage employees to obtain the qualification called “safety sub-assessor,” holders of which play a role in promoting intrinsic safety in equipment. Since fiscal 2017, 148 employees in total have been certified as safety sub-assessors. We have deployed safety sub-assessors in Group-wide projects extending over several business sites, where they promote improved safety in areas such as elevated opening/closing fences, pinch rollers, and handcarts commonly used at these locations. In addition, we also encourage employees to acquire the “safety assessor” qualification, which ranks above safety sub-assessor. As of fiscal 2020, 15 employees have been certified. We aim to increase this number to 20 by fiscal 2021.

Review of Equipment Safety Standards

We have issued and monitor compliance with the Equipment Design Safety Guidelines, which summarize the safety design standards necessary for production equipment used by SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group. Safety specification checklists must be attached to equipment manufacturer estimates. Corporate audits are conducted to verify that equipment safety standards are actually being adhered to at workplaces and intrinsic safety is being promoted.

Early Detection of Risks through Practical Training

We conduct practical risk assessment-improvement training in order to develop personnel able to identify and mitigate risks at their workplaces.

In fiscal 2020, safety leaders at each business site led the implementation of independent risk assessment training. This training was conducted 117 times at 46 business sites. Improvements are being advanced for any unacceptable risks that were discovered.

Measures to Prevent Fires and Explosions

To prevent fires and explosions that, once they occur, have a major impact on the surrounding environment and on business continuity, we invite outside disaster experts to perform emergency response audits when conducting safety audits.

We verify items such as the storage and handling status of hazardous materials as well as the recovery systems used following a disaster, including natural disasters, and promote the quick identification of disaster risks and the subsequent implementation of preventative measures. In fiscal 2020, these audits were performed at six business sites and resulted in 126 warnings. Each business site has been making improvements in regard to these warnings.

  • 9-007
Type of audit Target / aim of audit
Safety audit
  • Document review
    Checking of conditions relating to health and safety management activities
  • On-site inspections
    Confirmation of the safety of people’s work, their working environments, the surfaces on which they walk, and so forth
  • Essential safety measure compliance status
    Includes accident-prevention measures at the facility design and installation stages
  • Process examinations of facility management departments Facility installation management, construction management, maintenance Management
  • Note:
    AAt business sites that themselves implement safety audits only, auditing is performed nearly identically as previously, including “disaster-preparedness audits,” as outlined below.
Disaster-preparedness audit Primarily consists of audits for accident-prevention measures relating to business continuity
  • Checking of storage and handling conditions of dangerous articles and designated flammable materials
  • Checking of fire-fighting equipment maintenance status
  • Measures for responding to earthquakes and other natural disasters

Enhancement of Emergency Response Skills

We have established getting caught or entangled in machinery at a production facility, falling off equipment or falling over at a business site, and a fire or explosion in a chemical process as high-risk scenarios on which SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group should place a particular focus on preventing. The Company conducts “Heads-up Training” where chemical processes are integral to production.

At SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group, we conduct “Heads-up training” to fortify the decision-making abilities of all our employees in the event that they encounter an emergency situation. More specifically, supervisors with years of experience will ask trainees what they would do if equipment designed to prevent danger fails and the trainees will be tasked with providing responses off the top of their heads. This training improves the skills needed to respond to unexpected situations in the event of a disaster by passing down to younger employees the on-site safety knowhow accumulated over many years by senior employees. Through this training, we were able to improve equipment countermeasures and revise operating procedures. In addition to teaching trainees how to handle potential problems, the training has been applied on various occasions, including evacuation drills and disaster prevention drills.

Deepening the Deployment of Basic Safety Principles

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group is working to prevent occupational injuries caused by machines and equipment by making the equipment itself intrinsically safer while also preventing occupational accidents caused by worker operations. Based on the lessons learned from past occupational accidents that actually occurred on Group business sites, the “Six Basic Safety Principles,” which summarize compliance matters and matters prohibited during operations for each operational process, were established and are currently in use .

In order to promptly disseminate these principles within the Company, we created and distributed to each workplace a poster that showed them in an easy to understand, illustrated format.

  • 09-09
  • 09-10
    • “Six Basic Safety Principles” Poster (English version)
    • “Six Basic Safety Principles” Poster (Thai version)

Overseas Business Site Safety Audits

At our overseas production sites, which operate within different legal, regulatory, and cultural environments, SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group has established and deploys safety global standards to raise the level of safety activities.

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group also performs safety audits based on global standards. Although audits were scheduled for 22 business sites during fiscal 2020, these were canceled for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Safety & Environment Lectures and Safety Awards

SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group Safety & Environment Conference is usually held to coincide with National Safety Week in July of each year.

During fiscal 2020, the awards assembly was canceled, with a view to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Instead, messages recorded by the president, managing director and Safety & Environment Group manager were broadcast at each business site. In addition, an emergency safety lecture was held online by an Outside Audit and Supervisory Board Member on the date for which the conference was initially scheduled. This lecture was viewed by the directors, business site leaders, and safety officers, while a video consisting of the lecture details arranged for the worksites was broadcast to employees and partner companies (contractors) in Japan and abroad.

Moreover, whereas the business site with the best safety record has typically been awarded at the annual Safety Conference, during fiscal 2020 a commemorative award was mailed to each business site.

Safety Management Along Supply Chains

In order to secure the safety of employees from partner companies (contractors) involved in the on-site construction of housing, the Housing Company organizes the Sekisui Heim Cooperation Association with its partner companies (contractors) and holds periodic meetings. During these meetings, the Housing Company shares the SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group’s safety policy, offers safety education sessions, and provides a variety of training opportunities related to occupational safety.

Performance Data

Safety Performance

Japan

Aggregate scope: 47 production sites and 5 research institutes in Japan

  • 9-011
  • 9-012
  • 9-015
  • 9-016
  • 9-019
  • 9-020
  • 9-023
  • 9-024
  • 9-027
  • 9-028
  • Number of Occupational Accidents

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Number of occupational accidents The number of occupational accidents (both those resulting in lost time and those not) occurring during a given fiscal year (April through the following March)
  • Number of Facility Accidents

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Number of Facility Accidents The number of incidents of malfunctioning (fires, leaks, etc.) at facilities that fulfill at least one of the following criteria (SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group criteria), from (1) to (3), occurring during a given fiscal year
    (April through the following March)
    (1) Human harm: An accident causing at least 30 days’ lost work
    (2) Material harm: 10,000,000 yen or greater
    (3) Opportunity loss: 20,000,000 yen or greater
  • Number of Long-term Sick Leave

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Number of Cases of Long-term Sick Leave Describes leave of 30 days or more consecutively for sickness or injury occurring in a Japanese production site or research institute during the given fiscal year (April to the following March), and which is newly-occurring. Recurrences within 6 months of the start of work attendance are not counted. However, leave attributable to an occupational injury is counted as an occupational accident and not classified as long-term sick leave
  • Number of Commuting Accidents

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Number of commuting accidents The number of accidents occurring during commutes to Japanese production sites and research institutes during a given fiscal year (April to the following March); counting injury toothers, injury to the commuter, self-inflicted damage and accidents; includes accidents while walking
  • Frequency Rate Over Time

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Frequency Rate The total number of injuries, illness and fatalities in occupational accidents with lost time per 1,000,000 hours of total time worked during a given fiscal year (April through the following March)
    Formula for calculation: (Number of injuries, illness and fatalities in occupational accidents with lost time / total number of man-hours worked) × 1,000,000
  • Severity Rate Over Time

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Severity Rate The total number of days of work lost per 1,000 hours of total time worked during a given fiscal year (April through the following March)
    Formula for calculation: (Number of days of work lost / total number of man-hours worked) × 1,000
  • Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR)

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (Number of accidents causing sick leave / total number of man-hours worked) × 1,000,000
  • Occupational Illness Frequency Rate (OIFR)

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Occupational Illness Frequency Rate (Occupational illnesses / total number of man-hours worked) × 1,000,000 Occupational illnesses as defined by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, including heat stroke, lower back pain, and intoxication by chemical substances
  • Safety Performance in the Housing Company’s Construction Sites

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Safety performance on the Housing Company’s construction sites The number of occupational accidents (both those resulting in lost time and those not) occurring on construction sites under the jurisdiction of the Housing Company during a given fiscal year (April through the following March)
  • Safety Performance with Respect to Construction Sites in the Urban Infrastructure & Environmental Products Company

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Safety Performance with Respect to Construction Sites in the Urban Infrastructure & Environmental Products Company The number of occupational accidents (both those resulting in lost time and those not) occurring on construction sites under the jurisdiction of the Urban Infrastructure & Environmental Products Company or the Sekisui Chemical company headquarters during a given fiscal year (April through the following March)

Overseas

Aggregate scope: 48 production sites overseas

  • 6-018
  • Number of Occupational Accidents

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Occurrence of occupational accidents at overseas production sites and research institutes The number of occupational accidents (both requiring and not requiring time off from work) occurring at overseas production sites and research institutes during a given fiscal year (April through the following March)

Japan and Overseas

Aggregate scope:
47 production sites, 5 research institutes and 34 construction offices in Japan
48 production sites overseas

Occurrence of fatalities due to occupational accidents

(Number of people)
  FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020
Employees 0 0 0 0 0
  Japan 0 0 0 0 0
Overseas 0 0 0 0 0
Partner Companies (contractors) 0 0 0 0 1
  Japan 0 0 0 0 1
Overseas 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 1

Health and Safety / Accident Prevention Costs

Aggregate Scope: 47 Production Sites, 5 Research Institutes, Headquarters, Back Offices of Divisional Companies in Japan

Accident Prevention Costs

  • 6-019
(Millions of yen)
Item SEKISUI CHEMICAL Group
Classi cation Details Expense amount Investment amount
1) Costs within business site areas Health and safety measures, rescue and protective equipment, measurement of work environment, health
management, workers’ accident compensation insurance, etc.
991 3,247
2) Administrative costs Establishment and implementation of OHSMS, safety education, personnel costs, etc. 1,938
3) Other Safety awards, etc. 7
Total 2,936 3,247
  • 6-020
  • 6-021
  • Costs and Investments Over Time

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Costs Costs associated with health and safety as well as accident prevention activities during a given fiscal year (April through the following March)
    Investment amounts The amount invested in health and safety as well as accident prevention-related measures authorized during a given fiscal year (April through the following March)
  • Loss Costs Over Time

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Loss costs The costs of responding to, and the labor costs incurred due to, occupational accidents, facility accidents, commuting accidents, and long-term sick leave due to illness occurring within a given fiscal year (April through the following March)