Safety

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 and fellow employees. 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.
At the same time, 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 SystemWe Thoroughly Implement a Safety Policy That Includes Partner Companies Outside the Group

In the case of the various efforts related to occupational health and safety, an activity policy is formulated by the Safety Committee established under the CSR Committee. These actual activities are promoted by the Total Manufacturing Management Center Safety & Environment Group.
We have formulated the Sekisui Chemical Group Safety Policy, which forms our basic philosophy on occupational safety and is shared by all employees within the Group. In addition to collecting a range of occupational health and safety data such as incident frequency rates, we also collect data from partner companies outside the Group including those that occur during production and construction operations as well as any incidence of occupational health and safety issues during research activities. In fiscal 2018, two meetings of the Safety Committee were held in September and March.

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Safety-Promotion System

Occupational Safety Committee HeldManagement and Labor Work Together to Assess, Research and Propose Solutions for Occupational Safety

The Occupational Safety Committee at each business site of Sekisui Chemical Group holds a meeting every month, as mandated by law. In addition, the Central Occupational Safety Committee, consisting of members from corporate headquarters and labor unions, meets once a year. The Central Occupational Safety Committee was created on the basis of collective labor agreements 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.

Example in Safety ActivitiesLeaders from Each Division Declared Their Commitment to Safe Business Practices

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

Safety AuditsConducting Audits based on Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) Audit Evaluation Reports

OHSMS (Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems) audit evaluation reports are drafted and used in self-assessments and corporate audits at each business site. Evaluation items are revised annually, which include incorporating ISO 45001 requirements published in March 2018. In fiscal 2018, corporate audits were conducted at 32 business sites in Japan. Going forward, we will plan and conduct sharply focused audits to determine the status of safety management and accident prevention activities.

Occupational Safety AssessmentsImplementation of Preliminary Safety Assessments When Launching a New Business

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.

Major Initiatives

Development of Human Resources to Take the Initiative in Safety ActivitiesEncouraging the Gaining of Qualifications to Become Key Persons in Charge of Safety Activities

In fiscal 2018, 18 employees (30 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 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, 81 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.

Review of Equipment Safety StandardsReviewing Equipment Safety Standards in Conjunction with Providing Explanations to Equipment Manufacturers

In fiscal 2017, we issued Equipment Design Safety Guidelines, which summarize the safety design standards necessary for production equipment used by Sekisui Chemical Group. Steps are taken to monitor the status of compliance on an ongoing basis. 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 RisksTraining to Improve the Ability to Identify Risks

We conduct practical risk assessment-improvement training in order to develop personnel able to identify and mitigate risks at their workplaces. In fiscal 2018, training sessions were conducted at the Musashi Plant, Chiba Sekisui Industry Co., Ltd., and the Sekisui Heim Industry Co., Ltd.’s Kinki office. Training participants identify risks and monitor improvements at their workplaces. Since fiscal 2016, this training program has been held at a total of eight workplaces, with the number of participants reaching194 to date. In addition, the training program has resulted in over 1,600 risk items being identified and unacceptable risks being mitigated.

Measures to Prevent Fires and ExplosionsInitiated Emergency Audits, to Which Outside Experts Are Invited

To prevent fires and explosions that, once they occur, have a major impact on the surrounding environment and on business continuity, in addition to the safety audits performed thus far, we implement emergency response audits, to which we invite outside disaster experts. 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.
Of the 147 measures implemented to prevent a reoccurrence of the 20 fires (including small fires) between fiscal 2104 and fiscal 2017, we confirmed that 139 were still in place. We recommended further measures for strengthening the remaining eight measures and confirmed that these improvements had been made.
Based on the accident prevention handbook issued in November 2017, we have worked to indentify fire and explosion risks at 48 workplaces nationwide. By fiscal 2018, 1,255 risks were identified, and 687 (74%) of 923 risks requiring improvement were mitigated as of the end of fiscal 2018.

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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: At 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

Emergency Response MeasuresFor the Purpose of Fine-tuning Unexpected Situation Response Skills in the Event of a Disaster

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 know-how 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.
In fiscal 2018, a total of 2,135 people participated in the training sessions that were held a total of 273 times in 98 departments at 17 business sites.

Deployment of Basic Safety PrinciplesPreparation of Basic Safety Principles Poster

We are 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 in fiscal 2017. 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.
We confirmed that these posters are being utilized at each business site through corporate audit inspection tours conducted in fiscal 2018. In addition, we implement safety activities at overseas business sites by distributing posters featuring similar information in English, Chinese, and other languages.

Overseas Business Site Safety AuditsVisualizing the Status of Safety Management Activities at Overseas Business Sites

At our overseas production sites, which operate under the varying laws and regulations as well as differing cultural awareness of safety issues in each region, Sekisui Chemical Group has, since fiscal 2013, been deploying safety global standards to raise the level of safety activities. Having commenced safety audits based on these global standards in earnest in fiscal 2014, in fiscal 2018 we implemented audits at 12 business sites. We are also holding regional safety brainstorming sessions in North America and China to share regional issues and discuss countermeasures. Planning and implementation, which had been previously spearheaded in Japan, have been shifted to regional head office staff. The program is undertaken each fiscal year based on such themes as policy development, sharing workplace initiatives, lectures by experts, and methods to investigative the causes of accidents.

Safety & Environment Conference and Safety AwardsPresidential Award Given to the Business Site with the Best Safety Record for the Fiscal Year

Sekisui Chemical Group Safety & Environment Conference is usually held to coincide with National Safety Week in July of each year. In fiscal 2018, the president was among the total of 241 people, who also included other directors, business heads from domestic production business sites and laboratories, construction companies as well as those in charge of safety, etc. who attended the conference on July 13. During the conference, the fiscal 2017 presidential award was given to the business site with the best safety record for the fiscal year.

Safety Management Along Supply ChainsSharing Safety Policies While Providing Training Opportunities

Based on the idea of securing the safety of employees from partner companies involved in the on-site construction of housing, the Housing Company organizes the Sekisui Heim Cooperation Association with its partner companies and holds periodic meetings while utilizing other methods to share the Group’s safety policy. We also provide a variety of training opportunities related to occupational safety, such as safety education sessions.

Performance Data

Safety Performance

Japan

Aggregate scope: 48 production sites and 5 research institutes in Japan

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  • 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 sites or research institutes 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, absences caused by industrial accidents are 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); includes injury to others, injury to the commuter, him or herself, damage to the commuter’s own vehicle, and physical damage occurring while operating an automobile or other vehicle
  • 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) x 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: 46 production sites and 1 research institute overseas

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  • 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:
48 production sites , 5 research institutes and 34 constraction offices in Japan
46 production sites and 1 research institute overseas

Occurrence of fatalities due to occupational accidents

(Number of people)
  FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018
Employees 0 0 0 0 0
  Japan 0 0 0 0 0
Overseas 0 0 0 0 0
Partner Companies 1 1 0 0 0
  Japan 1 1 0 0 0
Overseas 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 1 0 0 0

Health and Safety / Accident Prevention Costs

Aggregate Scope: 48 Domestic Japanese Production Sites and 5 Research Institutes, Headquarters, Back Offices of Division Companies

Health and Safety / Accident Prevention Costs

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(Millions of yen)
Item Sekisui Chemical Group
Classification 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. 946 2,676
2) Administrative costs Establishment and implementation of OHSMS, safety education, personnel costs, etc. 1,814
3) Other Safety awards, etc. 6
Total 2,766 2,676
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  • Costs and Investments Over Time

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Investment amounts The amount invested in health and safety and 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)