Targeting Zero Occupational Accidents 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 one of the most important priorities for management. The Sekisui Chemical Group is implementing total safety activities (i.e. zero occupational injuries, zero equipment-related accidents, zero commuting-related accidents, and zero long-term 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.

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 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. We also collect a range of data on occupational health and safety such as disaster rates and, with regard to incidents that have occurred on Sekisui Chemical Group’s own business premises, include the data for those that occurred at partner companies outside the Group.

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 the 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 is a labor and management organization that was created on the basis of collective agreements to assess, research 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, the 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 work environment. The Central Occupational Safety Committee and the Occupational Safety Committees at each business site assess workplace environments and safety devices, 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, and their personally written declarations are published on the intranet for employees to see.

A safety declaration posted on the intranet

Safety AuditsSecond-party OHSMS Certification at 37 Business Sites

Japanese workplaces are implementing OHSMS (Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems) second-party certification, and as of March 2018, 37 workplaces of 77.1% of Japanese workplaces that were targeted have acquired certification. Incorporating head office evaluations from 2013 into the periodic self-audit evaluations that have been implemented since FY2010 will enable multi-aspect verifications of the evaluation results, and improve the level of the Group overall. Sekisui OHSMS operates as in-house certification, and as the skills of internal auditors is being questioned, efforts are also being made towards their training.

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

We are training HR who can act with a high safety awareness that they can show to their subordinates. In FY2017, we set up two new qualifications for key personnel who lead safety activities. The first, “safety leader,” is an inhouse evaluation of the capacity for work safety, and is a qualification in which highly-regarded people identify risks subjectively in their own workplaces. 12 people were chosen in its first fiscal year, 2017. The second is a qualification called “safety sub-assessor,” which is issued by the Japan Certification Corporation, and its holders play a role in promoting the introduction of essential safety mainly in equipment. In FY2017, encouragement for acquiring these qualifications Group-wide saw 43 “safety sub-assessors” appointed.

High-risk Natural Disaster CountermeasuresIdentifying Disasters to Be Prevented for Each Site and Promoting Effective Countermeasures

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 scenarios on which the Sekisui Chemical Group should place particular focus on prevention. The Company conducts “heads-up Training*” where chemical processes are centered on production.

  • Heads-up Training: The common name for training to hone the judgment of all employees in case they encounter trouble.

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

To prevent serious occupational injuries, we consider it essential to install safe equipment that is unlikely to cause accidents even if the operator takes immediate action. We also promote reviews of our equipment safety design standards with regard to equipment safety.

In fiscal 2017, in addition to preparing and issuing Equipment Design Safety Guidelines, which summarize the safety design standards necessary for equipment to be delivered to the Sekisui Chemical Group and to be fully compliant, we provided opportunities to explain the standards to machine and equipment manufacturers, thereby deepening their understanding of the standards’ content.

Early Detection of RisksTraining to Improve the Ability to Identify Risks

In an effort to maintain a culture that gives safety top priority, we are working to encourage plant floor supervisors and workers in particular to train their eyes to better identify risks on their own initiative. To enhance each employee’s ability to identify risks, we began offering educational programs centered on patrolling plant floors from fiscal 2016.

In fiscal year 2017, programs were held at the Sekisui Fuller Co., Ltd. Hamamatsu Plant, the Toto Sekisui Co., Ltd. Ota Plant, and Kyushu Sekisui Heim Industry Co., Ltd., with 67 actors responsible for, or in charge of, safety management in Sekisui Chemical Group participating.

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 the storage and handling status of hazardous materials as well as the recovery system used following a disaster, including a natural disaster, thereby promoting improvements by detecting the risk posed by disasters at an early stage.

Type of audit Target / aim of audit
Safety audit Mainly audits workplace accident prevention measures
  • 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

  • Note: At business sites that themselves implement safety audits only, auditing is performed nearly identically as previously, including “facilities audits” and “disaster-preparedness audits,” as outlined below.
Facilities audit Mainly audits facilities-triggered accident prevention measures
  • Essential safety measure compliance status
    Includes accident-prevention measures at the facility design and installation stages
  • Process examinations of facilities management departments
    Facilities installation management, construction management, maintenance management
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

At the 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, emergency crews are given scenarios where equipment designed to prevent danger fails and challenges the trainees to ask questions to solve the problem on the spot. This training improves the skills needed to respond to unexpected situations in the event of a natural 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 work operating manuals. The training acts to verify the effectiveness of procedures taken during emergency situations and presents opportunities for employees to engage in evacuation drills and disaster prevention drills. This training has been applied on various occasions, including to handle problems, and in evacuation and emergency drills.

In fiscal year 2017, a total of 324 people participated in the training sessions that were held a total of 49 times in 22 departments at 11 business sites.

Deployment of Basic Safety PrinciplesPreparation of Basic Safety Principles Poster

We are working to prevent work-related 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.

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 awareness of safety issues in each country, the Sekisui Chemical Group has, since fiscal 2013, been deploying safety management rules as a global standard and strictly adheres to these rules in order to achieve the same level of safety at all its business sites. Having commenced safety audits based on global standards in earnest in fiscal 2014, in fiscal 2017 we implemented audits at 13 business sites to confirm that the safety management activities of each business site are being promoted appropriately. We are also holding regional safety brainstorming sessions in North America and China to share regional safety management activity issues and discuss countermeasures. In the years ahead, we will continue to provide effective support in accordance with the corporate and national cultures of each region.

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

The Sekisui Chemical Group Safety Conference is usually held to coincide with National Safety Week in July of each year. In fiscal 2017, President Teiji Koge was among the total of 239 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 2016 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

  • Aggregate scope: 44 production sites and 5 research centers in Japan
  • 46 production sites and 1 research center overseas
  • Number of Occupational Accidents / Japan

    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 Occupational Accidents / Overseas

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

    (Number of people)

      FY2015 FY2016 FY2017
    Company employees 0 0 0
      Japan 0 0 0
    Overseas 0 0 0
    Partner companies 1 0 0
      Japan 1 0 0
    Overseas 0 0 0
    Total 1 0 0


  • Number of Facilities Accidents

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Number of Facilities Accidents The number of incidents of malfunctioning (fires, leaks, etc.) of 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 Long-Term Sick Leave Describes leave of 30 days or more consecutively for sickness or injury occurring in a Japanese production site or research center 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 center 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 in the Housing Company’s construction sites The number of occupational accidents (both those resulting in lost time and those not) occurring in construction sites under the jurisdiction of the Housing Company during a given fiscal year (April through the following March)
  • Safety Performance in the Urban Infrastructure & Environmental Products Company and Other Construction Sites

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Safety performance in the Urban Infrastructure & Environmental Products Company and other construction sites The number of occupational accidents (both those resulting in lost time and those not) occurring in 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)

Health and Safety / Accident Prevention Costs

Aggregate Scope: 42 Domestic Japanese Production Sites and 5 Research Facilities, Headquarters, Back Offices of Division Companies

Health and Safety / Accident Prevention Costs

  • Costs and Investments Over Time

    Indicator Calculation Method
    Amount invested 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, facilities accidents, commuting accidents, and long-term sick leave due to illness occurring within a given fiscal year (April through the following March)