In Chapter 2 of the MMC Group Code of Conduct, we vow to "We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all our stakeholders." This is based on the notion that, if we can't keep our employees safe and healthy, they won't be able to provide secure and happy lives for their families, we won't be able to operate effectively, and we will never be able keep on expanding as a company.
In the wake of the fire and explosion at our Yokkaichi Plant in January 2014, we launched a new Zero Occupational Accident Project in April that same year, and set about strengthening the foundations of safety and health on a groupwide scale, with the aim of eliminating serious occupational accidents resulting in four or more lost days.
Our safety management framework revolves around the Mitsubishi Materials Safety & Environment Department. We also appoint Safety Coordinators at each in-house company, in order to share information regarding progress and issues with safety and health measures at plants / factories under their management, including group companies, with the Safety & Environment Department via monthly meetings, and to consult regarding solutions. We have an integrated groupwide promotion framework in place whereby Safety Coordinators take part in Zero Occupational Accident Working Group Meetings, to report on and discuss matters that extend beyond the confines of individual companies.
At the same time, Safety Managers, Safety Coordinators and Safety Instructors are assigned to individual plants / factories, where their role is to promote safety activities. We hold regular Groupwide Safety Manager meetings and meetings for Safety Coordinators and Safety Instructors, where we exchange openings on a wide range of occupational accident information and health and safety activities across the Group and the various business sectors in which it is involved, and endeavor to raise the level of health and safety.
To expand the joint labor-management initiative to achieve zero occupational accidents, we have identified issues at the MMC Group in light of occupational accidents, etc. that occurred last year, engaged in joint labor-management discussions on the particular items to be addressed to achieve solutions, and designated management priorities on that basis. In 2017, we set out the following management priorities, and rolled out occupational safety and health management systems at each of our plants / factories accordingly.
Group-wide priorities for safety and health management (2017)
A survey of the safety measures implemented by excellent firms publicly acknowledged for their safety work in the industry shows that what they have in common is not innovative activities or quick remedies, but thorough implementation that yields results. The Group decided to have each plant run a Campaign to Eliminate Multiple Accidents since we deemed that this "thoroughness" was lacking and because of frequently occurring similar accidents peculiar to each plant.
At the core of our work on safety management priorities is our efforts to make equipment safer through engineering measures by utilizing risk assessment, which we have been promoting since 2015. We set the index for these activities as an 80% reduction rate (risk level II or below: acceptable level) of high risks (risk level III or above: unacceptable level). All plants are working to exceed this index.
An analysis of the types of occupational accidents occurring at the MMC Group has revealed that many occupational accidents occur due to two factors: "flawed protective and safety measures" such as incomplete safety measures for machinery and equipment, and "proximity to dangerous areas," such as touching machinery or equipment while it is operating. To strengthen the physical measures in place by reviewing structures and mechanisms from the perspectives of the foolproof*¹ and failsafe*², we are employing thorough engineering-based action through risk assessments.
Further, with respect to occupational accidents caused by "flawed operating methods" such as the use of inappropriate tools and jigs or incorrect operating procedures, we will strive to make risk assessment-based improvements including the verification of operating methods, and revised operating procedures that reflect hazard prediction.
Risk assessment is an effective means of discovering, eliminating or mitigating potential danger or harm attributable to operating practices and other work performed at a manufacturing site. At the MMC Group, we implement risk assessment activities from the perspective of workers on the production floor at each facility. We have trained risk assessment instructors to improve the ability to identify unsafe equipment states and began offering training classes from October 2015. About 480 people have taken the course as of March 2018. Centering on these instructors, it is contributing to enhancing and stimulating on-site activities.
Group occupational safety and health management system
We thought that personal experiences of hazards are important to improve hazard awareness, so started running an Occupational Safety and Health Education Center -"Midori-kan" in March 2017. The center has 50 different hazard experience facilities inspired by the actual work environment and the dangers that hide in everyday tasks. It also regularly provides specialized education needed for work safety and health in dedicated classrooms, in addition to hazard experience education by expert instructors. In the one year since the center's opening, more than 1,500 Group employees have received hazard experience education and about 300 have completed the expert education.
Moreover, with "Chemical substance risk assessment" becoming obligatory under the Industrial Safety and Health Act revised in June 2016, we started holding workshops to train and improve the skills of employees in charge of actual operations. As of March 2018, about 210 people at 43 plants have taken the course.
The Occupational Safety and Health Education Center Midori-kan, a comprehensive training facility, is equipped with 45 types of hazard simulation equipment offering simulated experiences of the hazard latent in everyday operations. Below are some of the subjects addressed in the simulation training program.
Our attitude to health management is that healthy employees are an essential resource for the company, and we are working to improve our health systems on a companywide basis.
Since FY2016, we have been giving employees health advice after their regular health checks, provided by public health nurse from Head Office. We continued this initiative in FY2019, and have also been offering advice on improving lifestyles, in the interests of detecting and treating illness as early as possible and preventing lifestyle-related diseases.
Starting from April 2018, we have worked to consolidate the institutions in charge of health examinations within the Company as well as initiated a centralized system managing digitized health information, such as physical examination results. This has facilitated more accurate health management and work effectivization. We will improve health management by drafting and implementing highly effective health promotion measures that are based on data.
Meanwhile, we are committed to continually improving workplace environments to prevent work-related diseases, including stepped-up efforts to manage hazardous substances (poisonous substances, toxic substances, chemicals) and prevent exposure.
We continually provide various mental healthcare training as a form of primary preventive care for mental health issues (such as improving workplace environments and providing training). As part of "line-care" training for management personnel, clinical psychologists from Head Office are scheduled to visit all of our sites every two years. In terms of "self-care" training, we select members of staff at each facility to undergo training, so that they can assume the role of instructors as we roll out training to all employees. We also provide mental health training as part of our global human resource and position-specific training programs. Furthermore, starting from fiscal 2019, all employees who have been with us for three years get to talk to the clinical psychologist stationed at each plant, in an effort to forestall mental health issues.
By way of secondary and tertiary preventive mental healthcare (such as early response to employees with mental health issues and support for their return to work), we continue to offer meetings and consultations with industrial healthcare staff at each of our sites, as well as using external back-to-work programs to enable employees to reintegrate smoothly into their jobs and prevent them from having to take further time off.
We operate a stress-check system required by law at all facilities and offer meetings with physicians as needed. In the future, Moreover, we are committed to further strengthening our mental health measures for example by applying the results of group analysis to our workplace improvement activities.
We have established a scheme to award groups and individuals serving as an example to the MMC Group in outstanding safety and health improvement activities over the course of the year.
As the activities carried out by grand prize winners cannot be adequately described in writing, we hold guided visits of facilities open to Groupwide participation as an opportunity to observe the award-winning activities as well as exchange opinions and gain insight into overall safety and health improvement activities.
The third awards were presented in April 2018. The below table lists the facilities presented with awards in the group category. Moving forward, we will continue to actively roll out these outstanding activities within the Group in a bid to further raise the levels of safety and health.
|Kyushu Plant||Completion of the Heatstroke Eradication Declaration|
|Hosokura Metal Mining Company||First year and two consecutive years without accidents requiring leave|
As the results of an analysis of past occupational accidents revealed issues in risk identification, we have been providing MMC Group facilities with safety and health guidance through outside consultants. Having an expert point out latent risks that are usually overlooked by on-site personnel and taking measures to mitigate the identified risks raises the on-site safety level and improves the hazard sensitivity of employees.
The Safety & Environment Department has been running an internal portal website since February 2017 for the collection, dissemination, and viewing of information about safety, health, disaster prevention and the environment. As regards health and safety, safety data and safety chronology that had previously only been stored on head office servers along with occupational accident case studies, documents used for safety and health training and information concerning health and mental health have been classified, organized and published to the intranet.
Computer graphics have been used to produce videos depicting cases of typical occupational accidents that have occurred in the MMC Group. The videos can be used to offer straightforward explanations of the conditions of an occupational accident, its cause, countermeasures taken and the lessons learned.
All past accidents in the Group have been entered into a database. That database has been available on the internal portal website since June 2017. It allows keyword and full-text searches and the creation of accident calendars, contributing to the preparation of safety education materials as well as measures against similar accidents. It is constructed so that all plants can obtain the necessary information swiftly and accurately, helping to bolster our safety foundation and foster a safety culture.
Since 2014, we have been compiling a collection of safety and health best practices on a yearly basis, highlighting unique and highly-effective initiatives implemented at each MMC Group facility to prevent occupational incidents. We are promoting the spread of best practices by presenting them during National Safety Week as a shared asset for increasing the Group's safety and health levels.
The number of employees involved in occupational accidents, including injuries without lost time, in the Company and in 22 major Group companies was as high as 181 in 2017. Of these, 40 were lost time injuries. The number of accidents at the Company, on a non-consolidated basis, has been showing a downward trend for the past ten years, but it has leveled off in recent years. The Company's accident frequency rate (number of deaths and injuries per 1 million working hours), which is an assessment of the frequency of occupational accidents, was 0.09. This is lower than the manufacturing industry average of 1.02, but we are continuing to work in 2018 to achieve our goal of zero accidents, by continuing our campaign to eliminate multiple accidents, promoting equipment safety through risk assessment, and implement measures against common accidents that have to do with basic movements such as falling and twisting.
Number of occupational accidents involving employees (Mitsubishi Materials)** Figures are based on calendar years and do not include minor incidents
(or more serious)
(or more serious)
(or more serious)
(or more serious)
I read the Monthly Safety & Health Report distributed by the Safety & Environment Department each month, and this gives me a good idea of how information is shared across the entire company, including the group companies, and the efforts being made in the interest of safety and health. The report also analyzes and describes the causes of occupational accidents and the associated issues through the broad lens of identifying "unsafe conditions," "unsafe actions" and "flaws in safety and health management," and I hope that these regular efforts lead to recurrence prevention measures ensuring that similar occupational accidents never occur again.
A campaign to eliminate multiple accidents was cited as one of the Groupwide safety and health management priorities for 2017. Since the degree of thoroughness in safety and health initiatives is still inadequate, as illustrated by the occurrence of occupational accidents unique to each facility and of a similar type, the campaign marks an effort to build permanent mechanisms that do not relate on temporary management measures, such as having each facility select occupational accidents to be eliminated on its own and implement thorough initiatives to that end. Once an occupational accident occurs it cannot be undone. As a campaign involving autonomous and independent action, I hope that it yields results.