Occupational Safety and Health

Basic Stance on Occupational Safety and Health

Reflecting the principle of “Making safety our first priority,” Sumitomo Chemical has formulated five fundamental and personal safety principles that each employee is expected to follow as well as guidelines based on the core principle. All Sumitomo Chemical employees and all involved parties, including partner companies, are thus united in promoting safety activities with the goal of eliminating all accidents.
Sumitomo Chemical has acquired OSHMS* certification at its worksites. In addition, the Company implements PDCA cycles that support a host of measures on the path to realizing improvements based on risk assessments. These safety-related measures and their results are reviewed at the end of each fiscal year by the Responsible Care Committee, which is headed by the President. The reviews ensure a continuous connection between past and future fiscal years’ cycles, thereby strengthening safety and health activities that prevent accidents.

  • By introducing and deploying JISHA (Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association) OSHMS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series) Standards equivalent to OHSAS 18001, the Company conducts sound corporate management and risk management from the perspective of occupational safety and health.

Core Principle: Making Safety Our First Priority

Raison D’être for the Core Principle

  1. Line management is fundamental to Safety and Health.
  2. Each person is responsible for Safety and Health.
  3. Sumitomo Chemical is united with partner companies on Safety and Health.

Five Fundamental and Personal Safety Principles that Each Employee is Expected to Follow.

  • I will give safety and health the top priority in every aspect of business.
  • I will identify and resolve safety and health issues at the source.
  • I will comply with rules and instructions.
  • I will act with safety in mind 24 hours a day, not just during working hours.
  • I will cooperate with all involved parties, including partner companies, to ensure safety and health.

Fiscal 2017 Occupational Accidents

The Sumitomo Chemical Group targets a frequency rate of lost-workday injuries of under 0.1, but its rate was 0.26 in fiscal 2017. Although this was a favorable result compared to Japan’s chemical industry as a whole (0.81), it still fell short of our goal and was 0.12 higher than in the previous fiscal year. Moreover, while the Group has set a goal of zero major accidents, it recorded two, up two from the previous fiscal year. In fiscal 2017, the number of lost-workday injuries increased by eight year on year.

Frequency Rate of Lost-workday Injuries (Sumitomo Chemical)

★Assured by an independent assurance provider

Lost-workday Injuries (Sumitomo Chemical Group*)

  FY2013 FY2014 FY2015 FY2016 FY2017

Number of lost-workday injuries

12 10 17 9 17
  • Data for previous fiscal years has been retroactively adjusted to enhance accuracy.
  • Employees of Sumitomo Chemical, its partner companies, and its Group companies in Japan and overseas.

Initiatives to Prevent Occupational Accidents

Sumitomo Chemical thoroughly investigates the causes of each accident and works to prevent accidents by taking such measures as ensuring strict adherence to safety rules, providing hazard prediction training, also known as Kiken Yochi Training (KYT), and sharing accident information. In addition, we are working to raise safety awareness among construction partner companies that enter our Works by distributing pocket-size booklets and entrance certificates that feature the ground rules and core principles of safety as we promote our initiative of “Making safety our first priority.”

Ensuring Thorough Compliance with the Sumitomo Chemical Group’s Basic Safety Rules (Ground Rules)

In light of trends in the causes of accidents, the Group has established the following ground rules and is working to ingrain safe behavior.

  1. Think Before You Act!
  2. Help each other to be more aware of unsafe actions
  3. Do not place hands in or around areas of working machinery/equipment

Improving Hazard Prediction Abilities

We are working to improve employees’ hazard prevention ability—their ability to perceive and avoid danger—through, for example, behavior-based safety training and workplace discussions using illustrations.

Sharing and Using Accident Data

The Group shares information about all accidents mainly for use in safety education and comprehensive on-site investigations. When an accident occurs, we conduct a thorough examination of the causes and organize studies on how to prevent recurrences through on-site inspections with the top management of the affected workplace and safety managers.

Awards for Safety

Safety awards are given to workplaces that achieve zero lost-workday injuries. The President’s Award for workplace safety is presented to workplaces with both a solid safety track record and good practices for safety and health, which could be an example to other workplaces. The President’s Award was given to seven workplaces in fiscal 2017.

Safety Promotion through In-house Magazine, Slogan and Poster

In our in-house magazine, we have introduced examples of accidents that tend to happen at work and their preventive measures in a series of articles on enhancing safety since fiscal 2013. We also collect ideas each year for a slogan and a poster for safety and health, and make a poster using the best ideas and display it at each workplace to raise safety awareness.

Measures to Address the Asbestos Problem

Surveying Buildings Constructed Using Materials Containing Asbestos

Sumitomo Chemical surveyed all its buildings to determine whether they had been constructed with materials containing asbestos. Subsequently, asbestos was removed, enclosed or surrounded, in accordance with the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare's Regulations for the Prevention of Asbestos-related Disease. All such work was completed by December, 2005.

Maintaining the Health of Former Employees of Sumitomo Chemical

If former employees of Sumitomo Chemical who have handled materials containing asbestos while working at Sumitomo Chemical so request, we will arrange for them to have a physical examination and will discuss their concerns with them, regardless of the extent to which they have handled the materials in question. The table below shows the number of persons who have made use of this program (as of October 31, 2014).

Persons who have received physical examinations 1,593
Persons deemed eligible for workers' compensation benefits under the Workers' Accident Compensation Insurance Act* 29
Persons issued a Health Check Note 71
Persons who have been deemed eligible for special bereaved family compensation under the Act on Asbestos Health Damage Relief 5
  • Excluding those considered cured.