Occupational Safety and Health

Basic Stance

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

Management System

The president serves as the chief officer of the Environment and Safety Group of the Responsible Care Department, and the executive officer in charge of Responsible Care serves as the officer. The group handles matters related to the Company’s overall safety and health efforts and supports Group companies’ safety and health activities. To assess the safety and health management status and to consider measures for improvement, the safety and health departments of each worksite and Group company regularly meet and exchange information. In these and other ways, relevant departments work together to steadily enhance the level of safety and health activities.

Note: The Organization of Responsible Care Activities is presented on Responsible Care

Goals and Results

The Sumitomo Chemical Group*1 targets a frequency rate of lost-workday injuries of under 0.1, but its rate was 0.58 in fiscal 2018, up 0.32 year on year, failing to meet the target. Moreover, while the Group has set a goal of zero severe accidents,*2 it recorded two, the same number as the previous fiscal year, failing to meet the target. In fiscal 2018, the number of lost-workday injuries was 35, an increase of 18 year on year.

Frequency Rate of Lost-workday Injuries

  • Frequency Rate of Lost-workday Injuries

Lost-workday Injuries (Sumitomo Chemical Group*1)

 FY2014FY2015FY2016FY2017FY2018
Number of lost-workday injuries 10 17 9 17 35

*1:The Sumitomo Chemical Group as defined for occupational safety and health, industrial safety, and disaster prevention: Sumitomo Chemical (including contractors) and consolidated Group companies in Japan and overseas.

*2: Severe accidents are defined as those that result in a fatality or those that result in severe lost-workday injuries, including blindness and loss of a limb.

Examples of Initiatives

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 eight workplaces in fiscal 2018.

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.

Looking Ahead

Although activities to enhance a culture of safety have taken root, we currently have not entirely eliminated severe accidents, including those resulting in fatalities. To bring these accidents down to zero, we measure the level of the safety culture and safety infrastructure of each workplace and constantly strive to make improvements. In addition, we promote safety and health activities based on international standards (occupational safety management systems, machinery safety, etc.) and will continue adapting as we work toward realizing a society where people can choose from a diverse range of flexible working styles.