Labor Practices

Occupational Health and Safety

KPI

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Item FY 2019 results FY 2020 results
Lost-time injury frequency rate
(global, directly employed)
(Consolidated) 0.26
Domestic 0.30
Overseas 0.24
(Consolidated) 0.20
Domestic 0.31
Overseas 0.15
Scope of application of Occupational Health and Safety Program 100% 100%
Number of workers with a high risk of accident or illness Zero Zero
Formal agreement with labor unions regarding occupational health and safety matters Yes
(at those business locations where there is a labor union)
Yes
(at those business locations where there is a labor union)

Responsible Departments

Each business location
  • Activities are conducted by each business location, and the Central Committee of Safety and Health that the Safety and Health Management Department serves as a secretariat implements company-wide policy discussions and activities.

Stance and Target

Why is “Occupational Health and Safety” a critical issue to be addressed?
Explanation of the reason and background

We believe that for workers to be able to work in a secure and safe manner serves as the foundation for operations. As regards work-related accidents at the Yokohama Rubber Group in Japan and overseas, while the frequency of occurrence is low when compared with the average occurrence frequency for the production and manufacturing sector as a whole, it is not zero. Analysis of the causes of such accidents has revealed that many of them could have been prevented by countermeasures taken in advance. Because it is necessary to handle large-scale machinery at production plants due to the nature of our business, this leads to the possibility of major accidents from defects in equipment specifications and mishandling, and for this reason safety countermeasures are necessary. In addition, due to factors such as the fact that mental health issues account for an increasing percentage of long-term absentees, we need to respond fully to not only physical health, but mental health as well. For this reason, at the Yokohama Rubber Group we have selected occupational safety and health as a critical issue to be addressed.

Supporting System for Safety and Health Management

In Japan, we formed a “Safety and Health Sub-Committee” at each division and workplace and the “Office-Wide Safety and Health Committee (legally stipulated)” at each office, under our Central Committee of Safety and Health that is headed by the CSR Department Manager. The importance of safety and health activities is recognized by both Group companies and unions. Through interaction with the Japan Rubber Manufactures Association and Japan Rubber Workers Union Confederation to share safety information with other companies and other union confederation members, we are also trying to facilitate collaborative action by labor and management. We also share our activities with our subcontractors by having them join their respective committees. As for our various overseas offices, they have their own supporting system in place according to the prevailing law under their country’s governance. The Safety and Health Management Department manages activities relating to safety and health both in Japan and overseas.

Vision (attainment goal) / target

  1. We will promote the creation of a safe and comfortable working environment and good health.
  2. We will establish a safety culture aiming for zero risks, and aim for zero work-related accidents.

Measures for vision achievement

We will implement the following seven measures to create workplaces that enable employees to work in a safe and healthy manner.
  1. Strengthening safety measures for equipment and work
    Implement risk assessments for all equipment and work, and create facilities so that sources of danger cannot reach or be reached by human bodies, and prevention of recurrence of similar accidents.
  2. Developing safety-conscious human resources
    Conducting One-on-One education, to develop safe personnel.
    Reinforcement of Stop-Call-Wait procedure and countermeasures in response to risk causes.
    Implementation of KYT (Kiken Yochi Training / hazard prediction training), sampling and improvement of near-miss incidents, and hazard demonstration training in order to improve sensitivity towards risks.
  3. Development of standard work manuals
    Identifying unsafe places and unsafe behaviors and reviewing standard work through open work observation.
  4. Promoting both physical and mental health
    Strengthening mental health countermeasures (management of working hours, face-to-face guidance and work improvement suggestions for employees working long hours, education for improving communication skills through attentive listening training classes, and conducting stress checks).
  5. Improvements in workplaces
    Chemical substances risk assessment, improvements in equipment development and working methods, and thoroughly enforcing the 5Ss (seiri [tidiness], seiton [being organized], seisou [cleanliness], seiketsu [hygiene], and shitsuke [discipline]), and improvement of high temperature work environment.
  6. Prevention of traffic accidents
    Conducting accident prevention activities and identifying risk points on commuting routes in order to achieve the target of zero accidents resulting in injury or death.
  7. Establishment of a safety and health platform
    Continuation and Spiral Up of Occupational Health and Safety Management System, development of training system for each level, enhancement of the checking function through top management diagnosis, safety patrols, safety diagnosis, and diagnostic follow-up.

Review of FY 2020 Activities

The following activities were conducted for the measures implemented in FY 2020.

1. Strengthening of facility measures

Risk assessment for all facilities and work is implemented in a planned and ongoing manner, and safety measures are being implemented for facilities. In particular, we focused on implementing safety measures in relation to maintaining a distance from risk sources; to this end, we have implemented a worldwide facilities inspection program, and top safety diagnostics at our plants in Japan.
Safety diagnostics

2. Developing safety-conscious human resources

We are trying to train our workers to have good safety awareness, so that they can foresee risks in any potential situation. We are conducting KYT (Kiken Yochi Training / hazard prediction training), which is to be done by every worker every day, along with sampling and improvement for near-miss incidents, which constitute self-directed activities that we encourage everyone to participate in. We have also conducted hazard demonstration training sessions at our Taikan Dojo (training through actual experience for accident prevention). Also, we have facilitated safety awareness-raising by focusing on communication, for example by having supervisors interact with workers one-to-one to help them understand the meaning of each operation until the worker develops the autonomy needed to conduct safe operations on their own.
In addition, as people who work with us, partner employees also participate in activities to prevent the occurrence of disasters in an effort to improve safety levels.
Risk assessment training
Hands-on safety drills with overseas plant safety personnel
(Hands-on experience of stairs with holding a load)
Newcomer KYT Training
Techno-College

3. Development of standard work manuals

We conduct open work observation in a planned and ongoing manner, and identify unsafe places and unsafe behaviors and review standard work manuals.
Singing the Safety Chant together before beginning work.

4. Promoting both physical and mental health

Our efforts in mental health include management of working hours through a clocking in and clocking out system, face-to-face guidance and work improvement suggestions for employees working long hours, education for improving communication skills through attentive listening training classes, etc. In addition, stress checks were commenced from fiscal 2016. These checks are mainly for the purpose of assessing the level of stress of employees and encouraging employees to notice their own stress levels in order to lead to improvements in the workplace and encourage the creation of ideal working environments, which will prevent mental health issues among employees (primary prevention).
For the reinstatement of long-term absentees who have been absent due to mental health reasons, we hold interviews with the employee involved, and confirm the situation with family physicians, industrial physicians, public health nurses, and the workplace in order to discuss matters such as the means of reinstatement, timing, and work limitations in order to achieve a well-planned reinstatement. Reinstatement has been achieved at the Head Office and Hiratsuka in cooperation with the Jikei University Hospital and three industrial mental health physicians, which is still a relatively rare situation.
Furthermore, after reinstatement, regular three-party interviews are held between employees, industrial physicians, and workplace representatives in order to gradually loosen work limitations and provide follow-up until all restrictions have been fully released.
In addition, we also conduct activities that support smoking cessation of employees to promote health, and physical fitness seminars.
Stress check study session at Onomichi Plant

Smoking cessation activities at Mie Plant

Confirmation of smoking level through measurement of carbon monoxide concentration in the breath
No Smoking Day at the Mie Plant

5. Improvements in workplaces

We have improved equipment and promoted the improvement, maintenance, and management of working methods aimed at using working environment measurements in order to maintain a pleasant workplace. In addition, based on the 5S (seiri, seiton, seisou, seiketsu, and shitsuke, or sorting, straightening, systematic cleaning, standardizing, and sustaining) methodology, we promote manufacturing where the things you need are available in a location that is not unsafe when you need them.
In addition, life-threatening heat has been experienced recently, and we are engaged in a variety of initiatives for heatstroke as a disaster that could lead to death in the same manner as an injury.
Visualization of working environment with a WBGT measuring instrument

6. Preventing traffic accidents

Each business locations conducts awareness raising activities while cooperating with the holding of traffic safety seminars with local police stations and traffic safety related organizations. In addition, traffic etiquette classes are provided by traffic safety expert Mr. Yahashi for students in the fourth grade of elementary schools located near our business locations to contribute to the prevention of local traffic accidents. Education has been provided for 10 classes in 5 schools during 2020. We will continue these efforts in the future. We will continue to expand these efforts in the future.
Road safety etiquette class for elementary school fourth graders(Hiratsuka Souzen Elementary School)
(Mie Misono Elementary School)
Traffic manner seminar for employees
Traffic manner seminar for employees

7. Establishment of a safety and health platform

We have acquired Occupational Safety and Health Management System (JISHA/OSHMS/OHSAS18001/ISO45001) certification at 17 domestic and overseas business locations; during fiscal 2020, we acquired new certification at one business location and renewed certification at six other locations (the certification process is ongoing at other business locations).
We will continue to improve management systems and implement the PDCA (plan, do, check, action) cycle as we work to enhance our safety and health infrastructure.
The frequency of occupational accidents was 0.20. We will be working to achieve the target of zero accidents and also to realize zero risks.
Frequency of Occupational Accidents (Lost-time injury frequency rate)
Explanation of the numbers
  • Lost-time injury frequency rate = (number of work-related injuries / total working hours) x 1,000,000 hours
  • All data are annual aggregated values (January to December)
  • Figures for all production industry (excluding general contracting) and manufacturing industry are based on the Survey on Industrial Accidents statistical table released by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

Introduction of Initiatives

In April 2019, we held a safety exchange meeting with Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai) at our Mie Plant. Through safety and health exchange meetings with other companies, we are working to improve the level of safety and health of both companies.
In addition, employees belonging to Onomichi Plant's Safety and Health Division received the Green Cross Award at the National Industrial Safety and Health Convention held in October 2019. The award is in recognition of their daily efforts in health and safety activities.
In February 2020, a meeting of safety staff was held at the Mishima Plant. Representatives from each plant in Japan and related parties gathered for a lively question and answer session on safety measures.
Announcements on safety activities by employees from each plant
Observed equipment safety measures
JR Tokai exchange meeting

Issues and Future
Improvement Measures

We are implementing various measures aimed at creating a safe and employee-friendly workplace environment, and at safeguarding employees’ health; however, the current situation is that we have yet to realize our goal of reducing the number of accidents to zero.
Besides proceeding with equipment-related measures that focus on maintaining distance from sources of danger, we are also working to cultivate employees who know how to act safely.