Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd.

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TOP > CSR > Shin-Etsu Group Key CSR Issues

Shin-Etsu Group Key CSR Issues

Key Issue1: Employees and contractor health and safety

Policy

The Group will work to create a comfortable and safe workplace whose goals are to "Zero serious accident" and to "Achieve zero accident requiring an absence of a day or more."

Occupational Safety

Each of Group's plant clarifies every single possibility that could cause any kind of injury or illness and works hard to mitigate those risks.
If it is found that there are tolerable risks in the workplace, various safety measures are taken, and examples include providing workers with individual protective tools, posting safety signs in dangerous areas, and locking out1 and tagging out2 to keep workers away from dangerous machinery and equipment. Safety devices are attached to machinery and equipment, and other safety measures include making machinery and equipment fail-safe3 and foolproof4, interlocking5 them, and putting up protective walls. In addition, there are KY6 hazard prediction activities e.g. pointing and calling prior to work and reconfirming safety.
Furthermore, the workers are taking measures against unsafe areas by regularly collecting "close calls and other incidents of concern" from case examples of workers who have experienced close-call incidents and matters of concern. At the same time, we share our risk information and prevent similar accidents by disclosing this risk information internally and externally.

  • 1 Lock out
    Blocking the power source by locking the switches and other units of machinery and equipment so that they cannot be operated.
  • 2 Tag out
    Attaching tags to areas where machinery and equipment are locked out. This means that operating the machinery and equipment is prohibited until the tags are removed.
  • 3 Fail-safe
    Controlling equipment and systems so that they always operate safely if a problem occurs due to a mistaken operation or malfunction.
  • 4 Foolproof
    Taking measures in advance so that safety is ensured even if workers operate machinery and equipment mistakenly.
  • 5 Interlock
    One of the concepts for safety devices and mechanisms in which machinery and equipment do not work unless certain conditions are met.
  • 6 KY
    Hazard prediction activities. Workers learn safe working methods prior to getting into workplace in order to prevent the occurrence of possible disease or injuries.

Process Safety and Prevention Plan

Prevention of serious accidents is a top priority in the Group, and we continue to work on a variety of safety and disaster prevention activities. Countermeasures are taken against dangerous places identified through process risk assessments, and pipes and equipment that have become obsolete are maintained and managed, mainly through scheduled maintenance.
Since FY2013 we have worked to enhance safety management by performing risk evaluations and by implementing effective safety measures, particularly of envisaged abnormal plant conditions.
The Company has been participating in the Japan Society for Safety Engineering's Japan Safety Competency Center since its inauguration in FY2012. Each plant uses the Center's "Safety Evaluation System" to further improve the situation and works even harder on the Process Safety and Prevention Plan.

Education and drills

To keep plant operation constantly safe, it is important for each employee to improve his /her skills and knowledge and be aware of danger.
So besides providing safety education such as on material handling and possible dangers involving processes as well as simulating possible dangers, we plan and conduct emergency drills for abnormal situations such as major earthquakes or fires. In addition, we work on handing down operation at skills for manufacturing equipment.
Furthermore, we are working to foster an awareness of safety by creating a workplace atmosphere in which operation processes and rules are observed.

  • Comprehensive emergency drill in industrial complex (October 2017, Shin-Etsu Chemical Kashima Plant)

    Comprehensive emergency drill in industrial complex (October 2017, Shin-Etsu Chemical Kashima Plant)

  • Emergency drill at dormitory (October 2017, Shin-Etsu Handotai Shirakawa Plant)

    Emergency drill at dormitory (October 2017, Shin-Etsu Handotai Shirakawa Plant)

Environmental Control and Safety Audits

In order to confirm that activities such as environmental conservation, occupational safety and health, process safety and prevention plan are carried out as planned, the Group conducts an internal audit. The results of audits are also reported to top management.
In referring to cases from other companies in FY2013, we communicated revisions to "Nonroutine Work Safety Measures" within the company. As in FY2016, their implementation status in FY2017 was chosen as a special audit theme.

  • Environmental and safety audit at overseas group company (January 2018, Shin-Etsu Silicones of America)

    Environmental and safety audit at overseas group company (January 2018, Shin-Etsu Silicones of America)

Health Considerations

We are working to prevent possible diseases through encouraging employees to take health checks, offering health counseling on life style diseases as well as promoting measures on mental health and activities for health promotion and fitness. In addition, we are conducting prevention of and raising awareness toward infectious diseases including new strains of influenza.
Our head office and branch offices have a Health Committee, and each plant has a Safety and Health Committee. The committee works to improve the workplace environment and to promote worker's health with advice and information from industrial physicians. We also have special programs such as physical fitness checks and seminars which help workers to maintain and improve their physical conditions.
Furthermore, we have set up Family Health Consultation with our health insurance union and an affiliated insurance company. It is available 24 hours a day. This consultation can also be used by the family members of employees.

  • Health promotion workshop (October 2017, Shinano Electric Refining Kashiwabara Plant)

    Health promotion workshop (October 2017, Shinano Electric Refining Kashiwabara Plant)

  • Norovirus countermeasure workshop at dormitory (January 2018, Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex)

    Norovirus countermeasure workshop at dormitory (January 2018, Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex)

Targets and Results

Every fiscal year, the Group creates environmental and safety management plans based on Responsible Care Code1. The entire Group works on key issues such as the prevention of major disasters including explosions and fires and industrial accidents according to the management plan prepared.

  • 1 Responsible Care Codes
    Codes setting basic conditions for the implementation of Responsible Care in six areas: environmental preservation, process safety (and disaster prevention), occupational health and safety, distribution safety, chemical and product safety, and social dialog (with the public). Alongside conditions in these areas, a Management System Code to operate all the above is required.

Reporting of accidents and lost time injuries

In FY2017, there were no serious accidents but three lost-time injuries in the Group companies in Japan. We have analyzed causes for each accident and reviewed safety on handling hazardous materials and possible hazardous operations to eliminate possible injuries and also secure equipment safety, and have implemented appropriate safety measures.
Furthermore, we are working on revising the operation manuals to help prevent re-occurrence of the accidents.
We will continue to work on preventing work-related accidents complying with what was described above.

Number of Lost-Time Injuries and Changes in Frequency Rates (Group companies in Japan)

Number of Lost-Time Injuries and Changes in Frequency Rates (Group companies in Japan)

Receiving a Special Award for 45 Years of Zero Disasters

  • Employees of the Manufacturing Department I of Shin-Etsu Chemical Naoetsu Plant

    Employees of the Manufacturing Department I of Shin-Etsu Chemical Naoetsu Plant

In July 2017, the Manufacturing Department I of Shin-Etsu Chemical Naoetsu Plant that produce caustic soda and sodium hypochlorite received a Special Award for 45 Years of Zero Disasters from the Japan Soda Industry Association. In accordance with the Association's safety commendation regulations, this award is presented to business sites that achieve excellent safety results. This manufacturing department was officially commended for its long-standing safety activities and their results.

Shin-Etsu Group Key CSR Issues