Health and safety of employees and contractors


The Group will work to create a comfortable and safe workplace with the goals of achieving "zero accidents" and "zero lost-time accidents."

Awareness of Issues

The Group places top priority on safety. For that, we have created a work environment in which employees can work safely and comfortably. The operations without accidents and disasters protect employees, fulfill our responsibilities as a supplier to customers, and lead to the sustainable development of the company. In recent years, many natural disasters have occurred, and we are addressing them as an important issue.

Occupational Safety

Shin-Etsu Group is committed to three safety-related code of conduct: (1) strictly complying with “rules and procedures,” (2) identifying and promptly eliminating “risks latent in the workplace,” and (3) enhancing “sensitivity to danger.” We carry out occupational safety activities in accordance with our code of conduct. We create the "Shin-Etsu Group Environmental Safety Management Plan" every year in accordance with the Responsible Care Codes1 and set numerical goals.

Each of the Group's plant in and outside Japan clarifies every single risk that can cause any kind of injury or illness and works hard on risk assessment activities intended to mitigate risks.

In the event of identifying any risks, we take various safety measures such as providing workers with individual protective tools, measures to prevent entry into dangerous areas and posting of off-limits signs in dangerous areas, and locking out2 and tagging out3 machines and equipment. We also take measures including attaching safety devices to machines and equipment, and installing fail-safes,4 foolproof mechanisms,5 interlocks,6 and protective walls. In addition, we practice KY7 hazard prediction activities and make sure to indicate and name all relevant equipment prior to working in order to reconfirm safety.

The workers take measures against unsafe areas by regularly gathering information on close-call incidents from workers who experienced them. At the same time, we share our risk information and prevent similar accidents by disclosing this risk information internally and externally. Furthermore, during National Safety Week8, which is held every July, the president delivers a message to all employees working in the Group and thoroughly familiarizes them with the company's three code of conduct related to safety.

Plant Safety Convention (July 2022 , Shin- Etsu Chemical Naoetsu plant )

Plant Safety Convention (July 2022 , Shin- Etsu Chemical Naoetsu plant )

Plant Safety Convention (July 2022 , Shin- Etsu Chemical Naoetsu plant )

  1. 1 Responsible Care Codes
    Six principle areas are addressed when implementing Responsible Care: Responsible Care Codes consist of seven codes, composed of six codes for different activity areas, namely, environmental preservation, disaster prevention, occupational health and safety, distribution safety, chemical and product safety, and dialogue with the public, and the Management System Code, designed to operate all the above commonly as a system.
  2. 2 Lock out
    Blocking the power source by locking the switches of machines and equipment so that they cannot be operated.
  3. 3 Tag out
    Attaching tags to areas where machines and equipment have been locked out, which signifies that operating the machines and equipment is prohibited until the tags are removed.
  4. 4 Fail-safe
    Controlling equipment and systems so that they always operate safely if a problem occurs due to an error or malfunction.
  5. 5 Foolproof
    Taking measures in advance so that safety is ensured even if workers operate machines and equipment incorrectly.
  6. 6 Interlock
    A concept for safety devices and mechanisms in which machines and equipment do not work unless certain conditions are met.
  7. 7 KY
    Hazard prediction activities in which workers check about safe working methods in order to prevent the occurrence of a disease or injury that could potentially occur during the task, and securely apply the methods.
  8. 8 National Safety Week
    A week to promote activities to prevent occupational accidents and work to further improve awareness of safety and safety activities in the workplace. Advocated by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the Central Industrial Accident Prevention Association.

Close-calls Incidents Topics

2023.07.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2023.01.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2022.07.29 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2022.01.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2021.07.30 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2021.01.29 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2020.07.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2020.01.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2019.07.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2019.01.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2018.07.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2018.01.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2017.07.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2017.01.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2016.07.29 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2016.02.24 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2015.07.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2015.01.30 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2014.07.31 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2014.01.30 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2013.07.30 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2013.01.30 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2012.07.30 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2012.01.30 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2011.07.25 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2011.01.24 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2009.07.08 Updated of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents
2008.01.23 Disclosure of Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents Close-Call (Hiyari-Hatto) Incidents Experienced during Daily Work

Process Safety and Disaster Prevention Plan

The 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 for dangerous areas identified through process risk assessments, and pipes and equipment are maintained and managed, mainly through scheduled maintenance.

Since FY2014, we have been working to strengthen safety management by implementing measures and studies to localize and minimize damage, assuming serious disasters such as major earthquakes and worst-case plant accidents.

The company has joined the Japan Industrial Safety Competency Center since its inauguration in FY2012. Each plant uses the Safety Evaluation System of the center to further improve the situation and works even harder on the Process Safety and Disaster Prevention Plan.

Results of safety management activities(Shin-Etsu Chemical)

FY2020 FY2021 FY2022
Number of improvements 7,807 5,062 5,050

Reporting of Accidents and Lost-Time Accidents

In FY2022, there were no serious accidents, and no lost-time injuries in the Group companies in Japan, but there were 57 lost-time injuries in the Group overseas.
We have analyzed the causes for each accident, eliminated hazardous operations, ensured equipment safety, and promptly implemented appropriate safety measures. We prevent work-related accidents by revising the operation manuals and working to prevent re-occurrence of accidents.

The occurrence of work-related accidents is reported to the directors and department heads at monthly business report meetings.

Number of Lost-Time Accidents and Changes in Frequency Rates (Japan)*

Number of Lost-Time Accidents
and Changes in Frequency Rates (Japan)

Number of Lost-Time Accidents and Changes in Frequency Rates (overseas)*

Number of Lost-Time Accidents and Changes in Frequency Rates (overseas)

  • * The definition of occupational accidents differs between Japan and overseas, so the graphs are shown separately.

Related Information

Sustainability Data

Safety Education

To keep plant operations constantly safe, it is important for each employee working at our Group's operation sites to improve their skills and knowledge and be aware of danger.

For that purpose, we provide safety education to our employees and subcontractors, such as understanding the dangers of the substances and processes we handle, simulated danger experiences, and the correct use of machine and safety equipment. In April 2022, the Kashima Plant held a two-day course on full-harness fall arrest equipment, with more than 50 participants. In the training, in addition to explaining basic knowledge such as how to wear the equipment and its durability, all participants actually put on the full-harness type fall prevention equipment while receiving instruction. We also work on passing down the skills to operate manufacturing equipment to the next generation of employees. We work to give each employee thorough safety awareness by creating a workplace culture in which operation processes and rules are observed.

Education on full harness type fall arrest equipment(April 2022, Shin-Etsu Chemical Kashima plant)

Education on full harness type fall arrest equipment(April 2022, Shin-Etsu Chemical Kashima plant)

Education on full harness type fall arrest equipment
(April 2022, Shin-Etsu Chemical Kashima plant)

In addition to factory employees, we also provide safety education to people working in the plant premises involved in construction, delivery, and people outside the company who participate in business negotiations. In September 2022, the Naoetsu Plant conducted a total of five safety training sessions, attended by 253 people. During the training, we explained the dangerous areas in the plant and the substances handled, and made them understand the importance of strictly observing the safety rules stipulated in the plant. And also, in the event of an emergency at the plant, we ask everyone to prioritize actions to ensure their own safety. We will continue to provide regular training and continue to put human life first.

Entrants safety education(September 2022, Shin-Etsu Chemical Naoetsu plant)

Entrants safety education
(September 2022, Shin-Etsu Chemical Naoetsu plant)

Emergency Drill

Every year, we conduct scheduled disaster prevention drills that assume abnormal situations such as large earthquakes and fires, as well as "blind drills" based on basic actions without creating scenarios. The drills include firefighting activities, rescue activities for the injured, transmission of information to the disaster response headquarters, public relations activities in the community, and correspondence with the media. In addition, we conduct disaster prevention drills in dormitories and company housing, confirming evacuation routes, training in reporting to the fire department, and training in how to use a fire extinguisher. We will continue to raise awareness of disaster prevention and strive to respond quickly to emergencies so that the plant can be a safe place for the local community.

Fire extinguishing training for new employees(May 2022, Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex)

Fire extinguishing training for new employees
(May 2022, Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex)

Disaster drills at dormitories and company housing (October 2022 Shin-Etsu Handotail Shirakawa plant)

Disaster drills at dormitories and company housing
(October 2022, Shin-Etsu Handotail Shirakawa plant)

Environmental Control and Safety Audits

In order to confirm that activities such as environmental conservation, occupational safety and health, and process safety and disaster prevention plan are carried out as planned, the Group conducts an internal audit at domestic and overseas operation sites. In FY2022, online audits were conducted at a total of 38 offices, including 29 domestic offices and 9 overseas offices. The results of audits are reported to the top management.

In FY2022, in addition to the results of the year's activities for management items related to overall environmental safety at plants, we set the prevention of behavioral accidents, safe handling when opening flammable liquids tanks, and prevention of process accidents as the focus points, and the implementation status was audited along with initiatives.

Comprehensive environmental and safety audit(November 2022 , Shin- Etsu Gunma Complex)

Comprehensive environmental and
safety audit
(November 2022, Shin- Etsu Gunma Complex)

Health Considerations

We are conducting any measures to prevent the development of possible diseases such as encouraging employees to take health checks, offering health counseling on lifestyle diseases, and promoting measures on mental health and activities for health promotion and fitness. In addition, we are implementing measures for infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Our head office and branch offices have a Health Committee, and each plant has a Safety and Health Committee. The committees work to improve the workplace environment and promote the workers' health with advice and information from industrial physicians. We also have special programs such as physical fitness checks and seminars to help workers maintain and improve their physical conditions.

Furthermore, we offer an outside Family Health Consultation Service, which can be used by our wokers and their family, with our health insurance union and an insurance company. It is available 24 hours a day.

Health lecture training for women(September 2022, Naoetsu Electronics)

Health lecture training for women
(September 2022, Naoetsu Electronics)

Overseas Group Company Medical Check(April 2022, Shin-Etsu Magnetics Philippines)

Overseas Group Company Medical Check
(April 2022, Shin-Etsu Magnetics Philippines)

Measures for COVID-19

We implement a variety of measures to protect employees and their families from COVID-19. In February 2020, a COVID-19 countermeasures group headed by the president was established at the Shin-Etsu Chemical Head Office, and a series of measures to prevent the infectious disease from spreading in response to the ever-changing situation was sent throughout the company.
In each region, we established a local group to take measures against COVID-19 and implement measures to prevent infection and to maintain operations in accordance with each region, based on the notification from the Shin-Etsu Chemical Head Office. In March 2023, Japanese government changed its approach to measures against this infectious disease. In addition, although the number of new infections in Japan is on the decline, our task force continues to call on employees to always be mindful of not bringing the virus into the workplace.

Targets and Results

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

Implementation Status, Evaluation, and Planned Implementation Items

Employee Initiatives

Ms. SS PVC Plant Manager SE-PVC (Netherlands)

Ms. SS
PVC Plant Manager
SE-PVC (Netherlands)

1.Please tell us about your current responsibilities.
I have worked for the Shin-Etsu Group since September 1st 2021 as the plant manager for the PVC plant in Pernis in the Netherlands. As a plant manager I am responsible for the operation of the plant. This also includes the health and safety of the people working on site.

2. Please tell us about occupational safety management at the plant. What are you doing to protect the health and safety of your employees?
In the Pernis plant the safety of all employees is our top priority. Plant safety is addressed at all levels in the organization by using well defined procedures and working processes. Employees and contractors working in our plant first receive safety training to increase their safety awareness when they start working in the plant. Operators receive an education program during a period of 7-8 years. We have a plant instructor to help the new employees with their training. The permit-to-work procedure ensures that all maintenance activities are executed safely. Furthermore, the safety of the plant is ensured by executing HAZOP studies, applying state-of-the-art design standards and by always executing modifications to the plant according to our Management of Change (MOC) procedure. Everything we do is focused on guaranteeing a safe working environment for the people working on site.

3. Please tell us about your plant's Occupational Health Management. What does the plant do to maintain the comfortable and safe working environments for its employees?
Some specific measures are taken to ensure a safe working environment for our employees. The plant is equipped with a significant number of analyzers that continuously monitor vinylchloride (VC) concentration in the working environment. In this way the health and safety of the people working in the plant is guaranteed. In addition, monitoring is done yearly by a specialist consultant to confirm that employees are not exposed to unsafe concentrations of VC. PVC powder emissions in buildings are cleaned up constantly by exhaust system. A new program has been started to reduce powder emissions in the plant to improve the working environment of employees and contractors.

4. How do the plant strive to manage employee’s health?
HR department reports monthly on the trends of our employee’s health to the plant management team. When required additional follow up is done through an experienced physician. This physician is also available for questions from employees and health advice. Additionally, specific trainings (using breathing air protection for operations staff, workplace ergonomics awareness for office staff etc.) are provided and periodical health checks are done for all employees, which includes mental health and social safety aspects.

5. What do you intend to focus on in the future with regard to ensure the safety of workers and promoting health?
First of all we will continue with the all the measures and procedures that are already in place today. The chemical industry believes that we should never lose our attention to continuously improve our safety performance. To further enhance our focus on working safely in the plant a new safety program was started in January 2023. Working together with an experienced safety consultant the whole organization is involved in this program. The objective is to identify potential improvement opportunities in our organization and our working processes. The program is open to all levels of employees within the company, because we need everyone's cooperation to achieve our safety goals. Collaboration between own employees and subcontractors is included in this program.