Employees and Contractors Health and Safety

Occupational Safety

Close-calls Incidents Topics

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

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 discovering any risk, 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.

Furthermore, 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.

  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.

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 FY2013, we have worked to enhance safety management by performing risk assessments and implementing effective safety measures, particularly for abnormal plant conditions that we have predicted.

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.

Risk assessment workshop (October 2020, Shin-Etsu Chemical Naoetsu Plant)

Risk assessment workshop (October 2020, Shin-Etsu Chemical Naoetsu Plant)

Risk assessment workshop (October 2020, Shin-Etsu Chemical Naoetsu Plant)

Results of safety management activities(Shin-Etsu Chemical)

FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
Number of improvements 8,909 10,966 7,807

Education and Drills

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 on the risks of handling materials and processes and simulate possible dangers for employees and contractors to experience. In addition, we 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.

We plan and conduct emergency drills for abnormal situations such as major earthquakes and fires.

Plant general disaster prevention drill (October 2020, Shin-Etsu Chemical Takefu Plant)

Plant general disaster prevention drill
(October 2020, Shin-Etsu Chemical Takefu Plant)

Autumn general disaster prevention drill (November 2020, Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex)

Autumn general disaster prevention drill
(November 2020, Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex)

Fire extinguishing training for new employees (November 2020, Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex)

Fire extinguishing training for new employees
(November 2020, Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex)

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 FY2020, web audits were conducted at 12 domestic and overseas operation sites. The results of audits are reported to the top management.

In FY2020, the audit focused on following;
- The results of examinations of measures to deal with serious risks related to plant operations.
- The results of self-evaluation based on the safety evaluation check list.
- The implementation status of activities to improve each result above, and future activity plans.

Comprehensive environmental and safety audit (November 2020, Shin-Etsu Handotai Shirakawa Plant )

Comprehensive environmental and safety audit
(November 2020, Shin-Etsu Handotai Shirakawa Plant )

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 (June 2020, Shinano Electric Refining Co., Ltd.)

Health lecture
(June 2020, Shinano Electric Refining Co., Ltd.)

Health lecture training (October 2020, Shin-Etsu Chemical Takefu Plant)

Health lecture training
(October 2020, Shin-Etsu Chemical Takefu Plant)

Employee Initiatives

Shin-Etsu Chemical Takefu plant Ms. MY, public health nurse

Shin-Etsu Chemical Takefu plant Ms. MY, public health nurse

Ensuring that all employees can work in good health Shin-Etsu Chemical Takefu Plant

1. What actions are taken at the plant's medical office?
The operations of the medical office include providing emergency response, first-aid, medical interviews, various medical check-ups such as explaining the results, and immunization. The Shin-Etsu Chemical Takefu Plant has two nurses in the medical office. A nurse from the hospital in the region where industrial physicians work is stationed at the plant, and an industrial physician visits the plant once a week to conduct examinations. A psychosomatic doctor also comes twice a month to provide mental consultation.

2.Please tell us about your business.
At the medical office of the Shin-Etsu Chemical Takefu Plant, I am in charge of the health management of employees of this plant and the Group companies in the neighborhood. I perform follow-up surveys of reexaminations after medical checkups, health guidance, health education, interviews with overtime workers, and mental consultations. For follow-up surveys of reexaminations, I continue doing them until I receive the results.
I am also in charge of the health education and fitness classes for new employees. In FY2020, online class was held by fitness instructors under the theme of "Lifestyle-related diseases and arteriosclerosis." To prevent diseases, I distribute leaflets regarding exercise, rest, and non-smoking, and also work with nutritionists to determine seasonal themes to place on company cafeteria tables that provide health information to raise employees' awareness of health management. In addition, we are responsible for raising awareness about COVID-19, such as hand washing, disinfection, cough etiquette, ventilation, as well as for checking people with high fever.

3.Please tell us about future issues related to employee health management and your plans to focus on these issues.
To ensure that our employees can work energetically, I am thinking of enhancing our disease prevention classes, and nutrition, fitness, and smoking cessation activities. I would like to work closely with each and every employee so that they can continue to work while treating their illness.

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. We implement company-wide measures thoroughly by asking employees to measure their body temperatures before going to work, wear a mask when commuting and at work, and disinfect their fingers; prohibiting business trips; utilizing telephone and online conferences; and checking the body temperature of visitors, etc. In addition, we pushed for workers to work from home in response to the request by the national government. Each plant takes measures to ensure thorough disinfection, stagger working hours for office workers, and make people use the cafeteria and break rooms at different times and maintain distance when using them.

Partition in the cafeteria (May 2020, Naoetsu Plant)

Partition in the cafeteria
(May 2020, Naoetsu Plant)

Vinyl curtains at office reception desks (May 2020, Takefu Plant)

Vinyl curtains at office reception desks
(May 2020, Takefu Plant)

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

Reporting of Accidents and Lost-Time Accidents

In FY2020, there were no serious accidents, but there were four lost-time injuries in the Group companies in Japan.
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 (Group companies in Japan*)

Number of Lost-Time Accidents and Changes in Frequency Rates
(Shin-Etsu Chemical and domestic consolidated companies*)

  • * The definition of an occupational accident differs in Japan and overseas, so we do not disclose the accident statistics of overseas consolidated companies. We plan to disclose the information once we have standardized the definition of occupational accident.

Related Information

Sustainability Data