Occupational Safety Activities
We have been conducting various safety activities for prevention of accidents besides recurrence prevention. Aiming at establishment of safety culture from the viewpoint of “personnel”, “object”, “mechanism”, we are taking the initiative to give the first priority to safety.
Toward Elimination of Occupational Accidents
In fiscal 2018, there were many minor accidents such as hitting hands, and the total number of accidents was 14 (fiscal 2017 : 8 cases), and the total frequency rate was 1.08.
One out of the 14 cases were required taking time off. For example, an employee’s finger was crushed during the transportation of a heavy load.
Due to occupational accidents that in July 2017 that required taking time off, we have implemented a general inspection of our company along with the facilities of the domestic and overseas group companies starting in April 2018, and inspection of more than 10,000 equipment units have been completed. Individual companies have already made plans and are working to raise the safety levels regarding applicable equipment.
Our calculation of occupational accident frequency rate in 2018 was reviewed by Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA) and we received the following verification report.
Risk Assessment (RA) Initiatives
Risk assessment (RA) is the core activity of our occupational safety and health management system (OSHMS). We have reviewed diverse potential risks resulting from workplace equipment, chemical substances, and work at every workplace and evaluated them to take hardware/software countermeasures (residual risk management), prioritizing the most dangerous risks. Also, the director of the operations department has conducted operation observation for higher potential risks to improve the working environment. In accordance with trends towards strengthened regulations, we have reviewed and implemented a new approach for evaluating chemical substances.
Improvement of Working Environment
We conduct working environment measurements based on laws and regulations, targeting workplaces that handle chemical substances and workplaces subject to significant dust pollution and severe noise.
Plants and operational sites that have been classified in the second or third management category are especially encouraged to implement effective solutions so that they can be reclassified in the first management category.
We also take measures to prevent cases of heat stroke in the summer by measuring the humidity and temperature in hot workplaces, encouraging an adequate intake of water and salt, providing cooling gear and the like.
In our offices, we appropriately control the level of lighting, temperature and humidity to ensure that the environment is suited to the work. In winter, we install humidifiers to help prevent the spread of colds and influenza. Continuously engaging in the activities under the “STOP! Falls Project” being run by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, labor and management united as a company to promote activities aimed at eliminating falls, including coping with fall hazard areas and separating pedestrians and vehicles, obtaining input and countermeasures through the themes at workplace meetings, and raising awareness.
Enhancement of Education, Training and Enlightenment
We provide safety education to match each organizational level, including safety and health education for new employees, third-year employees, tenth-year employees, leaders, subsection chiefs and managers. Most of these educational trainings are now available to employees in domestic group companies.
We also hold a safety, health and environment conference at each plant every year as an awareness-raising activity for all employees. During the conference, we work to raise employees’ awareness of safety and health through such means as introducing safety and health initiatives and providing experiences with risk simulators. We also hold the conference for our suppliers to inform of our safety and health initiatives.
We created the “Safety Observation*1 Handbook and “On-the-Spot Risk Prediction” Handbook, and translated them into 8 languages to distribute to the factories in overseas group companies. We also distributed “Safety and Health Management” to all employees as a tool for building a culture of safety at NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. Reading through the handbook and other uses of it in each workplace translate into safe conduct by individual employees. Managers and supervisors on the workplace also carry out workplace patrols, risk prediction and share examples of Hiyari-Hatto (near misses), acting as the leaders of workplace safety and health management. The status of these workplace activities is confirmed through internal audits and other means.
*1 “Safety Observation” is where supervisors make workplace safety checks.
Safety and Health Education and Training in Safety Training Dojo
In order to provide education with a policy of cultivating the sensitivity of employees to be aware of risks and avoid accidents, we established the Safety Training Dojo in part of the Monozukuri Training and Education Center in March 2013.
With the simulation equipment, employees can virtually experience accident risks and the circumstances in which they occur through simulations of industrial accidents that are difficult to communicate verbally. There are 35 different kinds of equipment which makes you experience pinching or entanglement with accident scenarios that could happen in the workplace. More than 2000 employees of NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. and group companies take the course every year. In Fiscal 2018, many participants have learned the potential danger of falling and overturning machines through the use of VR equipment. We will increase the number of the VR units in accordance with government policy. We intend to introduce “drop shock hazard simulators” to our training in order to let employees know there is a risk of serious injury if a nearby object falls on you. We will strive to improve education and aim for zero occupational accidents.
Standing sentry activity for observance of rules led by Safety and Health Committee
Safety and Health Committee promotes the activity for observing rules joined by the directors and the factory directors in order to have safety-minded employees and a safe working environment. To avoid accidents especially while walking, we focused on “Po•Ke•Te•Na•Shi” system and all of us work together to eliminate labor-related accidents.