The Mitsui Chemicals Group has set forth the promotion of the happiness and fulfillment of employees in the Group Mission. We believe that “healthy employees lead to the happiness of the employees and their family, bringing greater work value and joy. This establishes the foundation of the Group and contributes to the local community and the sustainable growth of society.” Based on this belief, the Mitsui Chemicals Group has adopted the following as its vision: “To engage in health-focused management that autonomously promotes occupational health and worker health by enhancing tangible measures, such as improving work environments and facilities where employees can maintain good health at work, and enabling employees to pursue intangible measures that focus on health management and promotion.”
We have established our Company rules (occupational health regulations) that set out the basic provisions for occupational health. Founded on the basic philosophy that employee well-being is directly linked to the Company's well-being, we are actively involved in occupational health measures that include health management to prevent work-related diseases, and creating good working environments that are adapted to our employees, as well as supporting our employees in their individual activities to maintain their well-being.
Mitsui Chemicals' Health-focused Management (conceptual diagram)
We promote good health management among employees via activities such as medical examinations and health guidance carried out by industrial physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Comprehensive medical check-ups for employees (combining regular medical examinations with special medical check-ups and cancer screening) have been conducted for more than 10 years, with a coverage in fiscal 2021 of nearly 100% for regular medical check-ups, nearly 100% for lung cancer screening, 82% for colon cancer, 58% for gastric cancer, 73% for abdominal ultrasound scans, 91% for prostate cancer screening, 70% for breast cancer, and 61% for uterine cervical cancer screening.
The results are managed by the Health Management Department, which is responsible for explaining the need for more detailed examinations to employees who require them and encouraging employees to undergo further examinations by medical specialists. The results of specialized examinations are reported either by the employee in question or in the form of a letter received in response to the letter of recommendation. In fiscal 2021, approx. 73% of cancers were identified through these examinations, of which 65% were found to be curable.
Additionally, gastric cancer risk screenings were given to those who wish to be tested to encourage employees to take initiative for their own health management and to foster greater health awareness. However, starting this fiscal year, we have changed the testing method and time and have decided to conduct stool antigen testing for helicobacter pylori bacteria early for new employees. Prompted by gastric cancer risk screenings employees underwent in the past, a growing number have wanted to rid themselves of helicobacter pylori bacteria or have undergone gastroendoscopies for gastric cancer screening. Employees who have undergone gastric cancer risk screenings, etc., and are aware of their own risks are screened as often as they want (once a year is the most frequent) by their chosen method (endoscopy or barium swallow test).
Rates of lifestyle-related diseases and ratio of smokers
The index used to indicate the state of health of its employees shows that Mitsui Chemicals had a figure of 8.0% or less for lifestyle-related diseases in fiscal 2030 and the index is being carefully monitored. In fiscal 2021, we conducted health improvement activities by offering medical examination follow-up guidance and health guidance, encouraging health examinations, and providing online access. As a result, obesity is on a downward trend and the levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar are improving. We plan to continue urging employees to take health examinations and providing health guidance. Furthermore, the reduced amount of activity and exercise as a result of teleworking, the stay-at-home lifestyle, etc., due to COVID-19 infection prevention measures has caused a number of employees to gain weight and struggle with losing that weight, while some are suspected to have reduced muscle mass. For this reason, we also provided guidance using apps, online nutrition programs, and semi-personal guidance that includes nutrition in fiscal 2021, while delivering healthcare information, including online at-home fitness programs and other forms of exercise, to employees. During the current fiscal year, we also plan to deliver information with new ideas and methods added to the program and take advantage of online technology to implement health improvement projects and conduct other activities. Other activities include physical capability tests for fall prevention and for older employees to monitor any decline in their physical aptitude, as well as the publication of information related to the locomotive syndrome in the Company newsletter. As for new projects proposed by business sites to establish exercise as a habit among their young employees, we choose projects that can easily be implemented on a Group-wide scale in a way that allows all Group employees to participate. In fiscal 2022, the number of projects that can be implemented on a Group-wide scale will increase, allowing each business site to use them as part of its initiatives.
The ratio of smokers has decreased by more than 10% compared to 10 years ago and is gradually decreasing. The Health Management Department will continue to lead the Company in providing support to employees who want to quit smoking, while providing smoking rooms to curb exposure to secondhand smoke. From fiscal 2021, each business site has begun taking action to ban smoking on Company premises during work hours by fiscal 2025 to protect the health of our employees.
We opened a personal portal site (MCI Health Navi) this fiscal year to provide each employee with their own medical examination results, notification, etc. MCI Health Navi allows each individual to view medical examination results and check information based on his/her medical examination results and work history, graphs to confirm changes based on past test data, recommendation to take medical examination, notification regarding healthcare guidance, etc. The portal site provides information in a way that allows each individual to easily manage his/her own health information and obtain the right health information. Going forward, we will support each employee in fostering health awareness by using the MCI Health Navi, in addition to divisions' sites.
Lifestyle-related Disease Rates (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. Registered Male Employees)
*Lifestyle-related disease rates are compiled separately by gender since criteria for men and women differ depending on the category. As the proportion of men is high the case of Mitsui Chemicals, lifestyle-related disease rates for men are regarded as a KPI.
Breakdown of Days Off due to Illness (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. Registered Employees)
Helping balance work and treatment
We also continue to help balance work and treatment for disease with the support of industrial physicians. We offer a health consultation and guidance for employees worried about their illness, such as not knowing the best action to take or when unable to understand the intention of the doctor, etc. If some special working arrangement is required for an employee, we discuss with the workplace and Human Resource Division to suit the requirements of the situation. Due to these systems that support treatment of illnesses, including cancer, it is no longer uncommon to continue working during strong treatment. We also revised the Guidebook to Help Balance Work and Medical Treatment by compiling related information and concrete examples. The up-to-date book was published on the internal bulletin board to make it accessible to employees whenever they need it.
Support for employees at overseas bases
At our overseas bases, our industrial physicians go overseas every year to make the rounds, conducting health interviews with all employees working overseas, including their families if they so desire. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we once again conducted interviews, etc., in fiscal 2021 online or through emails. Feedback on the stress survey results for the organization that was conducted in person was also given online. We continue to provide information regarding infection and health improvements.
Mental Health Initiatives
Mental health can also have a significant influence on work productivity and is an important issue to maintain the health of employees. With the wider spread of teleworking and changes in the social environment, mental health care has also become increasingly important. Upon formulating VISION 2030, Mitsui Chemicals has defined the “frequency of absences from work due to mental health disorders,” which we have been monitoring, as one of our management metrics and set the target frequency for fiscal 2030 to be 0.25. We raise mental health awareness among employees through mental health initiatives, such as training (for new employees, management staff, line managers, self-care training programs, etc.). We also conduct interviews, offer counselling by industrial physicians, and use the results of the stress survey to further improve the working environment.
In fiscal 2021, the number of interviews and consultations held via video conference increased as employees get used to doing them online in order to reduce the risk of infecting one another.
We compiled and presented the impact of teleworking on physical and mental health revealed by the analysis of the stress survey results, the key points to healthcare under these conditions, etc., to the Health and Safety Committee, explained them in management staff training programs, and published them on the intranet. Many employees attended the stress survey presentation because it was held online, and some business sites shared specific good practices and opinions.
Training, interview, and counselling
In addition to training, new employees (including new graduates, midcareer hires, and contractor hires) undergo e-learning on communication courses for a fixed period after entering the Company. For two years after entering the Company, we also provide appropriate support regarding employee work-related lifestyles, which involves industrial physicians, etc., interviewing all new employees every six months to determine the status of communications regarding their lifestyle, health, supervisor, and colleagues, and provide advice as needed. We are providing personal interviews and counseling either online or by phone since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, inclusion lecture meetings have also been held recently. These meetings aim to create a culture to accept people with diverse characteristics and personalities, as well as those in the course of illness treatment, into workplaces.
In addition to our simple occupational stress survey, since 2011 we have conducted a workplace stress questionnaire (occupational stress and mental health) to provide hints for improving the workplace, with nearly all employees replying to. Beyond providing individuals with feedback, managers in each workplace are also given details of the results of their organization useful for improving workplace conditions. We have also formulated and implemented stress reduction plans (communication improvement plans) in workplaces deemed to be particularly susceptible to high stress levels by conducting interviews with managers and members of such workplaces. Moreover, we are working to identify good practices in workplaces with a positive mental health environment and improving work conditions over time, with interviews with and documents released by representatives of these workplaces made available via the intranet in order to apply them to other workplaces throughout the Company.
In fiscal 2018, we introduced a dedicated system, through which the survey results of individuals and organizations can be checked on a website. The new stress questionnaire is helping workplaces to undertake voluntary actions to improve working conditions and many workplaces that actively utilize the survey results is increasing. As a result, the percentage of workplaces with low noticeable stress levels and are considered to be functioning well in various categories rose from 22.1% in fiscal 2015 to 50.0% in fiscal 2021. Workplaces where there was judged to be a “high level of perceived stress, concern that specific workplace measures may not be working” decreased, from 8.7% to 3.5%.
With regards to human resource management, we are enhancing the contents of our leadership training programs, which improve the working environment by creating a better workplace atmosphere. In fiscal 2022, we will try to improve workplace culture by collecting good practices according to environmental changes.
Fiscal 2021 New Workplace Stress Survey Results (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. and Contracted Affiliates)
*Each dot in the graph represents a workplace (department level at the Head Office, section level at offices).
*1Total health risk:
A measurement on the subjective sensory scale of workload, sense of control, and empathy from superior and co coworkers.
(A relative measurement that uses 100 as the national average. A workplace score of 120 implies that the rate of health problems is 20% higher than the average.)
*2Mental health atmosphere:
A scale-based measurement of the appropriateness of command and control, labor management, cooperation, and training opportunities.
(A relative measurement that uses 50 as the national average. Higher figures imply a better workplace atmosphere.)
COVID-19 countermeasures and health support for new working styles
Since January 2020, we have provided the support described below as COVID-19 countermeasures.
A Wide Range of Health Management Programs
Mitsui Chemicals runs a wide variety of health promotion programs and supports the health management of its employees, primarily through its healthcare section and health insurance association. In fiscal 2021, our initiatives included the Healthy Mileage Campaign, fitness classes, quitting smoking campaigns, employee cafeteria healthy menus, and health/balanced body measurement events.
The Healthy Mileage Campaign is a program that involves participation by individuals or teams, collecting points (health miles) for exercise and healthy lifestyles, and winning prizes for miles collected. With employees being able to enter achievements via the web and smartphones, the number of employees participating in this program was more than 40% of all employees, and some employees were participated at overseas sites. We also measured participants’ visceral fat and body fat, as well as distortion of the body before and after the exercise program, so that they can check their current condition and manage their bodies more objectively, as well as confirming the effectiveness of the program.
Example of a health insurance subsidy and details of the activities conducted jointly with the Health Insurance Association
|Health improvement events
(・Online fitness programs, other forms of exercise, and events・Nutrition programs and more.)
|Special healthcare guidance
(based on special check-up results and those qualifying under special health guidance criteria)
|Cancer screening||Gastric cancer (endoscopy or X-ray), colon cancer (fecal occult blood), and abdominal ultrasound|
|Breast cancer (mammography or ultrasound) & uterocervical cancer (sampling by physician)|
|Prostate cancer (PSA test)|
|Lung cancer (CT scan)
(if not examined for gastric cancer or colon, abdominal and prostate cancer)
|Lifestyle disease health checkup
(blood sample analysis is not covered by the Industrial Health & Safety Act)
|Support to quit smoking
(subsidy for buying nicotine patches—for four weeks, smoking cessation clinic)
|Preventing the aggravation of diabetic nephropathy (prevention of progress to hemodialysis caused by the aggravation of diabetic nephropathy) by providing guidance on preventing lifestyle-related diseases and in collaboration with the physician in charge|
|Recommendation to visit a hospital
(recommended by the health insurance association for people who show higher levels of blood sugar, blood pressure, and lipids than recommended)
Reducing Medical Costs
The sickness/accident allowances have been decreasing since fiscal 2015; however, they have slightly increased since fiscal 2018 due to an increase in those suffering from mental health issues. Sickness/accident allowances in fiscal 2021 were 73.6% of the fiscal 2008 levels, showing a long-term decrease for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. There was also an overall decline in fiscal 2021 when compared to the Mitsui Chemicals Health Insurance Association.
The level of legally mandated benefits per insured person (medical cost) has slightly risen in 2021 according to both the Mitsui Chemicals Health Insurance Association and the National Federation of Health Insurance Societies, and it is slowly returning to the level before the spread of COVID-19. In terms of legally mandated benefits per insured person (medical cost) according to the Mitsui Chemicals Health Insurance Association and the National Federation of Health Insurance Societies, the increase for the Mitsui Chemicals Health Insurance Association is around 50% compared to that of a general health insurance association when the fiscal 2008 level was taken as an index of 100. These show the comprehensive effects of our health management, and we will continue to strengthen measures to promote employee health in the years to come.
Sick / Accident Allowances
Legally Mandated Benefits*1 (Per Insured Person)
*1Legally Mandated Benefits:
Includes medical costs, sick / accident allowances, lump-sum birth allowances, maternity allowances, burial expenses.
*2National Federation of Health Insurance Societies:
Data taken from an overview of health insurance society early budget collation results.
External Recognition regarding Occupational Health
Certified as Health and Productivity Management Organization (White 500) for Sixth Consecutive Year
Mitsui Chemicals was recognized as White 500 companies in the 2022 Certified Health and Productivity Management Organization Recognition Program (large enterprise category), hosted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Japan Health Council for the sixth consecutive year. The program awards enterprises that are particularly keen in taking initiatives for overcoming health related challenges in regional communities or promote health-conscious activities.
Mitsui Chemicals Receives Sports Yell Company Certification for Fourth Consecutive Year
Mitsui Chemicals has received the Sports Yell Company certification for 2021 from the Japan Sports Agency. This marks the fourth consecutive year that Mitsui Chemicals has earned this certification. Launched in 2017, the program acknowledges companies that are proactively running sports initiatives to improve employee health. Our certification was in recognition of the Healthy Mileage Competition for our employees.
"Silver certification" for outstanding health promotion
We are committed to working on improving health across the whole company and winning "silver certification" and "gold certification" for being an outstanding health promotion company. As a result of its screening, we received silver certification from the Tokyo Federation of the National Federation of Health Insurance Societies. The certification was granted in recognition of the Company's daily efforts in using health examination results effectively, developing an environment to improve employee health and activities that focus on diet, exercise, stopping smoking and mental health.
Certification No. 1444 (Certification period: until December 2022)
Received Gold in Gan-Ally Declaration Awards for Cancer Initiatives for Second Consecutive Year
Mitsui Chemicals received Gold, the top prize in the Gan-Ally-Bu Awards 2021. This is the company’s third consecutive award since 2019. The Gan-Ally Declaration Awards are an award scheme created by Gan-Ally-Bu, a private sector project that focuses on tackling problems faced by people who continue to work while undergoing treatment for cancer. The awards aim to encourage workplaces to be more accommodating of employees who have cancer, thereby creating a society where people can feel comfortable continuing to work while receiving treatment. Our development of a system that makes it easy to balance medical treatment and work, such as the introduction of a short-time work system and the revision of the teleworking system, as well as our internal lecture meetings on the theme of breast cancer that provide opportunities to learn the different types of breast cancer testing, self-check methods, and support in workplace, which promoted understanding on examinations and treatments, were highly recognized.
Mitsui Chemicals Receives Highest Rating for Employee Health Management from the Development Bank of Japan
Mitsui Chemicals has been awarded the highest rating by the Development Bank of Japan Inc. (DBJ) under the DBJ Employees’ Health Management Rated Loan Program. Based on this rating, Mitsui Chemicals has received a loan of 10 billion yen from DBJ. This is the second acquisition since 2013. The DBJ Employees' Health Management Rated Loan Program is the world’s first financing menu to incorporate health management ratings into the assessment of companies’ management of employee health and welfare and the selection of those with outstanding records in this area. Using a proprietary screening system, DBJ rates enterprises on the quality of their care for employee health and working conditions.