Health and Productivity Management
Following our principle of “Employee well-being is directly linked to the Company’s well-being,” we implement a range of occupational health measures, including health management. In fiscal 2016, we clarified the framework of the occupational health audit to affiliates and expanded occupational health management globally. We have also been reinforcing the relationship between the Health Management Department and the Human Resource Division to encourage utilization of training programs and systems, and expand employment of people with disabilities.
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.
We have introduced comprehensive medical check-ups, combining regular medical examinations with special medical check-ups and cancer screening, and the uptake rates remain steady for more than 10 years. The uptake rate for medical check-ups was nearly 100% and the rates for cancer screening were as follows: nearly 100% for lung cancer, over 85% for colon cancer, over 60% for gastric cancer; over 70% for abdominal ultrasound, over 90% for prostate cancer, and over 50% for breast/uterine cervical cancer.
As a result of gastric cancer risk screenings conducted in fiscal 2015, many employees underwent treatment to eradicate Helicobacter pylori. Moreover, the number of employees who are taking a gastric cancer screening using gastroscopic examinations or maintain follow-up checks by medical specialists has increased, particularly among those who received treatment to eradicate Helicobacter pylori or who were categorized in groups B-D by medical specialists. The Health Management Department ascertains the results of the cancer screenings as well as regular medical examinations to encourage employees to see a medical specialist for necessary detailed examinations by explaining their physical condition. With regard to the results of the detailed examinations, we receive the report from the employee or the referral letter from the person who conducted the examinations. As a result, the number of sick leave days taken off for malignant tumors (cancers) in fiscal 2018 increased to 1,196 days, however, the nearly 60% of cancers discovered by these screening, and 60% are discovered to be curable.
We also continue to help balance work and treatment for cancer 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.
With regard to the rates of lifestyle-related diseases, those for high blood pressure decreased, from 9.1% in fiscal 2008 to 3%, while high cholesterol and high blood sugar levels have remained flat. These results are to due medical examination follow-up guidance, health guidance based on diabetes genetic test results for interested predisposed individuals, and health improvement activities.
In fiscal 2018, as an initiative for elderly workers who suffer from diminished physical abilities, each site continued to devise measures to promote health education from the younger generation and entrench exercise habits for fiscal 2017. Unfortunately, the percentage of those overweight, that is, beyond BMI 27, has been increasing, and we will aim for further improvement and work on reducing the obesity rate in fiscal 2019.
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. We are offering ongoing support to our employees for both mental and physical symptoms. With regard to long-term projects, we continue to provide employees with health support more frequently, such as once every three months. Also, the number of overseas affiliates that voluntarily lead health promotion programs for their employees has increased.
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)
Mental Health Initiatives
In fiscal 2018, we continued to implement mental health initiatives such as training (for new employees, management staff, line managers, self-care training programs, etc.), conduct interviews undertaken by industrial physicians, and provided counseling.
In addition to training, new employees (including new graduates, midcareer hires and contract employees) undergo three types of e-learning-based communication courses for a fixed period after entering the Company. We also provide appropriate support regarding employee work-related lifestyles, which involves industrial physicians interviewing all new employees every six months, determining the status of communications in the areas of lifestyles, health, supervisors, colleagues, provided advice as needed.
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. We introduced a dedicated system for stress survey in which people can check their survey results immediately in fiscal 2018. In fiscal 2019, we plan to enhance the system so that the survey results of their own division can be viewed on a website.
With more workplaces actively using these questionnaire results recently, this has led to voluntary workplace improvements. 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 27.9% in fiscal 2018. Workplaces where there was judged to be a “high level of perceived stress, concern that specific workplace measures may not be working” decreased by half, from 8.7% to 4.1%. 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 2019, we will work to improve workplace culture by examining the results of stress-level surveys at each workplace over a period of years.
Fiscal 2018 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.)
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 2018, our initiatives included the Healthy Mileage Campaign, fitness classes, eating habit/dietary classes, walking events, sports competitions, 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 over 40% in Japan and more than 5% overseas. We also measured participants’ visceral fat and body fat before and after the exercise program so that they can grasp their current condition and manage their bodies more objectively, as well as confirming the effectiveness of the program.
Reducing Medical Costs
The sickness/accident allowances have been on a decreasing trend since fiscal 2015; however, they increased in fiscal 2018 due to an increase in those suffering from mental health issues. Even so, the total sickness/accident allowances in fiscal 2018 were only 57% of those in fiscal 2008. From a long-term perspective they continue to decrease due to measures to prevent the occurrence of cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Taking the legally mandated medical benefits in fiscal 2008 as a baseline index of 100, the rate of increase for general health insurance association medical expenses in fiscal 2018 was 21.2%, but the rate of increase in the case of the Mitsui Chemicals Health Insurance Association was 14.8%.
These are considered to be comprehensive effects of health management, and we will continue to strengthen health promotion measures on an ongoing basis 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
Mitsui Chemicals and Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello Inc. were recognized as White 500 companies in the 2019 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. This year’s listing marks Mitsui Chemicals’ third successive appearance in the White 500 and the first year for Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello. 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 was nominated by many other companies as being a role model corporation for health and productivity management and has been named in a report on companies selected for inclusion in the recognition program, which is available on the METI website.
Mitsui Chemicals has received the Sports Yell Company certification for 2018 from the Japan Sports Agency. This marks the second 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. The hope is that this will lead to a growing number of sports-related social opportunities. Mitsui Chemicals was recognized by the Japan Sports Agency for its Healthy Mileage competition, a health initiative that is run within the company.
Accredited as Tokyo Metropolitan Sports Promotion Company for four consecutive years
Mitsui Chemicals was certified as a Tokyo Metropolitan Sports Promotion Company 2018, which is hosted by the Bureau of Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Preparation, under the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, for the fourth consecutive year. The program started in fiscal 2015 to recognize enterprises taking initiatives in promoting sports among employees and making social contributions in the sports area. Our certification was in recognition of the Healthy Mileage Campaign for our employees.
Mitsui Chemicals received the Gold Award at the inaugural Gan-Ally Declaration Awards. The Gan-Ally Declaration Awards are a new 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. The award was conferred in recognition of Mitsui Chemicals’ efforts to promote early detection of cancer by incorporating cancer screening into regular medical examinations and carrying this out through mass screenings. Also highly commended was the framework through which Mitsui Chemicals’ industrial physicians collaborate with the Human Resources Division and worksites to find the right balance of work without imposing an excessive burden on individual workers.