Safety and Prevention
At Mitsui Chemicals, we hold evacuation drills and emergency shutdown drills in the event of a major earthquake or tsunami. We also hold various disaster drills that include emergency activities such as firefighting, emergency call-outs and reporting as part of measures to respond to emergencies at Works. Going forward, we will conduct various drills in a systematic, ongoing manner in tandem with relevant government agencies and local communities.
Process Safety and Disaster Prevention Drills
At Mitsui Chemicals, we are continually improving our in-house disaster prevention capabilities in cooperation with the relevant administrative bodies. In addition to conducting disaster prevention drills, including emergency activities such as firefighting, emergency call-outs and reporting, we also carry out joint drills with municipal fire and police departments, validate emergency responses and take steps to improve any shortcomings. We formulate site-specific plans at each Works every year and conduct drills designed specifically for the operations carried out according to each working environment of our sites. We also organize full-scale comprehensive disaster prevention drills on a regular basis at each of our Works, including joint training with municipal fire departments and volunteer firefighting units, and training involving the local police. We work with municipal fire departments and nearby companies to organize joint disaster prevention drills as a form of reciprocal training between companies. We introduce some examples of the drills below.
A Works comprehensive disaster prevention drill is conducted twice a year to prepare for an accident or disaster. This drill was assumed to have been caused by an earthquake, and was conducted jointly among our own volunteer firefighting organization, the municipal fire services as well as the joint firefighting units from neighboring companies. We continue to hold various disaster prevention drills to maintain our high level of safety awareness through reinforcing our relationships with relevant municipal bodies.
The on-site disaster control command post and fire extinguishing operation by the volunteer firefighting units (Ichihara Works)
Mobara Branch Factory
A comprehensive disaster prevention drill was conducted jointly with the municipal firefighting headquarters. The drill supposed that toxic gas leaked from the ground section of the pressurized gas cylinder's pressure gauge on a weekday during the daytime and that the gas cylinder warehouse filled with gas. We have held training drills on 1) information communication between the disaster prevention headquarters and the disaster prevention command center, 2) evacuation, 3) firefighting and 4) various environmental measurements. This training has enabled us to verify that the initial response system functions smoothly when a disaster occurs and to confirm the role of each group and individual. In this way, we are constantly working to increase the level of safety and improve our disaster prevention system.
The on-site disaster control command post and fire extinguishing operation by the volunteer firefighting units (Mobara Branch Factory)
A comprehensive disaster prevention drill was organized to prepare for a large-scale earthquake. It involved an initial response drill in the event of an emergency plant shutdown or similar event, an evacuation drill and a drill to address the possible escape of hazardous material resulting from a broken pipe. It was planned as a "blind drill," with participants not provided with any information on the type of substance that had escaped or the location of the leak. It aimed at reinforcing the initial response of each disaster prevention team, encouraging individual team members to think and act independently when carrying out their designated roles. Efforts will be directed to further improving disaster prevention awareness and skills through full-participation drills.
The on-site disaster control command post and collecting escaped materials (Nagoya Works)
A comprehensive disaster prevention drill was organized on a weekday during the daytime to prevent a fire following the escape of hazardous materials from the mechanical seal of the fluid transmission pump in the hazardous materials facility. The drill was very productive and confirmed the smooth liaison between the self-defense disaster prevention units. We continue to ensure safety in all our Works by training for the different types of disasters that we may encounter, focusing on a prompt initial response to the emergency and smooth communications between those in different roles.
The on-site disaster control command post and fire extinguishing operation by the volunteer firefighting units (Osaka Works)
A Works comprehensive disaster prevention drill was conducted in collaboration with the municipal firefighting department and the land-based joint disaster prevention organization, based on a scenario where a level-5 earthquake occurred during the daytime on a weekday, and a crack was found in the side wall of a tank. A flammable chemical then leaked from the crack and a fire broke out caused by a static electrical spark. The drill was designed to reinforce our disaster control capabilities by verifying that each unit could take action voluntarily following their action guidelines, the effectiveness of the joint disaster response, and the promptness of communications with the relevant authorities and public announcement following the accident’s occurrence.
Fire extinguishing by chemical disaster prevention vehicle (Iwakuni-Ohtake Works)
With the participation of the municipal firefighting department, the city disaster control office, and the police, a Works comprehensive disaster prevention drill was conducted. The emergency scenario was that a flammable chemical leaked from the transfer pipe of a hazardous chemical facility in a high-rise building and caught fire. The drill examined the coordination among the relevant authorities in terms of emergency control structure, firefighting tactics, and public relations with the local community. We continue to improve our emergency response to make it even faster and more reliable.
The on-site command post and volunteer firefighting units in action (Omuta Works)
Earthquake and Tsunami Drills
At Mitsui Chemicals, we conduct various drills to ensure that all staff are better prepared in the event of a major earthquake or tsunami, which are assumed at each site. These include emergency shutdown drills and evacuation drills to evacuation areas. The following are a few select examples of the drills conducted at each production site.
A drill was conducted based on the assumption that a massive tsunami warning had been issued in the inner bay of Tokyo Bay following an earlier earthquake that occurred during a weekday daytime. The drill included an initial response, such as an emergency plant shutdown, evacuation to designated locations and roll call, and a personnel safety report. We could confirm that the evacuation was smooth and its time had been shortened by repeated training.
Evacuation to the designated location and confirmation of personnel safety (Ichihara Works)
An evacuation drill was conducted in preparation for a giant tsunami alarm issued as a result of a Nankai megathrust earthquake with a seismic intensity of over 6. It was designed to raise awareness of disaster prevention and to confirm the location of tsunami evacuation shelters designated by the Works, evacuation methods and evacuation conditions. Repeated drills train employees to evacuate swiftly to the designated shelters. Problems that were identified in the drills have been addressed to improve and reinforce the disaster prevention system.
Evacuation to designated locations and personnel safety check (Osaka Works)
A drill was held in the Omuta Works to simulate a leak of hazardous gas from a plant following an earthquake of seismic intensity of 5 on a weekday during the daytime. This time the drill was more comprehensive than usual, with each workplace having to select an evacuation destination from the designated locations and decide on the route taken to reach that destination. All issues identified in this drill will be categorized and countermeasures implemented. We are working to address all the risks that could arise in the event of a serious disaster to reinforce our disaster prevention system.
Evacuation to designated locations and personnel safety check (Omuta Works)
External appraisal for our volunteer firefighting units – Receiving a Fire and Disaster Management Agency Director’s award
The each self-defense disaster prevention unit of Ichihara Works, Osaka Works and Iwakuni-Ohtake Works received a Fire and Disaster Management Agency Director’s award (Encouragement Award) from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) at the Fiscal 2019 Skill Contest of Self-defense Disaster Protection Systems for Petrochemical Complexes, etc. organized by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
This contest, which was first launched in fiscal 2014 with the aim of enhancing skills and morale, pits large-scale chemical plant elevated water cannon and foam concentrate transporter crews against each other in a number of operations, such as their safety management and the standard of their firefighting vehicles and equipment.
We recognize that self-defense disaster prevention units of the three Works judged on their fire control technique and discipline. This award marked the sixth year in a row since the contest started that we had received an award. Accumulating experience from daily training that will lead to improved disaster prevention techniques in the years to come, we will contribute safer and more stable Works operations.
Fire and Disaster Management Agency Director’s award/Self-defense disaster prevention unit of Ichihara Works
Fire and Disaster Management Agency Director’s award/Self-defense disaster prevention unit of Osaka Works
Fire and Disaster Management Agency Director’s award/Self-defense disaster prevention unit of Iwakuni-Ohtake Works