Safety Education

The Mitsui Chemicals Group is implementing various initiatives, including training and drills, toward nurturing human resources with a high awareness of dangerous situations and the ingraining of a safety culture throughout the Group.

Emergency Drills

The Mitsui Chemicals Group systematically conducts emergency drills in Works to prepare for accidents, earthquakes, and tsunamis.
Envisioning emergency situations, such as a fire or leakage of hazardous substances, our Works regularly conduct comprehensive disaster prevention drills jointly with municipal fire and police departments. Such drills test the emergency response procedures, help make improvements when a deficiency is found, and enhance our defense capabilities through collaborations with the local authorities. Those Works located within petrochemical complexes also conduct joint disaster prevention drills with neighboring corporations and fire departments as a mutual support scheme. Affiliates in Japan and overseas conduct drills suited to their laws and work environments in preparation for their differing emergency situations.

Emergency drill for toxic gas leakage and ignition (Omuta Works)
Emergency drill for toxic gas leakage and ignition (Omuta Works)

Emergency drill for toxic gas leakage and ignition (Omuta Works)

We also conduct emergency shutdown drills and evacuation drills in preparation for natural disasters, taking account of recent large earthquakes and tsunamis.

Tsunami warning response drill simulating a Nankai Trough Earthquake (Iwakuni-Ohtake Works)
Tsunami warning response drill simulating a Nankai Trough Earthquake (Iwakuni-Ohtake Works)

Tsunami warning response drill simulating a Nankai Trough Earthquake (Iwakuni-Ohtake Works)

Skill Improvement for Volunteer Firefighting Units

Mitsui Chemicals’ Ichihara Works, Osaka Works, Iwakuni-Ohtake Works, and Omuta Works are equipped with volunteer firefighting units. The unit members are regularly trained in preparation for an emergency.
In recognition of their daily efforts, the Osaka Works unit received the best performance award and the Iwakuni-Ohtake Works unit received the outstanding performance award of the Minister’s Commendation under the 2020 Skill Contest of Self-Defense Disaster Management Groups at Petroleum Complexes held by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
This skills contest has been held since fiscal 2014 to inspire volunteer firefighters, as well as motivating them to continue to improve their skills. The participants complete safety, reliability, and promptness of their performance by conducting a procedure of releasing foam water from a height onto a simulated fire at a hazardous facilities. This is our seventh consecutive year to receive an award since the beginning of the contest, and the first year that we received the best performance award. We continue improving our firefighting skills through determined training to contribute to the safe and stable operations of our Works.

Osaka Works volunteer firefighting unit at the award ceremony and in skills contest
Osaka Works volunteer firefighting unit at the award ceremony and in skills contest

Osaka Works volunteer firefighting unit at the award ceremony and in skills contest

Hazard Prediction (Kiken Yochi, or “KY”) as well as Pointing-and-Calling

In order to eliminate accidents and occupational injuries at the Mitsui Chemicals Group, we undertake initiatives at the Works and at domestic and overseas affiliates to entrench and energize hazard prediction (Kiken Yochi, or “KY”) and Pointing-and-Calling.
At each Works of Mitsui Chemicals, planning, implementing, evaluating and improving each Works leads to a raised level of operations. During the course of these initiatives, as it is important to develop human resources who are able to recognize dangerous things as being dangerous and take safe action to prevent danger, KY education is implemented on an ongoing basis at each Works. KY trainers are chosen at each Works to perform as drivers of these KY initiatives, and Companywide meetings held once a year. At these meetings, KY trainers report on the status of KY initiatives at their Works, and exchange opinion on troubles or questions about KY initiatives. KY trainers utilize the information with regard to KY activities at their own Works.
With regard to KY and Pointing-and-Calling training for domestic and overseas affiliates, the Safety & Environment Technology Division have provided training support on an ongoing basis. Through this support, we are working to ensure that all of our affiliates understand the significance and necessity of KY activities and Pointing-and-Calling so that they can use and entrench them in their actual work situations. The training incorporates exercises, presentations and team discussions that are appropriate to actual work situations, looking back on their daily tasks, and raising awareness so that safer actions can be taken. Key men are of necessity to entrench KY and Pointing-and-Calling, and the Company is encouraging their development through training.

KY training sessions

  Number of Attendees (Total Training Time)
FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. 963 (3,659.4hr) 1,010 (2,424hr) 1,220 (2,440hr)
Domestic Subsidiaries & Affiliates 357 (821.1hr) 259 (725.2hr) 31 (93hr)
Overseas Subsidiaries & Affiliates 68 (340hr) 37 (222hr) 47 (141hr)
Total 1,388 (4,820.5hr) 1,306 (3,371.2hr) 1,298 (2,674hr)

Near-miss Activities

At each Mitsui Chemicals Group production site, information on workers’ narrowly avoided major accidents or disasters, or “near-misses,” that occur as a result of operations, is identified, and the details are shared within the organization. These sharing activities are ongoing. In line with the occupational safety and health management system for each production site, the organization determines the cause of these near misses, as well as preventive measures. Those concerned are provided with the awareness gained, and plans are put into effect that cover both concrete matters, as well as more intangible issues, in the course of operations. In carrying out these preventive measures, Mitsui Chemicals continues to secure necessary resources. Examples of specific representative measures are as follows.

Near-miss Activities—Iwakuni-Ohtake Works

Referring to the accidents and occupational injuries that occurred in other workplaces and Works, all members of the Ohtake Manufacturing Section shared the task of identifying locations and operations with risks typical to a chemical plant that could cause a near-miss case. Such risks include (1) concerns for corrosion and collapses of stairs and floor (2) Machinery for open inspections etc. under a nitrogen atmosphere; and (3) Fires caused by alkyl aluminum. Among these identified near-miss cases, the Health and Safety Committee members in each workplace select locations and operations with associated high risks and notify job group members on a monthly basis to prevent possible accidents. They also suggest improvement ideas for a better safety work environment.

Small-group Activities

Our Works conducts small-group activities that undertake activities in group units of small numbers of people to deal with issues or matters causing concern, such as, in view of the characteristics of a Works, enhancing production workplace capabilities, refining mindsets and human resources development, workplace revitalization and business improvements.
We share the results of the small-group activities throughout a Works by means of presentations, and the honoring of best practices leads to heightened motivation. We are deploying the best practices horizontally across the Group, such as by making reference to them in workplace activities, and promoting the revitalization of workplaces and Works as a whole as well as a raised level of operations.

Small-group Activities-Ichihara Works

Staff members of the Elastomer Section 1, noticed that there was a high percentage of defect products under a brand manufactured in the works. In order to reduce these defective products, operators and full-time workers cooperated with each other to investigate the causes, formulate countermeasures, and consider plans. This resulted in a review of manufacturing conditions, which successfully led to a significant reduction in defects. The works achieved its predetermined goal of more than 10 million yen cost reduction and profit improvement per year.

The Best Plants Awards

The purpose of the Best Plant Award is to revitalize Works by honoring the excellent production sections for their activities related to safety, environment, quality and production technologies. Having started this system in fiscal 2004, since fiscal 2013 Mitsui Chemicals has focused outside the field of safety achievements and the like but also on safety processes and recognized through these awards the successes and hardships of production sections.
In fiscal 2020, 12 applications were submitted from domestic and overseas production sites, one of which was selected for the President's Awards and six for Production & Technology Center Executive’s Awards. The Company’s global expansion is advancing due not only to the Mitsui Chemicals but also to award-winning domestic and overseas affiliates. It should be noted that along with the aforementioned awards, we simultaneously awarded the General Manager of Works’ Award and General Managers of Headquarters Award.

The Best Plants Awards FY2020

President’s Award for Best Plant
Theme: Improvement and revitalization of comprehensive communication in the Group and other companies
Production & Technology Center Executive’s Award
Hexene Sect., Manufacturing Dept.-2, Ichihara Works
Service and Disaster Prevention Sect., Manufacturing Dept., Osaka Works
EO Sect., Manufacturing Dept.-1, Osaka Works
Electronic Material Sect., Manufacturing Dept.-2, Osaka Works
Isocyanate Sect., Urethan Manufacturing Dept.-2, Omuta Works
Grand SIAM Grand Siam Composites Co., Ltd. (Thailand)
President’s Award for Best Plant Ceremony

In addition, we toured the outstanding workplaces recognized by the President’s Award for Best Plant as well as held an exchange meeting as a means to exchange information. Starting in fiscal 2015, we have held this event with the aim of enabling employees to gain awareness that is difficult to obtain in their own workplaces and Works, provide opportunities for line managers to share their concerns and encourage each other, and improve the safety culture throughout the Mitsui Chemicals Group.
The fiscal 2020 exchange meeting took place online to share information and exchange opinions with the organizations that won the President’s Award for Best Plant 2018 and 2019,* as the meetings for these organizations were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We aim to hold the exchange meeting in fiscal 2021 as planned for the winner of the President’s Award for Best Plant 2020. Details of winning practices are published on the intra-company networks in Japanese, English, and Chinese to disseminate good practice across the global Mitsui Chemicals Group.

*FY2018 President’s Award for Best Plant: Ohtake Manufacturing Section, Manufacturing Dept.-2, Iwakuni-Ohtake Works, FY2019 President’s Award for Best Plant: Mitsui Chemicals Sun Alloys Co., Ltd.

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