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.
Working together with the municipal firefighting departments and joint fire extinguishing operation (Ichihara Works)
Mobara Branch Factory
A Works comprehensive disaster prevention drill was conducted jointly with the municipal firefighting headquarters. The drill was based on a scenario where a flammable liquid had leaked from a pump flange during the transfer from a tank and a fire had been caused by a static electrical spark. 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 volunteer firefighting units in action (Mobara Branch Factory)
We implemented a Works comprehensive disaster prevention drill with the aim of preventing more widespread damage should an accident occur. The drill was based on a scenario where an earthquake of level 4 in the Japanese seismic intensity scale occurred during a weekday 24-hour operation. This caused a flammable liquid to leak from a liquid transfer pipe joint and a fire was caused by a static electrical spark. The drill covered the process from an emergency call to preventing leaks from spreading and the volunteer firefighting units then extinguishing the fire, and confirmed that all employees can act quickly and appropriately.
The on-site command post and firefighters spraying water (Nagoya Works)
A Works comprehensive disaster prevention drill took place based on a scenario where a fire had started after a leak of flammable chemicals from a pipe flange in a hazardous facility following an earthquake. 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.
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.
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 bend in a pipe in a hazardous chemical facility 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 held assuming that a Nankai megathrust earthquake of upper level 6 in the Japanese seismic intensity scale had occurred. The drill covered a response to the earthquake warnings, a great “Shake Out” earthquake drill that protects individuals from actual floor shaking, and moving to a tsunami evacuation area, following all the steps in the emergency action list.
A drill was held in Omuta Works assuming that a hazardous gas had leaked from a plant due to earthquake of level 5 in the Japanese seismic intensity scale that occurred during the daytime on a weekday. This time the drill was more comprehensive than usual, with each workplace having to decide on an evacuation destination from the designated locations and a route to reach that destination. Any issues identified in this drill will be categorized and countermeasures established. We aim to address each risk that could arise in case of a serious disaster to further reinforce our Works disaster prevention system.
External appraisal for our volunteer firefighting units – Receiving a MIC Minister’s Award and a Fire and Disaster Management Agency Director’s award
The self-defense disaster prevention units of Osaka Works and Iwakuni-Ohtake Works received Minister’s Award (Superiority Award) from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) at the Fiscal 2018 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. Also volunteer firefighting units in Ichihara Works received a Fire and Disaster Management Agency Director’s award (Encouragement Award).
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.
Judging self-defense disaster prevention units of the Osaka Works, Iwakuni-Ohtake Works and Ichihara Works on their fire control technique and discipline, this award marked the fifth year in a row since the contest started that the crew 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.
The Osaka Works self-defense disaster prevention units that received the MIC Minister’s Award, and operations during the competition
The Iwakuni-Otake Works self-defense disaster prevention units that received the MIC Minister’s Award, and operations during the competition
The Ichihara Works volunteer firefighting units that received a Fire and Disaster Management Agency Director’s award, and operations during the competition