Safety and Prevention
The Mitsui Chemicals Group is implementing various initiatives, including training, toward nurturing human resources with a high awareness of dangerous situations and the ingraining of a safety culture throughout the Group.
To prevent the recurrence of accidents like the April 22, 2012, explosion and fire at the resorcinol production facility at our Iwakuni-Ohtake Works, Mitsui Chemicals has designated April 22 as Safety Day. Continuing on from the previous year in fiscal 2019, and with the aim of giving the event a greater presence and more of a sense of tension, we simultaneously relayed a live broadcast of the President’s moral discourse on safety to a total of six facilities, and all employees reaffirmed their commitment to making safety their top priority in everything they do. We also gave safety presentations in different sites. The ceremony in the head office was attended by the President, Executive Vice President, and directors. Also, the ceremonies in the Iwakuni-Otake Works and the Osaka Works were respectively attended by the Senior Managing Executive Officer (CTO) and a Managing Executive Officer (responsible for Works) to remind employees of the safety first policy.
In fiscal 2019, presentations were given on Safety Day at each production site
|Mitsui Chemicals Head Office*1||Masamitsu Tamura
Emeritus Professor, University of Tokyo
|Industrial Safety of the Future – Role of Corporate Management and Reinforcement of the Frontline|
|Ichihara Works*2||Teruo Yabe
Omotenashi Creation Company
|Safety and Hospitality Created by All Corporate Members|
|Mobara Branch Factory*1||Akira Tose
Specially Appointed Associate Professor, Niigata University
|Preventing Mistakes, Troubles and Accidents – Safety Culture at Factories～|
|Nagoya Works*2||（Desktop exercise for disasters）|
|Osaka Works*2||Tadao Minamikawa
Environment Safety Department, Chiba Plant, AGC Inc.
|Accident Prevention with Evaluation of Behavior Characteristics|
|Iwakuni-Ohtake Works*1||Masao Mukaidono
Professor Emeritus, Meiji University
|Management Structure for Safety and Creation of Safety Culture|
|Omuta Works*1||Masayoshi Nakamura
Specially Appointed Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology
|Future Safety Management Based on Changes in Manufacturing Site|
|Sodegaura Center*2||Asami Furuhashi
shift-brain Japan Inc.
|Brain for Safety Behavior – Brain Training for Zero Accidents|
|Hokkaido Mitsui Chemicals*1||（Showing DVD of resorcinol accident）|
|Shimonoseki Mitsui Chemicals*1||Toshihide Kihara
Safety & Environment Technology Division, Plant Operation Technology Training Center
|Resorcinol Accident Review and Lessons to be Inherited|
|Polyurethanes Mitsui Chemicals & SKC Polyurethanes Tokuyama Factory*1||(Broadcast from Iwakuni-Ohtake Works)|
*1The President’s moral discourse on safety at the Head Office safety pledge ceremony was simultaneously transmitted.
*2The video of President’s moral discourse on safety at the Head Office safety pledge ceremony was transmitted at a later date.
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 parent company Works and at domestic and overseas affiliates to entrench and energize hazard prediction (Kiken Yochi, or “KY”) and pointing and calling.
At parent company Works, 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. Sharing information enables KY trainers to reference 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, we have provided training support on an ongoing basis at the Safety & Environment Technology Division. That the significance and necessity of KY and pointing and calling training are understood at all affiliates, assists in their use in actual work situations and is thus helping to lead to their entrenchment.
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 particular necessity to entrench KY and pointing and calling, and the Company is encouraging their development through training.
KY training sessions
|KY training||Number of Attendees
（Training Time per Person/Session [ hrs / person ]）
|Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.||608 (3.5)||963 (3.8)|
|Domestic Subsidiaries & Affiliates||411 (3.0)||357 (2.3)|
|Overseas Subsidiaries & Affiliates||122 (4.0)||68 (5.0)|
At each Mitsui Chemicals 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.
Referring to the accidents and occupational injuries that occurred in other workplaces and Works, all members of the Otake 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 alkylaluminum. 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.
In 2014, Agrochemical Section members and operational subcontractors began listing up unsafe locations and unsafe behavior, as well as operational procedures that could lead to unsafe situations in specific facilities. Listed issues were then discussed in safety meetings in job groups and subcontractors to establish safer operational methods, eliminate risky tasks, and make facility improvements. The adopted safety measures have been implemented one by one.
Each Works at Mitsui Chemicals 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 activities horizontally, 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. Typical examples of specific activities are as follows.
Staff members of the Elastomer Section 1, EPT Plant 3, 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.
Cost reduction activities from the viewpoint of operators were undertaken in the Polypropylene Section. One example was that an operator noticed that a drain (steam condensate) trap at a specific location had failed several times, investigated the cause, and formulated an improvement measure. With cooperation from the relevant departments, the type of drain trap was changed. This eliminated any recurrence of the problem and also resulted in a reduction in steam consumption.
MC Operation Support (MCOS)
On June 14, 2018, Omuta Works held the 12th presentation on MCOS companywide small-group activities. MCOS refers to MC Operation Support, an affiliated spin-off company that provides production support for Mitsui Chemicals, mainly overseeing disaster prevention security services, filling/packaging, and operations/operational support at Mitsui Chemicals Works. Attended by the Center Executive of the Production & Technology Center, the General Manager of Omuta Works, and relevant parties, 11 teams delegated by different business facilities across Japan gave presentations on their on-going efforts in their respective workplaces. The Center Executive encouraged the teams by saying, “Your easy-to-understand presentations and sincere attitude to work improvement has moved us all. Let us build up such practical competence in the frontline across the entire Mitsui Chemicals Group.” We shall further reinforce our capabilities on the production workplace and cost competence in all of our Works.
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 2018, 19 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 parent company 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.
Best Plants Awards 2018
|President’s Award for Best Plant|
|Ohtake Manufacturing Section, Manufacturing Dept.-2, Iwakuni-Ohtake Works|
|Production & Technology Center Executive’s Award|
|Osaka Works, NIPPON ALUMINUM ALKYLS, LTD.|
|Agrichemical Section, Fine Chemicals Production Dept., Omuta Works|
|Section 1, Manufacturing Dept.-1, Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello, Inc.|
|Mitsui Advanced Composites (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd. (China)|
|Mitsui Chemicals Scientex Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia)|
|Siam Tohcello Co., Ltd.. (Thailand)|
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, this year marks the third time 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 exchange meeting was held over two days in February 2019 in the Petrochemical Materials Section, Manufacturing Dept.-1, Ichihara Works, the winner of the President’s Award for Best Plant 2017. Nine attendants, including production line managers and staff members from Japan and overseas, exchanged information and opinions. 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.
(Petrochemical Materials Section, Manufacturing Dept.-1, Ichihara Works)
Mitsui Chemicals’ Plant Operation Technology Training Center
Mitsui Chemicals established its first Plant Operation Technology Training Center in Mobara in 2006, and then in Nagoya in 2007, to train plant operation personnel. Chemical plant operators are trained in Mobara, and the Nagoya center provides training programs for operators of film processing factory. These training programs are targeted not only at employees in Mitsui Chemicals Inc.’s Works, but also staff in R&D centers and indirect departments, as well as in affiliate companies under the global Mitsui Group. Our hands-on-based training programs cultivate safety-minded and skilled operators with substantial equipment knowledge.
Mitsui Chemicals’ Plant Operation Technology Training Center (Mobara and Nagoya) Training Sessions for Mitsui Chemicals Group Employees
|Training Category||Training Time
|Number of Attendees|
|Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.||For Plant Operators||When joined Company||3～14||102||122||174|
|Follow-up training (six months after joining Company)||28||121||142||166|
|Promoted staff (3-4 years after joining Company)||28||75||80||56|
|Workplace managers (8 years or more after joining Company)||14||53||57||43|
|For Engineers||When joined Company||7～14||21||23||44|
|3-5 years after joining Company||21||10||18||29|
|For employees of domestic affiliates||2～14||324||212||263|
|For employees of overseas affiliates||14||50||54||88|
Since fiscal 2018, we have been actively developing human resources that are forming the foundations of global group management. We visit group companies in Japan and overseas to determine the needs of each company in order to tailor the training programs and give support suited to individual situations. One of these efforts is a local training program provided by Japanese staff members dispatched from a training center. Using small training materials brought from the center, a variety of educational techniques are included in the program, such as simulations using commercial virtual reality technology.
Regarding training for group companies in the Southeast Asia regions, a program in Thai started in fiscal 2018 utilizing the Operation Excellence Training Center (OETC) of the Siam Group in Thailand. We licensed all of our own training system to the Siam Group, and we are planning to offer training programs in English in fiscal 2019, in addition to those in Thai.
Further, we plan to establish new training programs in China by utilizing a local training center, as well as establishing a system to offer local training.
Local training program for our Group employees
|Training Category||Training Time
|Number of Attendees|
|Local training program||2～14||239|
In fiscal 2015, our internal hands-on training was opened up to companies outside of the Group. The aim was to contribute to production workplace human resource training in the industry. Our training programs were highly appreciated by the attendees, with comments such as “The program gave me new insights that I can utilize in my company,” and “Hands-on training based on accident/disaster case studies were easy to understand.”
The Plant Operation Technology Training Center continues to support the global management of the Mitsui Chemicals Group through human resource development based on hands-on training, while actively offering our training programs outside the company in an effort to contribute to society.
Track Record of Mitsui Chemicals’ Plant Operation Technology Training Center External Training Sessions (Mobara)/Responses to Plant Tour Requests (Mobara and Nagoya)
|Number of Training Attendees||388||344||317|
|Number of center Visitors||643||695||630|
Mitsui Chemicals’ Plant Operation Technology Training Centers (Mobara and Nagoya)