Safety and Quality
Safety and quality measures in logistics
To ensure that Responsible Care in logistics is instilled in every part of the organization, Mitsui Chemicals has appointed leader who promote RC in logistics at the logistics division at Head Office and our works for concerted action throughout the Group. RC in logistics leaders hold monthly meetings to monitor the progress made in our annual Responsible Care in logistics plan. In addition, training programs are organized to improve the abilities of leader of RC in logistics, and these leaders cross-check each other's work. In cross-checking the work of leaders from other works, improvements in the work environment and procedures identified from a third-party perspective and the sharing of good practices have led to standardization in logistics safety and quality, and have resulted in a general rise in safety and quality levels.
Mitsui Chemicals delegates its entire logistics operation to logistics subcontractors. To realize logistics secured safety, the environment and quality under these partnerships, we believe it is important to communicate and disseminate a policy that positions safety as the top priority for each and every person in our logistics operations. For this reason, we are promoting active dialogue with logistics subcontractors. Logistics division at each of our works holds a logistics meeting roughly once a month with their logistics subcontractors to share information concerning logistics issues and details of Hiyari-Hatto（near miss incidents）, conduct on-site patrols of the works or a mutual patrol in multiple works, and problem prevention training utilizing past cases.
In addition to these measures, we publish regular monthly reports on safety and quality for RC in logistics and RC news that give clear explanations of logistics issues, the importance of protective gear and important notifications for each season (such as measures to prevent heat stroke) for logistics subcontractors to increase awareness of safety and quality in logistics.
Responsible Care audits of logistic subcontractors and safety dialogs (interviews) with on-site operators are held each year to monitor the implementation of the various measures at each logistics site. At the same time, we use the opinions and ideas from the on-site operators to re-examine our safety measures and quality control systems.
Because of the restrictions on site access imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, cross-checks, hands-on training and audits were conducted remotely in fiscal 2020. Although there were issues such as the online communication environment, we were able to take advantage of the fact that there are no restrictions such as travel or move. It is now possible for more parties who could not participate until now to participate widely, and we could gain valuable awareness and opinions.
Third-party logistics (3PL)* companies take the lead in managing 3PL products. The aforementioned activities are also undertaken with Logistics division at each of our works playing a supporting role.
*Third-party Logistics (3PL): A form of logistics operation where other companies undertakes all or a portion of logistical tasks.
Safety Measures for Product Transportation
Providing product information
The Mitsui Chemicals Group products include hazardous substances specified by the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods*1 and Japan’s Fire Service Act and other domestic laws. We provide our logistic partners a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) detailing the chemical handling and storage regardless of their hazard or danger level. We also submit a Yellow Card*2, which specifies the emergency response procedure and contact details in case of an accident, and mandate the logistics subcontractors to carry the card during transportation.
*1United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods: A recommendation developed by the United Nations Economic and Social Council's Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods in order to ensure the safety of international transportation of such goods, updated every two years. Depending on the danger and hazard level, dangerous goods are classified as follows: 1 explosives; 2 gases; 3 flammable liquids; 4 flammable solids; 5 oxidizing agents and organic peroxides; 6 toxic and infectious substances; 7 radioactive substances; 8 corrosive substances; and 9 miscellaneous.
*2Yellow card: An emergency contact card on which are written the actions to be taken by those involved, including the truck driver, fire and police, in preparation for the unlikely event of an accident when transporting chemical substances or high-pressure gas. Promoted by the Japan Chemical Industry Association.
Collaboration with other companies in the same industry
The Mitsui Chemicals Group is keen to maintain safe and secure goods distribution by preparing for emergency situations in addition to thorough compliance with relevant laws. As for High risk goods*, we are working together with other companies in the same industry to reinforce safety measures, such as organizing a mutual emergency support system, including stocking emergency response equipment and materials. In fiscal 2020, information exchanges on problems with transporting hazardous goods and other issues took place remotely.
We are also considering a third-party review of the safety assessment of High risk goods transportation.
*High risk goods: Products that may have a significant social impact if a transportation accident occurs, determined according to its danger level, hazard level, transportation volume, etc.
We convene the Mitsui Chemicals Group Logistics Emergency Network (MENET) in the event of a logistics accident, enabling us to act promptly and proactively as the shipment owner. The network is divided into six areas covering different parts of Japan, and the major works in each area is appointed as the emergency support provider, available to be mobilized 24 hours-a-day. These designated works continue to improve their emergency response capabilities through annual emergency contact and mobilization drills.
Mitsui Chemicals also organizes safety and disaster prevention drills at its works to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters. In fiscal 2020, as part of its emergency response drill, a simulated drill was organized at the Omuta Works on how to respond in the event of a leakage of hazardous substances during transportation.
In 2017, we concluded the Hazardous Material Emergency Response Service (HAZMATers) contract with the Maritime Disaster Prevention Center to cover a wider scope of expertise and emergency response equipment and materials. Also, in fiscal 2019, we introduced an emergency response helpline provided by the National Chemical Emergency Centre established by the UK government. This will enable us to quickly respond to overseas logistics incidents and inquiries concerning our group products, enhancing our responsible care management for our global logistics.
MENET Support Bases and HAZMATers Emergency Response Bases
Omuta Works: Monthly emergency response drill (simulating leakage of hazardous substances during transportation)