Occupational Safety and Health/Disaster Prevention
Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives
Ensure occupational safety and health.
|Scope of target
|Goals for fiscal year 2022
|Reduce incidence of occupational accidents.
TRIR targets: DIC Group in Japan: 1.80
Asia–Pacific region: 1.50
Americas and Europe: 8.00
(Global DIC Group: 4.35)
|Achievements in fiscal year 2022
DIC Group in Japan: 2.23
Asia–Pacific region: 1.21
Americas and Europe: 6.33
(Global DIC Group: 4.00)
|Goals for fiscal year 2023
DIC Group in Japan: 2.10
Asia–Pacific region: 1.00
Americas and Europe: 8.00
(Global DIC Group: 4.65)
|Scope of target
|Goals for fiscal year 2022
|Achievements in fiscal year 2022
|Goals for fiscal year 2023
- Evaluations are based on self-evaluations of current progress.
Key: ★★★ = Excellent; ★★ = Satisfactory; ★ = Still needs work
Viewing the prioritization of operational safety as a core management tenet, the DIC Group works tirelessly to prevent accidents and disasters and to boost the level of ESH initiatives.
The DIC Group recognizes operational safety both as fundamental to its businesses and the core component of Responsible Care. The Company thus promotes active occupational safety and health, security and disaster prevention measures to foster a “Safety First” philosophy Groupwide and on the part of every employee.
Because its operations span diverse fields, the DIC Group has numerous processes that use hazardous and toxic materials and rotating devices, including ones that do not involve chemical reactions. Any accident involving such materials or devices has the potential to significantly impact society in general and damage the health of Group and partner company employees and local residents. With the aim of preventing such accidents, the Group has earned the International Organization for Standardization’s Occupational Safety and Health Management System (OSHMS) certification and, based on the results of stringent risk assessments, places a high priority on reducing risks in the workplace by enhancing awareness of Principles of Safe Conduct and by training highly perceptive safety personnel. The Group also strives to enhance safety through efforts to reinforce its safety infrastructure and create a safety-oriented corporate culture.
Framework for Promotion
Under the supervision of the Sustainability Committee chair (DIC’s president and CEO), the Safety and Environment groups of DIC Group companies, plants and R&D facilities collaborate to promote a variety of initiatives. In Japan, the Responsible Care Department meets regularly with site ESH officers to confirm the status of priority issues and the achievement of targets, as well as to manage the progress of related efforts. Overseas, the Group sets individual regional targets, while the Responsible Care Department and regional headquarters work together to conduct Group company–specific risk assessments, analyze accidents and promote remedial measures to ensure the continuous improvement of occupational safety and health overseas.
Believing that it is important for management to take the lead in promoting the idea of “Safety First,” managing executive officer Naoyoshi Furuta, General Manager of the Production Management Unit, prepares a monthly memo for distribution to all sites, including those of Group companies, as part of a campaign dubbed “Learning from the Past and Implementing Practical Solutions.” Each memo presents a recent actual occupational accident or introduces occupational accidents that are likely to occur at specific times—e.g., heatstroke in summer or static electricity–related accidents in winter—with an analysis of causes and suggestions for countermeasures. This memo is also read out once a month at a morning assembly at each site to promote awareness among employees and encourage a common understanding.
Principal Initiatives in Fiscal Year 2021
The DIC Group promotes a variety of initiatives around the world with the aim of eliminating occupational accidents. Of particular note, the Group sets targets for total recordable incident rate (TRIR)—calculated as the number of casualties (i.e., fatalities and injuries) due to occupational accidents, both those resulting in workdays lost and those not resulting in workdays lost, per million work hours—for the DIC Group in Japan, the PRC, the Asia–Pacific region, and the Americas and Europe.
In fiscal year 2021, the TRIR for the global DIC Group was 3.69, well below its 4.35 target. None of the occupational accidents at global Group sites resulted in fatalities. A total of 74 injuries resulting in workdays lost were reported, while injuries not resulting in workdays lost numbered 71. Looking ahead, the Group will continue working to analyze the causes of occupational accidents resulting in workdays lost and to reflect its findings in concrete improvements with the goal of preventing such accidents in the future.
1. DIC Group in Japan
In fiscal year 2021, the DIC Group in Japan achieved a TRIR of 3.60, falling significantly short of its target of 1.80 and up from 2.51 in the previous fiscal year. No occupational accidents resulting in fatalities were reported. There were a total of 12 injuries resulting in workdays lost and 21 injuries not resulting in workdays lost. At 1.31, the frequency rate of occupational accidents was higher than the average for the manufacturing industry in Japan and for member companies of the Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA). The severity rate was lower than the average for manufacturers in Japan and in line with that of JCIA member companies. Going forward, the Group will work to reduce injuries by strengthening risk assessment and engineering-based responses.
2. DIC Group Overseas
The TRIR for the DIC Group in the Asia– Pacific region in fiscal year 2021 was 0.90, while that for the Americas and Europe (the Sun Chemical Group) was 5.33, both well below regional targets. The DIC Group in the PRC reported a TRIR of 1.94, an improvement from fiscal year 2020 but short of its target. No occupational accidents resulting in fatalities were reported. There were a total of 62 injuries resulting in workdays lost and 50 injuries not resulting in workdays lost.
Infrastructure for Preventing Occupational Accidents
1. Monthly Occupational Safety and Health Data
The DIC Group conducts its diverse businesses in accordance with a wide range of national and regional legal systems, working conditions and practices. However, to raise the level of occupational safety and health of the entire Group, it is crucial to establish common standards and benchmarks and to align regional initiatives.
The DIC Group promotes the sharing of information related to occupational safety and health across the global Group by aggregating regional statistical data on a monthly basis. Specifically, data is gathered by DIC (China) for Greater China, DIC Asia Pacific for the Asia– Pacific region, and Sun Chemical for the Americas and Europe, while the Responsible Care Department collects and analyzes data for Japan. This makes it possible to objectively compare and evaluate the operational safety of individual Group companies, establish precise targets for individual countries and regions, and formulate programs to achieve improvements. In fiscal year 2019, the Group introduced the DIC ESH Data Collection System (DECS), a cloud-based system for recording data.
2. Principles of Safe Conduct
Using resources such as case studies of accidents and disasters in the past, DIC has created rules and codes of conduct to ensure operational safety, which it has complied as a guidebook titled Principles of Safe Conduct, the fifth edition of which was published in fiscal year 2019. English- and Chinese-language versions have also been prepared for use by DIC Group companies overseas.
3. Conducting Risk Assessments
By understanding potential risks in production processes, facilities and devices, and the hazards of chemical substances, the DIC Group systematically prepares initiatives to prevent accidents and occupational injuries. In Japan, the Group has formulated guidelines for conducting risk assessments when deploying new or modified equipment or changing production processes to identify and evaluate the impact on employees and the community from design through to operation.
With the aim of reducing risks associated with chemical substances in Japan, since fiscal year 2015 the DIC Group has created a framework to facilitate the methodical implementation of risk assessments in line with the policy set by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Of particular note, in fiscal year 2016 the Group formulated proprietary assessment guidelines, including for assessment procedures, and is considering measures to evaluate hazards and toxicity and lower risks associated with chemicals set forth in Japan’s Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act.
4. Analyzing Accidents and Disasters and Providing Information in a Timely Manner
DIC promptly analyzes the causes of internal accidents and disasters and implements appropriate countermeasures, as well as promotes the horizontal deployment of such countermeasures at sites and Group companies to prevent reoccurrence. The Company has also compiled such information to create Accident Case Studies and Occupational Accident Case Studies databases. These databases—which include easy-to-understand explanations of the causes of accidents and breakdowns, points to be checked to ensure safety, and countermeasures—are incorporated into safety education for DIC and DIC Group companies in Japan and overseas.
5. Promoting E-Learning–Based Safety and ESH Training
To enhance its capabilities in the area of occupational safety and health, and in disaster prevention, the DIC Group recognizes the importance of ensuring that all of its employees gain a broad understanding of chemical substances, production processes, and pertinent laws and regulations. In fiscal year 2016, the Group introduced an e-learning program.
Initially structured around laws and regulations pertinent to the operational safety of production facilities, including Japan’s Fire Service Act, Air Pollution Control Law and High Pressure Gas Safety Act, the e-learning program’s focus was later expanded to include static electricity as a non-regulatory component, with the appropriateness of the program’s training materials verified from the perspective of Responsible Care Department specialists, site ESH officers and production departments. Employees are able to take up to 16 classes and are required to score above 80 points to earn certification. As of December 31, 2021, the cumulative number of participants in the program since fiscal year 2017 had reached 700.
Hands-On Safety Training
The DIC Group’s full-fledged hands-on safety training program began in fiscal year 2012 with the introduction of a mobile initiative using equipment transported from site to site using a 10-tonne truck. Since fiscal year 2013, the Group has installed permanent training equipment at six sites in Japan, as well as expanded deployment globally, including in the PRC and the Asia–Pacific region. This program has helped to almost halve the occupational accident frequency rate at Group sites in Japan. By simulating common production floor accidents—including those involving entanglement in rotating devices, falls from high places and incised wounds caused by cutting equipment—based on actual previous examples, the Group’s hands-on safety training seeks to reduce employees’ willingness to take risks and foster their ability to recognize danger. In doing so, the Group seeks to transform the mindset of employees by encouraging them to think and act on their own to protect themselves and each other from latent risks.
In fiscal year 2021, COVID-19 forced the DIC Group to cancel hands-on safety training. However, the Group used the period to review and revise equipment and procedures to facilitate implementation even during the pandemic. Training has in fiscal year 2022. As of December 31, 2021, the cumulative number of employees participating in hands-on safety training had exceeded 9,000 in Japan and reached approximately 6,000 overseas.
1. Initiatives in Japan
In fiscal year 2014, the DIC Group opened the Saitama Hands-On Safety Center, a facility boasting equipment that allows the simulation of an array of accidents, with the goal of fostering skilled safety personnel by incorporating hands-on safety training in new employee and rank-specific training programs. In the same year, DIC and DIC Graphics began including hands-on safety training and Kiken Yochi Training (KYT) (“hazard prediction training”) in the training curricula for new employees. The Chiba, Sakai, Hokuriku, Kashima and other plants have also established their own hands-on safety training equipment and curricula to further embed safety into the Group’s culture. In fiscal year 2015, the Group downsized six types of hands-on training equipment for lending to individual sites as part of a mobile training initiative. The Responsible Care Department places a high emphasis on fostering employee hands-on training instructors for this initiative and has established an instructors licensing system.
2. Initiatives at Overseas Group Companies
Group companies overseas are also deploying hands-on safety training. In Greater China, hands-on safety training equipment has been installed at Nantong DIC Color Co., Ltd., DIC Graphics (Guangzhou) Ltd. and Changzhou Huari New Materials in the PRC and DIC Graphics Chia Lung Corp. in Taiwan. In the Asia–Pacific region, equipment has been installed at DIC Compounds (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., PT DIC ASTRA Chemicals in Indonesia, Thailand’s Siam Chemical Industry and DIC India’s Noida Plant. These companies provide hands-on safety training for employees across their respective regions, as well as for instructors.
I participated in a program to foster employee hands-on training instructors.
Having previously taken part in hands-on training at the Kashima Plant, this year I participated in a program to foster employee hands-on training instructors that qualified me as a second-class instructor. The content of the program ranged from creating guidelines for assigned hands-on training exercises and practice in conducting training sessions. The latter in particular was a first for me.
I found the whole experience extremely valuable in that it further heightened my awareness of safety—the ultimate goal of hands-on training—and gave me an appreciation of the difficulty of the approach used in this training, which is to give participants hints that encourage them to take what they learn back to their workplaces to discuss with their colleagues and come up with answers themselves. I look forward to polishing my ability to conduct hands-on training in a manner that sharpens the ability of participants to grasp the specific objectives of individual exercises.
Safety and Environment Group, Kashima Plant, DIC Corporation Tetsuya Ishikawa
Efforts to Foster a Safety-Conscious Corporate Culture
1. Safe Corporate Climate Cultivation Working Groups
In line with the its “Safety First” philosophy, the DIC Group works to foster a safety-conscious corporate culture. In fiscal year 2011, personnel in charge of safety at plants belonging to DIC and subsidiary DIC Graphics created Safe Corporate Climate Cultivation working groups. In addition to meeting regularly to discuss and exchange proposals regarding safety policies and measures, these working groups advise the Sustainability Committee and other bodies and promote a variety of key initiatives.
2. Initiatives at Overseas Group Companies
DIC has declared September 6 as DIC Safety Pledge Day, when all DIC employees pledge to ensure safe operations and to not repeat past serious accidents and disasters. On this day, each employee pledges their commitment to safety by writing their personal declaration on a special card.
DIC Graphics’ Kyushu Production Group Wins Special Prize in the JCIA Safety Awards
The Kyushu Production Group of DIC Graphics’ Tokyo Plant won a special prize for safety excellence in the 44th JCIA Safety Awards. The JCIA gave high marks to the Kyushu Production Group’s dedicated efforts to ensure occupational safety, as a result of which at the time of the award it had achieved 50 years and nine months of accident-free operations and expressed its hope that the unit would maintain this record going forward.
Start of operations: December 1958
Accident-free operations: Hours: 3,362,000 hours
Years: 50 years and nine months
Comment by Kyushu Production Group Representative
We are delighted to have received this award for safety excellence from the JCIA. This award is evidence of the determined efforts of everyone who has worked in the Kyushu Production Group to ensure occupational safety. In addition to expressing our gratitude to those who came before us for their dedication, which has made it possible for us to achieve 50-plus years of accident-free operations, this award provides an opportunity for all of us to reaffirm our understanding of the importance of occupational safety and our commitment to “Safety First” in all we do to maintain accident-free operations going forward.
DIC’s Yokkaichi Plant Receives Award as Excellent Safety Site from the Mie Federation of Labor Standards Associations
In October 2019, DIC’s Yokkaichi Plant, located in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, received an award as a site with an excellent occupational safety performance from the Mie Federation of Labor Standards Associations. High marks were given to the plant’s more than 15 consecutive years of accident- and disaster-free operations (5,562 days as of September 30, 2019) and its extensive record of occupational safety and health initiatives, which include conducting occupational safety and health patrols and implementing safety education and assessing risks associated with facilities and chemical substances based on an annual educational plan. Going forward, the Yokkaichi Plant will continue to promote purposeful occupational safety and health initiatives with the aim of serving as a model for the DIC Group, as well as the chemicals industry as a whole.
In addition to establishing a security management system to prevent major accidents, the DIC Group implements prompt, effective countermeasures in the event an accident occurs.
Any fire, explosion or leak of a hazardous substance at a chemicals plant could have a tremendous impact on local residents and the rest of the community and damage the health of employees, including those of our partner companies. As well as operating and maintaining its facilities in line with pertinent laws and regulations, the DIC Group regularly conducts emergency drills and has earthquake and other response measures in place in the event a major accident occurs.
Framework for Promotion
Under the supervision of the Sustainability Committee chair (DIC’s president and CEO), the Safety and Environment groups of DIC Group companies, plants and R&D facilities collaborate with the Responsible Care Department to promote a variety of initiatives. The Responsible Care Department holds meetings regularly with site Safety and Environment groups to exchange information, as well as to confirm the status of priority issues and the achievement of targets, and to manage the progress of related efforts.
Principal Initiatives in Fiscal Year 2021
1. Process Safety Management
The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) formulated criteria for chemical process safety accidents that require reporting in fiscal year 2017. Since fiscal year 2018, the DIC Group has calculated process safety accidents for the Group in Japan in line with these standards. In fiscal year 2021, the Group reported seven process safety accidents. The process safety accident frequency rate—the number of such accidents per 200,000 work hours—was 0.128.
2. Risk Assessments at Chemicals Production Facilities
The DIC Group’s production facilities have an array of application-specific equipment, ranging from units where chemical reactions are conducted to machine presses and other processing equipment. In 2013, the Group formulated the DIC Process Risk Management (PRM) Guidelines, which it uses to conduct systematic risk assessments at individual sites. These guidelines outline timetables and implementation frameworks for assessing the handling of chemical substances, production processes, production formulas, machinery and work practices with the aim of comprehensively identifying and steadily reducing risks associated with production and R&D processes.
Since fiscal year 2020, the DIC Group also uses hazard and operability (HAZOP) studies developed to assess the risk of accidents (i.e., leaks, fires and explosions) at chemicals production facilities. Specifically, the Group deploys the HAZOP studies to assess risks at facilities that have chemical reaction equipment, including the Yokkaichi, Chiba and Kashima plants.
3. Third-Party Assessments by the Safety Competency Enhancement Center
In 2013, DIC introduced an assessment system as a means of objectively evaluating and enhancing its safety competency.* This system was developed by the Japan Society for Safety Engineering (JSSE), together with chemicals industry engineers, as a common industry benchmark and is currently used by all companies in Japan that are members of the Safety Competency Enhancement Center. Assessments have been conducted at all DIC plants: the Kashima Plant in 2014, the Yokkaichi and Saitama plants in fiscal year 2017, the Komaki and Sakai plants in fiscal year 2018, the Chiba and Tatebayashi plants in fiscal year 2019, and the Hokuriku Plant in fiscal year 2020. These facilities have used assessment results to promote further improvements. The Yokkaichi Plant, for example, subsequently launched a HAZOP study–based risk assessment. In December 2019, DIC asked the Safety Competency Enhancement Center to provide the Company’s president and CEO with an overall report on the results of assessments conducted to date at six production facilities, facilitating the sharing of understanding regarding safety and disaster-related issues across the management team.
- The assessment system encompasses questions about safety infrastructure (technical considerations) and culture of safety (operation and management of organizational culture).
DIC Kitanihon Polymer’s Hokkaido Plant Receives Award from Tomakomai Fire Marshals’ Association
In November 2021, DIC Kitanihon Polymer Co., Ltd.’s Hokkaido Plant received an award as an excellent site from the Tomakomai Fire Marshals’ Association at the association’s annual meeting for 2021. Article 27 (Awards) of the bylaws of the Tomakomai Fire Marshals’ Association defines an “excellent site” as one with fire prevention practices that serve as a model for other business establishments that has worked toward the same target for more than five consecutive years under the guidance of a fire marshal* and achieved outstanding results. Awards are approved by the association’s Board of Directors. DIC Kitanihon Polymer’s Hokkaido Plant was judged to have fulfilled these criteria and selected to receive a fiscal year 2021 award.
- Representative: Keizo Yukishige, General Manager, Hokkaido Plant Fire marshal: Satoshi Tsuchida (took over from predecessor on February 22, 2016)
Encouraged by the award earned by DIC Kitanhihon Polymer’s Hokkaido Plant, DIC Group production facilities will step up collective efforts to further improve safety management.
DIC Graphics’ Gunma Plant Receives Award as Excellent Hazardous Materials–Related Site
In June 2016, DIC Graphics’ Gunma Plant received an award as an Excellent Hazardous Materials–Related Site from the Japan Association for Safety of Hazardous Materials. A total of 49 facilities across Japan were recognized, with DIC Graphics’ plant being the only one in Gunma Prefecture. The award is one of several given out at a national conference devoted to hazardous materials safety every June. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, however, the June 2020 conference was canceled. Instead, the award was presented by Chief Fukuchi of the Gunma Prefectural Tatebayashi Fire Department. This award underscores the solid evaluation given the safety protocols of the Gunma Plant, which handles a large volume of hazardous materials, encouraging employees to continue working as one to further enhance the site’s ability to handle hazardous materials safely.
Initiatives to Prevent Electrostatic Accidents
Recognizing that static electricity is a key cause of fires for chemical companies, the DIC Group has organized static electricity safety sessions guided by an expert in this field at sites in Japan since fiscal year 2017. In fiscal year 2019, the Group expanded this initiative to include the overseas DIC Group. In March 2019, sessions were held at multiple sites in Indonesia, led by the same instructor that has a solid track record of leading sessions in Japan. Overseas sessions in fiscal year 2019 were divided into three parts: An inspection of site electrostatic accident prevention measures, a lecture on static electricity and confirmation of areas identified during the inspection as requiring remedial measures. In addition to an academic component, these sessions included a demonstration of static electricity, which enabled participants to experience the relationship between the strength of an electric spark that can be felt by humans and the minimum energy required for ignition. The demonstration also included a targeted explanation about grounding and specific grounding procedures that are effective in preventing electrostatic accidents. The combination of academic study and on-site demonstration focused on measures to prevent electric sparks enabled participants to gain valuable knowledge about static electricity beyond what is possible with video-based training.
4. Emergency Response Drills
In addition to daily security patrols and periodic equipment checks, the DIC Group conducts regular emergency response drills based on BCPs, at production sites in Japan and overseas.
DIC’s Sakai Plant Conducts Comprehensive Disaster Drill Using Nankai Trough Megathrust Earthquake Scenario
In September 2019, DIC’s Sakai Plant hosted a comprehensive disaster drill for the Sakai–Senboku coast*. Approximately 220 individuals participated, including employees of companies belonging to the Sakai–Senboku Coast Special Disaster Protection Area Council and the Osaka prefectural government. The scenario developed for the drill was that a Nankai Trough megathrust earthquake with a seismic intensity of close to 5 has occurred, triggering a massive tsunami and damaging plant tanks, causing solvents to leak from tanks, penetrate the oil barrier and catch fire. Drill exercises were diverse and included measures to be taken immediately after a major tsunami advisory, confirming the safety of and suspending operations of equipment, guiding employees to safety, reporting circumstances to the fire department, rescuing injured individuals and extinguishing fires. This allowed participants to demonstrate skills acquired through everyday practice.
- The drill was organized by the Sakai–Senboku Coast Special Disaster Protection Area Council in line with the Act on the Prevention of Disaster in Petroleum Industrial Complexes and Other Petroleum Facilities.
The DIC Group regards global environmental issues as being of primary importance and continues to promote initiatives aimed at reducing its environmental footprint with the aim of contributing to the realization of a sustainable society.
Environmental protection is among the most important of corporate sustainability activities. The DIC Group’s efforts focus on a number of areas, including preventing environmental pollution, climate change, managing industrial waste (responding to a circular economy), managing water resources and biodiversity. As a manufacturer of fine chemicals with operations around the world, the Group’s environmental protection with a global perspective.
Groupwide Environmental Performance
The DIC Group quantifies the environmental inputs (consumption of energy and other resources) and outputs (emissions into the environment) of its operating activities, and uses its findings to formulate comprehensive and efficient strategies for reducing its environmental footprint.
The chart below is a comprehensive illustration of the environmental impact of the DIC Group’s operating activities in Japan and overseas in fiscal year 2021. The chart shows environmental impact for two input items (total energy consumption and total water consumption) and three output items (emissions into the air, emissions into water and emissions into soil) in the following categories: CO₂ emissions, wastewater discharged, industrial waste disposed of as landfill, emissions of targeted substances into the air (551 chemical substances—including those targeted under Japan’s PRTR*1—and one substance group*2) (Japan only), emissions of NOx, emissions of SOx and COD in wastewater.
Because data for the Colors & Effects Group, which was acquired in July 2021, could only be collected for six months (July–December 2021), it is not included in the DIC Group data for fiscal year 2021 but rather is presented separately for reference. Colors & Effects Group data will be included in the scope of data collection beginning in fiscal year 2022.
- A PRTR is a scheme for assessing, aggregating and disseminating data on the source of hazardous chemicals, amounts released into the environment and amounts transferred off-site from industrial establishments via waste products.
- The “551 substances and one substance group” comprises 462 chemical substances designated by Japan’s PRTR and 89 PRTR-designated substances (other than class 1) and one substance group (chain hydrocarbons with up to 4–8 carbon atoms) targeted for study by the JCIA.