Occupational Safety and Health/Disaster Prevention

Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives

Ensure occupational safety and health.

Scope of target Global
Goals for fiscal year 2021 Reduce incidence of occupational accidents.
TRIR targets:
DIC Group in Japan: 1.80
PRC: 1.50
Asia–Pacific region: 1.50
Americas and Europe: 8.00
(Global DIC Group: 4.35)
Achievements in fiscal year 2021 DIC Group in Japan: 3.60
PRC: 1.94
Asia–Pacific region: 0.90
Americas and Europe: 5.33
(Global DIC Group: 3.69)
Evaluation
Goals for fiscal year 2022 Reduce incidence of occupational accidents.
TRIR targets:
DIC Group in Japan: 2.40
PRC: 1.00
Asia–Pacific region: 1.10
Americas and Europe: 8.00
(Global DIC Group: 4.36)

Prevent disasters.

Scope of target Global
Goals for fiscal year 2021
  • Continue working to prevent major accidents (e.g., fires resulting in the gutting of structures).
  • Further promote the calculation of process safety accidents inaccordance with ICCA guidelines.
Achievements in fiscal year 2021
  • Number of major accidents: 0
  • Process safety accidents in Japan were calculated.
Evaluation ★★
Goals for fiscal year 2022
  • Continue working to prevent major accidents.
  • Further promote the calculation of process safety accidents.
  • Evaluations are based on self-evaluations of current progress.
    Key: ★★★ = Excellent; ★★ = Satisfactory; ★ = Still needs work

Policies and Organization

Basic Approach

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 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.

Workplace safety posters featuring DIC’s president and CEO in three languages for use at sites in Japan and overseas
Workplace safety posters featuring DIC’s president and CEO in three languages for use at sites in Japan and overseas

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.

TOPICS

Management’s Commitment

Believing that it is important for management to take the lead in promoting the idea of “Safety First,” managing executive officer Nayoshi 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.

01DIC 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.

02DIC 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

01Monthly 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.

Statistical Occupational Safety and Health Data

02Principles 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.

03Conducting 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.

04Accident and Disaster Analysis and Timely Information

DIC collects and compiles information on internal and external accidents, disasters and problems into its Occupational Accident Case Studies and Accident Case Studies databases. After identifying the causes of accidents or problems, establishing points to be checked and formulating countermeasures, the Company incorporates database information into safety education for DIC and DIC Group companies in Japan and overseas.

05Promoting E-Learning–Based Training for Employees

To enhance its ESH and disaster prevention capabilities, 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, having verified the appropriateness of educational materials from the program from the perspective of Responsible Care Department specialists, site ESH officers and production departments. The program, which is structured around laws and regulations pertinent to the operation of production facilities, including the Fire Service Act, the Air Pollution Control Law and the High Pressure Gas Safety Act, was introduced formally for DIC Group companies in Japan in fiscal year 2017, with participants able to take up to 16 classes and required to score above 80 points to earn certification. As of December 31, 2020, the cumulative number of employees participating in the program had reached 700. In fiscal year 2021, the program’s focus was expanded to include static electricity.

Hands-On Safety Training

The DIC Group’s full-fledged hands-on safety training program began in 2012 with the introduction of a mobile initiative using equipment transported from site to site. Since fiscal year 2013, the Group has installed permanent training equipment in Japan (six sites), the PRC (three sites), Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Thailand. Over the past few years, these and other initiatives have helped to almost halve the occupational accident frequency rate at DIC Group sites in Japan. The Group’s hands-on safety training simulates 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 with the aim of reducing employees’ willingness to take risks and fostering 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. Although a training session was held for instructors in February 2020, the pandemic forced the Group to cancel hands-on safety training in fiscal year 2020. Looking ahead, DIC will also explore the possibility of preparing a video version of the program. As of December 31, 2020, the cumulative number of employees participating in hands-on safety training had exceeded 9,000 in Japan and approximately 6,000 overseas.

01Initiatives 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 rankspecific training programs. In the same year, DIC and DIC Graphics began including hands-on safety training and KYT in the training curricula for new employees. The Chiba, Sakai, Hokuriku, Saitama, 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 handson 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.

Training for new employees at the Saitama Plant

Training for new employees at the Saitama Plant

Hands-on safety training simulating an accident involving a fall

Hands-on safety training simulating an accident involving a fall

02Initiatives 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 plant in Noida. These companies provide hands-on safety training for employees across their respective regions, as well as for instructors.

Efforts to Foster a Safety-Conscious Corporate Culture

01Safe 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.

Working Group Initiatives
Reading out passages from Principles of Safe Conduct

Reading out passages from Principles of Safe Conduct

Disaster Prevention

Policies and Organization

Basic Approach

Any fire, explosion or leak of hazardous substances from 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 partner companies. In addition to establishing a security management system to prevent such accidents, the DIC Group operates and maintains its facilities in line with pertinent laws and regulations. The Group regularly conducts emergency drills and has earthquake and other response measures in place.
To ensure the safety of production equipment, the DIC Group undertakes risk assessments at every stage, from development through to disposal. In 2013, the Group also formulated the DIC Process Risk Management (PRM) Guidelines,* which consist of four assessment techniques and implementation timetables for each and is used to facilitate risk assessments at individual sites. Since identifying priority risks in fiscal year 2016 to aid in effective BCP, the DIC Group has taken steps to reinforce emergency response drills and other initiatives.

  • The DIC PRM 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.

Framework for Promotion

Under the supervision of the Sustainability Committee chair (president and CEO), the Responsible Care Department and the Safety and Environment groups of Group companies, plants and research laboratories collaborate 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 achieve targets and manage the progress of related efforts.

Principal Initiatives in Fiscal Year 2020

Process Safety Management

Since fiscal year 2019, DIC has calculated process safety accidents at DIC Group sites in Japan in accordance with ICCA guidelines. The Group reported four process safety accidents in fiscal year 2020. The process safety accident frequency rate—the number of such accidents per 200,000 work hours—was 0.128.

Note: Under the ICCA criteria, a process safety accident that requires reporting has occurred—primarily due to a fire, explosion or leak related to a production process—when the following four conditions are met:

1. A chemical substance or chemical process is directly involved;
2. The incident occurred in production, distribution, storage, utility or a pilot plant;
3. There was a release of material or energy (e.g., fire, explosion or implosion) from a process unit; and
4. One or more of the following have occurred:
· occupational accident,
· facility damage,
· shelter in place/evacuation order, or
· release of material that meets a GHS reporting threshold

Number of Hands-On Safety Training Participants

Facility Safety Assessment

Assessment Procedures

DIC Group production facilities have an array of application-specifi c equipment, ranging from units where chemical reactions are conducted to machine presses and other processing equipment. When modifying processes or upgrading/replacing equipment, the Group assesses safety at every stage, from process design and construction through to operation, maintenance and fi nal disposal, in line with risk assessment guidelines for reaction formulas, processes and equipment, to ensure higher safety levels for new processes and facilities. In fi scal year 2015, DIC revised risk assessment guidelines for machinery and equipment and prepared educational materials to prevent electrostatic accidents.

Assessment by the Safety Competency Enhancement Center

A company’s safety competency can be defi ned as its ability to maintain safety levels at its various sites. In fi scal year 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) and engineers in the chemicals industry as a common benchmark and is currently used by companies in Japan that are members of the Safety Competency Enhancement Center. Assessments have been conducted at all DIC plants—the Kashima Plant in fi scal year 2014, the Yokkaichi and Saitama plants in fi scal year 2017, the Komaki and Sakai plants in fi scal year 2018, the Chiba and Tatebayashi plants in fi scal year 2019, and the Hokuriku Plant in fi scal year 2020)—with each facility using assessment results to implement further improvements. 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 the seven inspections conducted to date, facilitating the sharing of information regarding safety and disaster prevention across the management team.

  • The assessment system encompasses questions about safety infrastructure (technical considerations) and culture of safety (operation and management of organizational culture).

TOPICS

DIC Kitanihon Polymer’s Hokkaido Plant Receives Award from Tomakomai Fire Marshals’ Association

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.

Emergency Response Drills

In addition to daily security patrols and periodic equipment checks, the DIC Group conducts regular emergency response drills based on BCPs, particularly at production sites in Japan and overseas.

Comprehensive disaster drill at the Sakai Plant, a designated special disaster protection area

Comprehensive disaster drill at the Sakai Plant, a designated special disaster protection area

Comprehensive disaster drill at the Tokyo Plant

Comprehensive disaster drill at the Tokyo Plant

VOICE

I participated in a program to foster employee hands-on training instructors.

Safety and Environment Group, Kashima Plant, DIC Corporation Tetsuya Ishikawa

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