Safety and Health
Sumitomo Electric has given top managerial priority to “safety” since its early years and has taken measures to eliminate occupational accidents such as promotion of danger-prediction activities and equipment safety measures as well as development of the safety and health education system. Recognizing that ensuring the health and safety of employees is essential for continuous business operations and is also part of our corporate social responsibility, we established the Sumitomo Electric Group Policy for Safety and Health Promotion Activities in 2001. Under this policy, we unite all employees' efforts in performing continuous health and safety activities toward the elimination of occupational accidents.
- Sumitomo Electric Group Policy for Safety and Health Promotion Activities
- Continuing with safety and health promotion activities involving all employees to eliminate all risk factors from the workplace and realize perfect occupational safety.
- Complying with laws and internal rules to ensure the health and safety of employees.
- Encouraging employees to raise awareness of physical and mental health and manage their health voluntarily.
Creating a Corporate Culture Where “Safety Comes First”
The Sumitomo Electric Group Policy gives top priority to safety, and the President conveys safety messages directly to all employees at the Group-wide safety conventions (held twice a year) and via internal safety broadcasts (carried four times a year) to ensure compliance with the Policy. It is crucial that top management demonstrates a clear policy. The safety policy and targets for each business unit are disseminated via the safety commitment of the general manager.
To create a corporate culture where “Safety comes first,” we are continuously promoting safety activities involving all employees and various forms of safety education with resolute honesty.
President & CEO’s Blog
Promotion of Occupational Safety and Health Management System
For “perfect occupational safety,” it is essential to eliminate sources of danger. To realize this goal, Sumitomo Electric began promoting its Safety and Health Management System in January 2001. In the Safety and Health Management System, we identify and evaluate risks and hazards concealed in work sites and implement countermeasures before accidents occur. This approach is also recommended by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in its activities to eliminate occupational accidents and has started to be adopted on a global scale.
Our Osaka Works obtained OHSAS 18001 certification, an occupational health and safety assessment certification awarded by an external organization, in November 2002; Itami Works obtained the same certification in March 2005; and Kanto Works and Hachinohe Works obtained it in March 2007. Since 1999, Yokohama Works has carried out risk assessments for identification and analysis of risk sources to systematically reduce the risk level.
Sumitomo Electric continues to instruct affiliates to introduce risk assessment.
Group Global Safety & Maintenance assessment Activities
Under the Industrial Safety and Health Law, we must manage appropriate working environments for dangerous or harmful operations, provide legally required education, take equipment safety measures. To check that domestic affiliates appropriately fulfill these requirements, and to check the progress of their voluntary management activities, Sumitomo Electric has implemented safety audits and hearing surveys in these affiliates every year. In fiscal 2009, we reviewed the traditional safety auditing procedures and introduced the group global safety and maintenance capability evaluation activities as a new form of safety audits to the manufacturing sections and affiliates in Japan and overseas.
In the evaluation of safety and maintenance capabilities, in addition to checking various management activities, the auditors tour the plants and give instructions in order to ensure that segments with potential risks are identified and appropriate measures are taken. In particular, the safety measures on equipment are also evaluated in the facilities which involve especially high risks. We also identify the strengths and weaknesses of the audited sections and affiliates by scoring the factors in the checklist including the equipment procurement system, maintenance capacity and plant fire prevention ability and provide follow-ups and support to ensure that the sections and affiliates take proper measures.
Safety and Health Education
With the goal of achieving "perfect occupational safety," Sumitomo Electric provides legally required education and position-based safety and health education in a systematic and planned manner by incorporating such training programs into the curriculum of SEI University.
Because safety and manufacturing are closely related, we set up facilities where dangerous situations can be physically experienced in the Technical Training Center, a manufacturing education center built in October 2008; the facilities provide safety training that enable individuals to physically experience dangerous situations. Since January 2009, we have organized the KKP or KIBAN KYOHKA training Program (Manufacturing Foundation Reinforcement Program) for mid-level employees; this program consists of lectures, exercises, and reporting assignments about practical themes.
Sumitomo Electric is committed to company-wide management of mental health care for all employees, by disseminating basic knowledge regarding mental healthcare and implementing training for administrators. We station counselors at major operating sites, and have also established a system since May 2008 by which employees and their family members can consult external counselors.
Thus, we have set up a system that helps us through daily communication to remain aware of employees and their family members with mental health issues, and enables us to take early measures to address these issues. As part of our support activities, all employees can also have their stress levels tested. Counselors offer advice on appropriate methods for communicating with employees who are on leave or absent from work. To help these employees return to work, we design and implement measures to provide step-by-step support, by establishing coordination among workplaces, company doctor and other specialists, and personnel staff members for close communication with employees and their family members. We are striving through such careful measures to improve employee mental health.