Annual Report 2018

Safety and Disaster Prevention Activities

Tosoh has constantly engaged in various safety-related activities toward the creation of a working environment free of accidents and work time lost because of accidents. Overall, the company’s safety-related activities particularly of late are producing results; however, in fiscal 2018, Tosoh did unfortunately experience two abnormal events and a total number of nine employees lost time due to accidents.

Toward the Eradication of Industrial Accidents

In July 2013, the Japan Petrochemical Industry Association formulated The Action Plan for Industrial Safety, and released guidelines for member companies to follow. Following the accident and damage at a Tosoh facility in 2011, the company has taken action in accordance with the five action items laid out in the plan.

Disaster Preparedness Training

Tosoh held comprehensive disaster preparedness training on February 23, 2018 at the Nanyo Complex. The Shunan City Fire-Defense Headquarters and Yamaguchi Prefecture Industrial Safety Team also participated. Headquarters also conducted comprehensive disaster preparedness training in cooperation with the Nanyo Complex.

The Yokkaichi Complex conducted comprehensive disaster preparedness training on October 13, 2017, that assumed a Nankai Trough earthquake and tsunami. It also conducted two oil spill fence expansion training sessions, on July 26 and November 16, 2017.

Safety Reform Activities

Promotion of Countermeasures for Earthquakes and Tsunami

Tosoh is proceeding with the implementation of seismic measures for high-pressure gas storage tanks with the goal of completing the measures by fiscal 2021.

Reinforcement work on the foundations of two targeted facilities at each of the Nanyo and Yokkaichi Complexes has already been completed. At the Yokkaichi Complex, reinforcement work has also been completed on the foundations of three other facilities.

Moreover, we are successively implementing seismic reinforcement measures on important structures such as control rooms and offices, where employees are stationed, which would be used as evacuation sites in the event of an earthquake or tsunami. At the Nanyo Complex, seismic reinforcement construction is underway at the facilities management building and the main building, where a local communications office for disaster control headquarters and government agencies will be established. These measures have already been completed at other complexes and research facilities.

In addition, in order to put maximum priority on saving lives when emergencies arise, we are promoting the securing of emergency contact systems, evacuation routes, and safety equipment.

Acquisition of Certification for High-Pressure Gas

The Nanyo Complex reacquired certification as a high-pressure gas safety certification agency in December 2017. The Yokkaichi Complex completed renewal of the same certification in November 2016.

The President’s Commitment Toward Safety

President's Control Room Visits

Tosoh’s president has visited the Nanyo and Yokkaichi Complexes each year since fiscal 2013. These visits provide an opportunity for the president to exchange thoughts about safety directly with workers.

Feedback obtained directly from frontline personnel has inspired decisions at the managerial level regarding necessary reforms. These include, for example, decisions to improve wastewater treatment facilities, to remove idle equipment, to strengthen preventative maintenance, and more.

Over the past six years, the president has visited 197 control rooms and interacted with more than 4,500 workers.

Education and Training Center

Tosoh’s Education and Training Center hosted a Hazard Prediction Training session where an invited external lecturer spoke on technical training for acquiring knowledge and techniques related to safe and secure driving, hazard experience device and simulator utilization, and other subjects.1

This enhanced our understanding of a type of training that encourages small groups of workers to discuss potential workplace hazards. The center also used experienced drivers, including former employees, as instructors for on-site training.

1 Hazard Prediction Training. A type of training that recognizes and allows small groups to talk about hazardous points and important tasks, before workers bring about dangerous elements that are hidden in the workplace and in tasks.

Disclosure and Use of Information

Risk Communication Activities 2

Tosoh is working to improve the response of its internal and external communications and public relations systems upon the occurrence of accidents. This includes the development of a handbook that outlines the procedures and precautions to be observed during an incident involving any one of our products. We have distributed this handbook to local authorities and residents in the vicinity of our facilities. The handbook is being used to maintain dialogue with local communities regarding risk communication activities.

We have also conducted media training in the form of simulated press conferences to strengthen our risk communication since 2016.

2 Risk communication is the sharing of information concerning the risk related to products with local government and residents with the aim of promoting mutual understanding.

Why-Why Analysis Accident Studies

Tosoh conducts root cause analyses with the aim of preventing accidents and problems from recurring. This is because the company believes that it is vital to plan and execute countermeasures in advance and not to respond to incidents haphazardly. Tosoh thoroughly reviews accident information and shares it across the organization through studies of past accidents using why-why and other methods of analysis. We operate a companywide accident and disaster information database to facilitate sharing and application of the information.

Visualization Using the Internet of Things

In fiscal 2017, Tosoh introduced its Visualization Dashboard. The dashboard brings formerly disparate plant information together on a single large monitor. The Visualization Dashboard is a prime example of Tosoh’s initiatives using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to visualize plant information.

With visualization technology, it becomes possible to readily see issues that are typically difficult to see. Such technology is expected to contribute to safer plant operations. Our application of IoT technologies heightens the security of our plants by ascertaining the optimum time to conduct plant maintenance. For instance, through the use of a “smart valve,” we are able to detect signs of abnormality more rapidly. The information collected is analyzed in determining the optimum time for facility maintenance.

Continuous Innovation and Improvement

Remembering the Lessons of a Terrible Accident

To make sure that we are reminded of the lessons of our November 13, 2011 accident, a safety monument was erected on the grounds of the Nanyo Complex, and documents relating to the accident are being retained and displayed. November 13 of each year has been designated Safety Day at Tosoh, and we hold safety activity conferences at the Nanyo and Yokkaichi Complexes and invite safety experts to give talks.

Improving Preventative Maintenance

Over the five-year period from fiscal 2015 to fiscal 2019, Tosoh will invest about ¥16 billion to continue to enhance preventative maintenance. We will continue our preventative maintenance initiative in fiscal 2019.

As a preventative maintenance initiative, in fiscal 2018 we conducted an external corrosion examination to confirm the condition of the surfaces of pipes.

Occupational Safety and Health

In fiscal 2018, four Tosoh employees and five employees of affiliated companies lost time due to accidents. This was an increase by four in the number of Tosoh employees who lost work time compared with fiscal 2017, while the number of employees from affiliated companies remained the same.

Looking at the occupational accident rate, Tosoh’s average rate rose from 0.17 in fiscal 2017 to 0.67 in fiscal 2018, and the average for the Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA) edged upward from 0.35 to 0.36.

The average work-related injury severity rate for Tosoh rose from 0.0051 in fiscal 2017 to 0.019 in fiscal 2018, and the JCIA average rate climbed from 0.009 to 0.035.

Tosoh is striving to eliminate unsafe conditions and actions that lead to occupational accidents. To that end, it is conducting safety activities based on the following five pillars: “implement comprehensive basic safety behavior,” “promote know-why education,” “implement risk assessment for emergency situations or modifications,” “pursue activities to eradicate similar accidents or industrial accidents,” and “secure safety inside facilities for contract work.” 3

3 Know-why education: To know the technical background regarding the plant’s conditions and operations.

5S Patrol by RC Committee Chairman

It is important that members of our management team identify both superior safety activities in the workplace, and issues requiring improvement. The chairman of our RC Committee, who concurrently serves as head of the Environment, Safety and Quality Control Division, conducts a 5S patrol. 4

In fiscal 2018, patrols were conducted at the Nanyo and Yokkaichi Complexes, the Tokyo Research Center, and the Polyurethane Research Laboratory. Commendations were presented on the spot for workplaces featuring superior 5S activity records. This 5S initiative has increased motivation within our workplaces to practice 5S activities.

4 5S: An activity that maintains and improves workplace environments by sorting, setting in order, shining, standardizing, and sustaining.

5S and Hazard Prediction Activities

The Nanyo and Yokkaichi Complexes take part in 5S activities. When constantly maintaining an orderly and clean environment after “sorting, setting in order, and shining,” it becomes easier to detect abnormalities at the plants and their facilities. Moreover, we have devised methods to continue the 5S by creating guidelines for maintenance, conducting mutual patrols, and other activities.

We are also in the process of setting up a system to make hazard prediction training habitual. In fiscal 2018, we invited an external lecturer to speak on this topic to all employees at the Nanyo Complex. Our implementation of a hazard prediction initiative at the Nanyo Complex had already shown tangible results by fiscal 2016. The number of employee accidents was reduced by half compared with fiscal 2013, before we started the initiative.

The Yokkaichi Complex will also enhance hazard prediction training activities across the entire complex, using the initiatives at the Nanyo Complex as a reference.

Tosoh Group Initiatives

To strengthen the Tosoh Group’s disaster prevention and occupational safety and health, the company has established the Tosoh Group Safe Work Environment Network has been established. That network will enhance our sharing of legislation amendments, accident data, and other information. Moreover, to exchange and discuss information, the company has held Safe Work Environment Network Meetings, where health and safety management representatives of the Group get together and exchange information, and Safe Work Environment Exchanges, where Group Companies conduct field evaluations and discussions.

In fiscal 2018, Tosoh made its policy to decrease the number of Group company accidents and time lost due to accidents compared to the previous fiscal year. In addition to the Safe Work Environment Network Meetings, we are conducting occupational safety and health training.

Also, in fiscal 2018, we hosted an external expert on safety management and human resource development, and held a course entitled “Learning from Past Accidents: Key Points in Occupational Safety Management.”

Copyright © 2020 Tosoh Corporation