The Group considers occupational health and safety to be top priority and one of the important management foundations, and strives to provide a safe working environment.
As its global safety policy, the Group has adopted “Safety is a critical core value shared by the entire Tokai Carbon Group. We aim to provide a safe working environment for all people working in our plants by eliminating hazards and reducing risks.”
The Group's safety policy and initiatives are subject to approval by the Executives Meeting and the Board of Directors. At the Company, the Board of Directors supervises occupational health and safety risks, and the director in charge of risk reports to the Board of Directors on important matters such as occupational accidents as necessary.
In addition, we hold Central Work Committee meetings attended by the director in charge of health and safety, department managers in charge, and the labor union to discuss health and safety issues and to work on continuous improvement of health and safety. Further, we hold Health and Safety Committee meetings at each site with the participation of managers and supervisors at each site and the labor union to report and discuss matters related to occupational health and safety. Cooperating companies to which the Company outsources its work also participate in the Health and Safety Committee meetings as observers.
The Company has an internal system for reporting improprieties that accepts reports and consultations from employees, including harassment and bullying. This system has both internal (Legal Affairs Department and Audit & Supervisory Board Members) and external (an advising attorney) contact points. It allows employees to make reports and receive consultation by various means including telephone, fax, email, and postal mail. The Company’s Guidelines on Handing Internal Reports clearly states that, apart from cases when the system is deliberately misused, informants will not be dismissed or subjected to unfair treatment under this system.
→Compliance Internal reporting system
The Group is working on injury prevention activities with the aim of eliminating the occurrence of serious injuries. In 2023, the Group's safety target is a frequency rate of 1.20 or less.
In 2023, we are working on three targets as our priority plans: "thorough KY (hazard prediction) before work,” "ensuring safety in high-risk work,” and "preventing burns due to contact with hot parts.” When creating priority plans, we prioritize them based on trends in occupational accidents.
In order to eliminate hazards and reduce risks, the Group promotes the implementation of risk assessments and countermeasures. In the risk assessment, we evaluate the risks that lead to injury and the risks that affect health, clarify the priorities for the identified risks, and improve the work environment. When installing new production equipment or refurbishing existing equipment, we conduct risk assessments from the equipment design stage, and work to reduce risks in advance if the risks are high. For work-related injuries (occupational accidents), poor physical condition, and serious incidents, we first grasp the situation through on-site verification, thoroughly investigate the root cause through the five whys analysis, and formulate measures to prevent recurrence to confirm its effectiveness. Moreover, in order to prevent similar accidents, we share information on the details and countermeasures with all business sites.
In addition to these initiatives, we conduct safety education to enhance our safety awareness. In 2022, 118 employees, including newly hired employees, participated in training provided by an external organization in order to improve their sensitivity to danger. We also held a training session using virtual reality (VR) for people to experience danger, with 67 participants in 2022.
Furthermore, we are conducting safety training with the aim of thoroughly enforcing safety rules within our workplaces and measures to prevent the recurrence of past occupational accidents, and in 2022, the training program was provided to 106 employees who have been with the Company for less than five years at all of our business sites.
The Tokai Carbon Group respects the rights of employees, including the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. Tokai Carbon has signed a union shop agreement with the Tokai Carbon Labor Union. Union membership includes 79.6% of Tokai Carbon employees (as of the end of December 2022.)
Labor and management discuss matters concerning labor relations and business activities in meetings of the Labor Committee, Work Committee, and Expert Committee on Human Resources Systems. Working from a foundation of trust and cooperation labor and management fulfill their respective responsibilities and strive to implement policies that promote positive interaction.
When it seeks to implement organizational and employment policy changes, management consults with the union before finalizing decisions.
With regard to working hours, we comply with all labor-related laws. We also aim to restrict overtime and reduce it in consideration of the work-life balance of our employees and the maintenance and improvement of their health. We comply with all labor related laws as they pertain to wages, too. After considering factors such as a living wage, we set a basic policy of paying employees the minimum wage or higher.
In 2022, the Group's frequency rate was 1.20 (fatal accidents: 0; lost time injuries: 10). Six of the lost-workday accidents resulted in injuries (entanglement or entrapment: 3; contact with hot parts: 3), and countermeasures are being taken according to the cause of the injuries.
From 2020 to 2022, the Group had no fatal accidents (including employees and contract employees).