Working with Our Employees

Employee Health

Specifically, we investigate health management-related issues and measures by regularly holding conferences that gathers together industrial physicians from throughout the Company. Based on these conferences, we formulate occupational health plans during the fiscal year and proposals for annual plans, which are decided through deliberations by the Responsible Care Committee. In addition, we formulate annual plans for each business focusing mainly on our Head Office, Sodegaura Center, and the healthcare sections of all five of our works. Full-time industrial physicians, nurses and healthcare managers at healthcare sections support efforts to improve employee health. We also assign part-time industrial physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals to our smaller plants and to major plants operated by our subsidiaries and affiliates, in an effort to help improve the health of all Group employees. Furthermore, we conduct occupational health audits of Mitsui Chemicals facilities once every two years and at affiliates once every three to four years while taking steps to achieve annual plans and make improvements in health management-related problem areas.
Once again in fiscal 2015, at our domestic bases, we continued to focus on preventing mental health conditions and lifestyle-related diseases, and on reducing occupational health risks. We paid particular attention to metabolic syndrome, and focused on improving workplaces based on work stress surveys.
At our overseas bases, our industrial physicians go overseas every year to make the rounds, conducting health interviews with all employees working overseas, including their families if they so desire. We offer support to our employees for both mental and physical ailments.

With the paper on health guidance using online weight-loss programs submitted as part of our efforts to improve employee health, industrial physician Hiroko Okazaki of the Head Office healthcare section received the best paper award from the Japan Society for Occupational Health.

Taking good care of Mitsui Chemicals employees

We are committed to reducing occupational health risks and improving working conditions via the Occupational Safety and Health Management System (OHSAS 18001) scheme and through onsite inspections conducted by industrial physicians and healthcare managers.
In fiscal 2015, we conducted workplace inspections and on-site guidance companywide as a part of additional efforts to address key issues involving statutory and regulatory compliance as well as preventing exposure to carcinogenic and mutagenic substances. In addition, Mitsui Chemicals improved its chemical risk assessment methods, added data on approximately 3,000 harmful substances to our database, and developed a new proprietary risk assessment system based on control banding, workplace trials for which have been completed.

In fiscal 2016, we will operate the new risk assessment system, systematically conduct risk assessments at workplaces that handle harmful substances, and promote further enhancements to measures for preventing exposure to harmful substances. Mitsui Chemicals is scheduled to expand these new risk assessments to Group companies in order to make them available for use by affiliates. As a part of efforts to minimize occupational health risks at overseas subsidiaries and affiliates, industrial physicians from the Company’s Head Office travel to overseas bases and systematically inspect workplaces while pointing out areas in need of improvement for occupational health. In fiscal 2015, our industrial physicians visited 10 overseas bases and trained local managers. Moving forward, Mitsui Chemicals will continue to promote these initiatives in fiscal 2016.

An Excel sheet showing new risk assessments

新リスクアセスメントエクセル版イメージ

Health Management

We promote good health via activities such as medical examinations and health guidance, carried out by industrial physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
We are now in our eighth year since we introduced comprehensive medical check-ups, combining regular medical examinations with special medical check-ups and cancer screening. We have achieved an uptake of almost 100% for medical check-ups and managed to increase the rate of special health guidance to around 45% from 25% in fiscal 2009. The uptake rates for cancer screening were as follows: nearly 100% for lung cancer, over 80% for colon cancer, over 70% for stomach cancer/abdominal ultrasound, over 90% for prostate cancer, and over 60% for breast/uterine cancer. On this basis, almost all employees have taken the necessary detailed examinations. In fiscal 2015, we conducted stomach cancer risk screenings, provided guidance for eliminating pylori bacteria, and recommended follow-up gastroscopic examinations for high-risk individuals. As a result, while the number of sick days taken off for cancer (malignant tumors) in fiscal 2015 was 2,174, up compared with the number reported in fiscal 2013 due to the increase in rehired-employees, we were able to sufficiently keep these numbers down.
Follow up guidance and health improvement activities have helped to reduce the rate of high blood pressure, which can be seen by the decrease in detection rates from 9.1% in fiscal 2008 to 4.3% in fiscal 2015. Our findings revealed that rates for other lifestyle-related disease areas remained unchanged. As new initiatives for fiscal 2015, we conducted diabetes genetic testing and provided guidance for those who are predisposed to the disease mainly to interested individuals with HbA1c* in the 5.5-5.9 range and/or were obese from a young age.

In fiscal 2016, we will continue to enhance measures to prevent diabetes for predisposed individuals and obesity while planning to investigate initiatives for elderly workers who suffer from diminished physical capabilities.

HbA1c: reflects average blood sugar levels 1-2 months prior; those with HbA1c of ≧6.5% may have diabetes

Positive Diagnosis Results
(Mitsui Chemicals (Including Employees Dispatched to Subsidiaries and Affiliates))

Positive Diagnosis Results (Mitsui Chemicals (Including Employees Dispatched to Subsidiaries and Affiliates))

Breakdown of Days Off due to Illness
(Mitsui Chemicals (Including Employees Dispatched to Subsidiaries and Affiliates))

Breakdown of Days Off due to Illness (Mitsui Chemicals (Including Employees Dispatched to Subsidiaries and Affiliates))

Mental Health Initiatives

In fiscal 2015, we continued to implement mental health initiatives such as training (for new recruits, managerial staff, line managers, etc.), conduct interviews undertaken by industrial physicians, and provided counseling.
In addition to training, new employees undergo three types of e-learning-based communication courses for a fixed period after entering the Company. We also provide appropriate support regarding new employee work-related lifestyles, which involves industrial physicians interviewing all employees every six months, determining the status of communications in the areas of lifestyles, health, supervisors, colleagues, provided advice as needed, and hold discussions that include supervisors.
Since 2011, we have asked all employees to answer a new workplace stress questionnaire (occupational stress and mental health), with a greater emphasis on identifying areas for improvement in the workplace. Beyond providing individuals with feedback based on the results, managers in each workplace are also given details of the results of their organization. We have also formulated and implemented stress reduction plans (communication improvement plans) in workplaces deemed to be particularly susceptible to high stress levels by conducting interviews with managers and members of such workplaces. Moreover, we are also working to identify good practices in workplaces with a positive mental health environment, the results of which are announced by representatives of these workplaces in order to apply them to other workplaces throughout the Company.
With more workplaces actively using these questionnaire results recently, this has led to independent workplace improvements. As a result, the percentage of workplaces for which there were concerns over the presence of specific systems in place to address high stress levels fell from 10.6% in fiscal 2014 to 8.7% in fiscal 2015.
Through these efforts, we are working to improve workplace culture by examining the results of stress-level surveys at each workplace.

New Workplace Stress Survey Results (Mitsui Chemicals)

A Wide Range of Health Management Programs

We run a wide variety of programs in order to promote the health of our employees, primarily though our healthcare section and health insurance association.
In fiscal 2015, we developed a web/smartphone versions of the Healthy Mileage Campaign in addition to the existing personal computer version to make access more convenient. In addition, our Healthy Mileage Campaign was carried out throughout the Company, with the number of employees joining the campaign has increased: 3,742 (40.2%) in the first half of fiscal 2014, 3,796 (42.8%) in the second half of fiscal 2014, 4,099 (44.9%) in the first half of fiscal 2015, 4,091 (47.3%) in the second half of fiscal 2015. Approximately half of employees (Mitsui Chemicals, certain affiliates) have participated in this campaign.
This program has been extended to overseas affiliates, with approximately 10% of employees posted overseas participating in the second half of fiscal 2015 and an increasing number of employees of local companies taking part.
An increasing number of overseas affiliates are starting to actively undertake health promotion activities. Affiliates in the United States are undertaking employee health promotion programs and blood testing to measure risks of cardiovascular disease. Chinese affiliates have installed fitness equipment at factories and are undertaking health programs based on participation in the Healthy Mileage Campaign.

Fitness class

Nutrition class

Mini-long-distance relay race

Examples of fitness equipment installed on the premises
of Chinese affiliates

Reducing Medical Costs

Through these efforts to improve health, sick/accident allowances have decreased by around 70% compared with fiscal 2008.
We are strengthening health measures for elderly workers in response to the increase in related costs since fiscal 2013 accompanying an upswing in the percentage of rehired employees.
In light of a general increase in costs for legally mandated medical benefits, we have sufficiently reduced medical costs.

Sick/accident allowances

Legally mandated benefits 
(per insured person)

*1
Legally mandated benefits:
Includes medical costs, sick/accident allowances, lump-sum birth allowances, maternity allowances, burial dates
*2
National Federation of Health Insurance Societies:
Data taken from an overview of fiscal 2016 early budget collation results