Process Safety and Disaster Prevention

Introduction to Process Safety and Disaster Prevention at Production Sites

At Mitsui Chemicals, we hold evacuation drills and emergency shutdown drills in the event of a major earthquake or tsunami. We also hold various disaster drills that include emergency activities such as firefighting, emergency call-outs and reporting as part of measures to respond to emergencies at Works. Going forward, Mitsui Chemicals will continue to systematically conduct various drills in tandem with relevant government agencies and local communities.

Process Safety and Disaster Prevention Drills

At Mitsui Chemicals, we are continually improving our in-house disaster prevention capabilities. In addition to conducting disaster prevention drills, including emergency activities such as firefighting, emergency call-outs and reporting, we also carry out joint drills with municipal fire and police departments, validate emergency responses and take steps to improve any shortcomings. We formulate site-specific plans for each Works every year and conduct drills designed specifically for the operations carried out at each of our sites. We also organize full-scale comprehensive disaster prevention drills on a regular basis at each of our Works, including joint training with municipal fire departments and volunteer firefighting units, and training involving the local police. We work with municipal fire departments and nearby companies to organize joint disaster prevention drills as a form of reciprocal training between companies.
We aim to improve our disaster prevention readiness by conducting the following drills at each site.

・ Nagoya Works

Nagoya Works conducted comprehensive drills to address any future instance of drainage anomaly or leakage. These drills encompassed a wide range of areas and helped to confirm the proper operation of participants’ emergency prevention apparatus and their ability to apply simple water quality analysis kits as well as their response in the event of a drainage-related incident.

・ Iwakuni-Ohtake Works

Comprehensive production site emergency drills were conducted at the Iwakuni-Ohtake Works. These drills focused mainly on such events as the leakage and ignition of flammable liquids from the pipes that connect to hazardous material tanks following an earthquake disaster. Participants were confronted with rainy conditions on the day of the drills. Recognizing that disasters can occur during any and all weather conditions, these drills were held as scheduled and used as an opportunity to confirm the knowledge, techniques and preparations of all concerned.

・ Omuta Works

Omuta Works conducted full-scale comprehensive disaster prevention drills to better prepare for various scenarios. This included fire caused by flammable gas that had leaked from reactor equipment. In this manner, the Works is taking steps to verify its emergency response measures as well as the sharing of information and collaboration with government agencies.

Employees packing sandbags along drainage ditches as a part of emergency drills (Nagoya Works)

Water cannon drills by volunteer firefighting units (Iwakuni-Ohtake Works)

Overseeing disaster prevention activities at the worksite command post (Omuta Works)

Earthquake and tsunami drills

At Mitsui Chemicals, we conduct various drills to ensure that all staff are better prepared in the event of a major earthquake or tsunami. These include emergency shutdown drills and evacuation drills to evacuation facilities.
The following are a few select examples of the drills conducted at each production site.

・ Ichihara Works

Based on the scenario that a massive tsunami warning has been issued for Tokyo Bay, we conducted emergency plant shutdown drills as well as evacuation drills with the participation of approximately 1,600 people.
In addition to confirming the location and routes to evacuation facilities as well as the procedures for confirming the safety of employees during and after a disaster, these drills helped to reaffirm the current action criteria concerning evacuations while also verifying that a safe evacuation route and suitable evacuation space have been made available.

・ Osaka Works

In conjunction with the Osaka 8.8 Million Drill organized by the Osaka Prefecture, Osaka Works conducted earthquake evacuation drills based on the assumption that an earthquake had stuck the Kansai area. Around 1,000 people participated in the drills, which covered initial response measures at the time of an earthquake while allowing participants to master evacuation procedures to the site’s two evacuation areas. In addition to confirming that there were no major issues concerning the Works’ evacuation capabilities, these drills also served to raise awareness toward disaster response measures.

A drill to confirm the safety of personnel at a tsunami evacuation center (Ichihara Works)

A drill to confirm the safety of personnel at an earthquake evacuation center (Osaka Works)

Earthquake Readiness Drills in line with Business Continuity Plan

It is now coming on to five years since the nation was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Based on concerns of another major earthquake occurring directly beneath the Tokyo Metropolitan area or Nankai Trough, Mitsui Chemicals conducted business continuity plan (BCP) drills at its head office as well as Osaka and Ichihara Works on February 19, 2016.
Assuming an earthquake exceeding a magnitude of five in the Tokyo Metropolitan area during the morning hours when employees are commuting to work and substantial disruption to the city’s infrastructure, the plan called for the setting up and transfer of control to an emergency response headquarters by the afternoon of the same day as well as a satellite emergency response office at the Company’s Osaka Works to collate various information including the status of damage.
In addition to putting in place the systems required to confirm the safety of employees as well as the basic procedures to collate information from each head office department, these drills encompassed reporting and emergency support initiatives between the Company’s head office and Ichihara Works based on the scenario of a fire as a result of the earthquake. Moving forward, Mitsui Chemicals will continue to put in place a response structure and systems that are capable of addressing any contingency.

A Meeting to Exchange Opinions on Process Safety between Business Site Managers from the Ohtaku, Iwakuni and Shunan Areas

A meeting to exchange opinions on process safety between business site managers from the Ohtake, Iwakuni and Shunan areas was organized and held by the Japan Petrochemical Industry Association and the Japan Society for Safety Engineering on April 18, 2015. With representatives from the business sites of 10 companies from the region coming together to share information, the meeting was both fruitful and meaningful. Serving as a forum to introduce a wide range of helpful case studies, the meeting is also expected to stimulate positive action in the future. The General Manager of Mitsui Chemicals’ Iwakuni-Ohtake Works and General Manager of the Safety & Environment Technology Division at the Company’s head office attended the meeting.
As the secretariat and an integral member of the meeting, Mitsui Chemicals provided its full support to this initiative.

A meeting to exchange opinions

Iwakuni-Ohtake Works’ Self-Defense Disaster Prevention System Receives an Outstanding Performance Award from the Minister of Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications

Iwakuni-Ohtake Works’ self-defense disaster prevention system received an outstanding performance award from the Minister of Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications in the Fiscal 2015 Skill Contest of Self-Defense Disaster Protection Systems for Petrochemical Complexes, etc. organized by the Ministry’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency.
This contest, which was first launched in fiscal 2014, is designed to further enhance the self-defense disaster protection skills and morale of participants. In fiscal 2015, 35 organizations took part in the contest on the recommendation of the Fire Defense Headquarters, which oversees 99 of the total 772 organizations nationwide.
Mitsui Chemicals’ Iwakuni-Ohtake Works participated in the event on the recommendation of the Iwakuni Region Fire Fighting Association. After making it through the video assessment qualifying round (20 systems), the Iwakuni-Ohtake Works underwent a practical skills evaluation under the discerning eyes of four Fire and Disaster Management Agency staff. After this grueling evaluation, we received an Outstanding Performance Award as one of the top five companies following an announcement on November 30, 2015.
Awards were presented by Commissioner Sasaki of the Fire and Disaster Management Agency at a ceremony was held at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on December 7, 2015.