Process Safety and Disaster Prevention

Initiatives to Prevent Major Accidents

Including the explosion and fire that broke out at the resorcinol production facility at Mitsui Chemicals’ Iwakuni-Ohtake Works on April 22, 2012, major accidents occurred at chemical plants and other factories throughout Japan between 2011 and 2014.
Consequently, the government ministries involved issued guidance, and organizations concerned sent out action plans and guidelines. Having caused a major accident in the past, Mitsui Chemicals continues to respond to these matters with the utmost care.

Top Management’s Strong Commitment to Safety

In the first item in the Mitsui Chemicals Responsible Care Policy, it is clearly stated that “we pledge that safety is our top priority and focus on achieving zero accidents and occupational injuries.”
On Safety Day and during National Safety Week, the president repeatedly conveys the message to all Mitsui Chemicals Group employees that they follow the management policy of "making safety their top priority in everything they do." The fiscal 2016 results are as follows.

1.
Instructions to make safety the top priority provided directly to Head Office staff during the opening address (simultaneously broadcast to all domestic sites)
2.
Broadcasting the President’s Safety Day message
3.
Iwakuni-Ohtake Works visit on Safety Day, participating in Safety Day events at the Works, communicating safety instructions directly to employees (simultaneously broadcast to all domestic sites)
4.
Company newsletter featuring discussion on safety with Professor Emeritus Masafumi Ogawa of Yokohama National University (Accident Investigation Committee member) and President Tannowa distributed to all employees
5.
Direct safety instructions during Works visits (control room, auditorium, etc.): 15 times in fiscal 2015, seven times in fiscal 2016

We are promoting active involvement with worksites that includes the vice president and the head of the Production & Technology Center by conducting tours of each Works and overseas sites.

Dr. Terushige Ogawa, Emeritus Professor, Yokohama National University and Tsutomu Tannowa, President and CEO

Measures to Boost Seismic Resistance of Existing High-pressure Gas Facilities

In response to a notification issued by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in May 2014, Mitsui Chemicals has almost finished an assessment of the seismic resistance of its existing high-pressure gas facilities. Where necessary, plans are in place to make any appropriate enhancements. Work is being implemented during fiscal 2016.

Thorough Risk Assessments

Learning the lessons from the resorcinol production facility explosion and fire at the Iwakuni-Ohtake Works, Mitsui Chemicals has completed risk assessments related to emergency shutdowns. In addition, the Company has been conducting non-routine risk assessments on a continuous and constructive basis.

<Fiscal 2013-14>

The Companywide Inspection Group established inspection procedures during emergency shutdowns by operating model plants at all Works on a trial basis.
Based on the above, the Inspection Group organized at each Works conducted inspections of emergency shutdown procedures at all plants. Finally, Head Office staff conducted follow-ups on inspection results for each Works.

<Fiscal 2014-16>

We began examining procedures for conducting risk assessments related to the non-routine operation “startup” in fiscal 2014. In fiscal 2015, after having conducted the verification of the assessment methods, for which both “What if” and batch HAZOP were utilized at model plants in Osaka Works and Ichihara, we applied these risk assessments to other plants within our Works.
Applying these procedures to other Works, we began risk assessments related to the non-routine operation “startup” at all Works in fiscal 2016.

<Fiscal 2017>

Also applying these procedures to other Works in fiscal 2017, we are conducting risk assessments related to the non-routine operation “startup” at all Works.
Mitsui Chemicals has continued to thoroughly conduct risk assessments in the event of non-routine or emergency operations.

HAZOP (Hazard and Operability Study) :
HAZOP stands for hazard and operability study. Method of identifying all risks inherent within the Works and systematically evaluating safety measures to ensure that they are adequate.

Fostering HAZOP Leaders

At Mitsui Chemicals, HAZOP has been implemented for safety assessments when installing new facilities as well as when expanding or improving existing facilities, and for the removal of hazards from plants, to prevent accidents.
The role of the HAZOP leader, who is the leader of the analysis, is an important one.
To foster HAZOP leaders at Mitsui Chemicals, since fiscal 2013 we have been holding training sessions for manufacturing workplace staff and others for them to learn more about analysis methods and investigation concepts at each Works.
We are also utilizing HAZOP for non-routine risk and will plan to periodically hold these training sessions to foster HAZOP leaders and to improve the level of HAZOP.