Mitsui Chemicals

Occupational Health

Occupational Health Initiatives

Taking Good Care of Employees

We are committed to reducing occupational health risks and improving working conditions by, for example, utilizing the Occupational Safety and Health Management System (OHSAS 18001) scheme, the harmful chemical substance risk assessment (new risk assessment system) established in fiscal 2015, through onsite inspections conducted by industrial physicians and health supervisors as well as by means of internal audits.

Risk Assessment

Since fiscal 2016, we have been using the new risk assessment system to systematically conduct risk assessments covering harmful substances. In fiscal 2017, qualitative evaluations were completed as planned at all workplaces (a total of 700 substances and 6,429 operations), and we also completed approximately 460 quantitative evaluations. In fiscal 2018, based on the quantitative evaluations conducted in the previous fiscal year, we will study the working environments and operational improvements for high risk-level operations. In addition to promoting the reduction of risk, we will prioritize and implement quantitative evaluations that have not yet been conducted. Since harmful chemical substances that cause health problems by being absorbed through the skin have become a social issue, we also plan to construct and conduct trials of specific risk assessments for health problems newly caused by the absorption of chemical substances through the skin.
In so doing, we will promote further enhancements to measures for preventing exposure to harmful substances by conducting risk assessments.

Onsite Inspections Conducted by Industrial Physicians Aimed at Reducing Occupational Health Risks at Overseas Subsidiaries and Affiliates

In an effort to reduce occupational health risks at overseas affiliates, onsite inspections are undertaken on a systematic basis and steps taken to provide instructions regarding areas of occupational health improvement at the time head office industrial physicians make their rounds at overseas bases. This initiative was conducted at six overseas bases in fiscal 2017. Energies were also directed toward educating and training local responsible officers. The Mitsui Chemicals Group will continue these activities in fiscal 2018.

Health Management

We promote good health management among employees via activities such as medical examinations and health guidance, carried out by industrial physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

We are now in our 10th year since we introduced comprehensive medical check-ups, combining regular medical examinations with special medical check-ups and cancer screening, and the uptake rates remain steady. The uptake rate for medical check-ups was nearly 100% and the rates for cancer screening were as follows: nearly 100% for lung cancer, over 85% for colon cancer, over 60% for gastric cancer; over 70% for abdominal ultrasound, over 90% for prostate cancer, and over 50% for breast/uterine cervical cancer.

As a result of gastric cancer risk screenings conducted in fiscal 2015, many individuals underwent treatment to eradicate Helicobacter pylori. Moreover, the number of individuals undergoing gastric cancer screening using gastroscopic examinations increased primarily for individuals who received treatment to eradicate Helicobacter pylori as well as those categorized in groups B-D by medical specialists. The Health Management Department ascertains the results of the cancer screenings, properly explains the condition so the employee receives the necessary detailed examinations, provides the hospital information and referral letter and advises consultation and, with regard to the results of the detailed examinations, receives the report from the person who conducted the examinations. As a result, of the over 80% of cancers discovered by these screening (including subjective symptoms), more than 80% are discovered to be curable. The number of sick days taken off for malignant tumors (cancers) in fiscal 2017 fell from 1,068 days in the previous fiscal year to 669 days.

With regard to the observation rates of lifestyle-related diseases, those for blood pressure continue to decrease, from 9.1% in fiscal 2008 to 2.9%, while cholesterol and blood sugar levels have remained flat. These results are to due medical examination follow-up guidance, health guidance based on diabetes genetic test results for interested predisposed individuals, and health improvement activities.

In fiscal 2017, as an initiative for elderly workers who suffer from diminished physical abilities, each site devised measures to promote health education from the younger generation and entrench exercise habits. In fiscal 2018, we will aim for further improvement and work on reducing the obesity rate.

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 are offering ongoing support to our employees for both mental and physical symptoms. With regard to long-term projects, we will provide employees with health support more frequently, such as once every three months.

Lifestyle-related Disease Observation Rates (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered male employees)

Lifestyle-related Disease Observation Rates (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered male employees)

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Lifestyle-related disease observation rates are compiled separately by gender since criteria for men and women differ depending on the category. As the proportion of men is high the case of Mitsui Chemicals, observation rates for men are regarded as a KPI.

Breakdown of Days Off due to Illness (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Breakdown of Days Off due to Illness (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. registered employees)

Mental Health Initiatives

In fiscal 2017, we continued to implement mental health initiatives such as training (for new employees, management staff, line managers, self-care training programs, 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 employee work-related lifestyles, which involves industrial physicians interviewing all new 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.

In addition to our simplified occupational stress survey, since 2011 we have conducted a workplace stress questionnaire (occupational stress and mental health) to provide hints for improving the workplace, with nearly all employees replying to. Beyond providing individuals with feedback, managers in each workplace are also given details of the results of their organization useful for improving workplace conditions. 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 working to identify good practices in workplaces with a positive mental health environment and improving work conditions over time, with interviews with and documents released by representatives of these workplaces made available via the intranet 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 with low noticeable stress levels and are considered to be functioning well in various categories rose from 22.1% in fiscal 2015 to 33.7% in fiscal 2017. Workplaces where there was judged to be a “high level of perceived stress, concern that specific workplace measures may not be working” decreased, from 8.7% to 5.6%. In fiscal 2018, we will work to improve workplace culture by examining the results of stress-level surveys at each workplace over a period of years.

Fiscal 2017 New Workplace Stress Survey Results (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. and Contracted Affiliates)

Fiscal 2017 New Workplace Stress Survey Results (Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. and Contracted Affiliates)

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Each dot in the graph represents a workplace (department level at the Head Office,section level at offices).
*1
Total health risk:
A measurement on the subjective sensory scale of workload, sense of control, and empathy from superior and co coworkers. (A relative measurement that uses 100 as the national average. A workplace score of 120 implies that the rate of health problems is 20% higher than the average.)
*2
Mental health atmosphere:
A scale-based measurement of the appropriateness of command and control, labor management, cooperation,and training opportunities.(A relative measurement that uses 50 as the national average. Higher figures imply a better workplace atmosphere.)

A Wide Range of Health Management Programs

Mitsui Chemicals runs a wide variety of health promotion programs and supports the health management of its employees, primarily through its healthcare section and health insurance association.
In fiscal 2017, our initiatives included the Healthy Mileage Campaign, fitness classes, eating habit/dietary classes, walking events, sports competitions, quitting smoking campaigns, employee cafeteria healthy menus, and health/balanced body measurement events.

The Healthy Mileage Campaign is a program that involves participation by individuals or teams, collecting points (health miles) for exercise and healthy lifestyles, and winning prizes for miles collected. With employees being able to enter achievements via the web and smartphones, the number of employees participating in this program was over 40% in Japan and more than 5% overseas. The Healthy Mileage Campaign initiative is also certified by a Tokyo-based sports promotion company.

Nutrition class
Nutrition class

Fitness classFitness class
Fitness class

Reducing Medical Costs

In accordance with an increase in the numbers of older employees, such as rehired employees, diseases such as cancer are on the increase, and thus sickness/accident allowances were on an upward trend in fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016. In fiscal 2017, however, there was an improvement due to a decrease in the numbers of people on long-term absences from work due to mental health disorders or cancer. The sickness/accident allowances for fiscal 2017 were 45% of those in 2008.
Taking the legally mandated medical benefits in fiscal 2008 as a baseline index of 100, the rate of increase for general health insurance association medical expenses in fiscal 2017 was 22.4%, but the rate of increase in the case of the Mitsui Chemicals Health Insurance Association was 12.0%, which is only about half the rate of increase.
These are considered to be comprehensive effects of health management, and we will continue to strengthen health promotion measures on an ongoing basis in the years to come.

Sick / Accident Allowances

Sick / accident allowances

Legally Mandated Benefits*1 (per insured person)

Legally mandated benefits (per insured person)

*1
Legally Mandated Benefits:
Includes medical costs, sick / accident allowances, lump-sum birth allowances, maternity allowances, burial expenses.
*2
National Federation of Health Insurance Societies:
Data taken from an overview of health insurance society early budget collation results.

External Recognition regarding Occupational Health

Recognized for its promotion of health management, Mitsui Chemicals has been certified for two consecutive years as an Excellent Enterprise of Health and Productivity Management―White 500 jointly by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Nippon Kenko Kaigi for its superior management practices that focus on promoting employee health.

In November 2017, Koichi Takahashi, the health supervisor in the Environment and Safety Department at the Nagoya Works received the Green Cross Award (Safety and Health) from the Japan Industrial Safety & Health Association. This award is presented to individuals in recognition of their distinguished track records in working to improve industrial safety and occupational health in Japan over many years.

Also, in June 2017, Ms. Mari Kusumoto, an occupational health nurse at the Sodegaura Center Health Management Office, was selected and awarded Best Theme for a Practical Research Presentation at the 26th Academic Conference of the Japanese Society of Health Education and Promotion. The presented content made points about the "planning and implementation of small group discussions on mental health" at the Sodegaura Center, and the point that the discussions had been tried out at all workplaces was highly evaluated. This award was also an evaluation of our daily efforts, which also lead to the creation of working environments that are more employee-friendly.

In January 2018, the Company’s Nagoya Works received the Nagoya Mayor’s Meritorious Deed Award for its activities to raise awareness of first-aid treatments. This award represents the feelings of gratitude to the citizens and organizations that contribute to the firefighting administration run by the City of Nagoya Fire Department. The Nagoya Works has been conducting regular practical training on first-aid treatment for some time, and it is thought that the evaluation took into account that all the employees receive training in first-aid treatment at least once every five years.