Occupational Health and Safety
Initiatives on Employee Health and Safety
Providing for the health and safety of employees is a basic requirement of companies, particularly manufacturers, and is fundamental to the continued existence of any company. The JFE Group adheres to the philosophy of safety first, and, together with its group companies and business associates, works to consistently maintain safe working environments and secure workplaces for all employees. Top managers from each Group company conduct safety patrols and inspections to enhance occupational safety.
In addition, the Group exchanges ideas on safety and health with the labor union through its Occupational Safety and Health Committee.
For lost-work injury data, please refer to the following information.ESG Data: Social Data
Training Programs for Health and Safety
The JFE Group organizes seminars for newly appointed managers and supervisors to provide information on the Industrial Safety and Health Act and risk assessment regulations and on formulating work plans and policies for health and safety management. In the construction operations department, we offer programs for local superintendents in charge of construction work (Overall Safety and Health Controller) centered on the Industrial Safety and Health Act as well as related regulations for subcontractors and the Construction Business Act (577 participants in 2019). We also conduct new employee training and position-specific training on mental health (198 participants in 2019).
Initiatives for Health and Safety by Business Segment
In 2020, we are following two basic strategies: practicing autonomous safety activities while developing communication between employees and business associates and taking action based on the Group’s Health Declaration. Our slogan is “Nurture close communication across all employees from frontline staff to management supervisors.” With this in mind, management supervisors make a point to visit work sites every day, while workers are striving to handle their tasks with discipline. We are also proactively applying IT, such as by introducing safety monitoring systems* for safety management.
To date, we have implemented safety activities based on the advice from Du Pont. We are going to develop these activities into an occupational health and safety management system in accordance with the ISO 45001 international standard as we seek to establish a corporate culture of safety that is voluntary and independent.
* A system that provides managers with information about, for example, carbon monoxide concentration and oxygen concentration in real time along with the location information of workers.
■ Governance Structure for Health and Safety
JFE Steel seeks to prevent and mitigate risks associated with disasters by assessing risks at the planning stage for new facilities to evaluate and lower the risk level. We conduct risk assessments during regular and non-regular repairs of facilities for the same reason. Additionally, we consistently strive to lower the risk level to make each facility intrinsically safer for our workers.
We respond to industrial accidents by setting up a disaster investigation committee to determine the cause and offer recommendations for improvement to the department in charge of implementing countermeasures. At the same time, we inform the relevant departments and labor union through the Occupational Safety and Health Committee, while the department in charge implements and reports on countermeasures, which is a mechanism designated by company-wide rules. In the event of a serious disaster, a response is deployed across the company, and a standard progress report is submitted to the Board of Directors until countermeasures are completed. This practice has also been standardized across the entire company.
In addition, we immediately report accidents to the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) under the guidelines for reporting industrial accidents. We file an update once we have determined the cause and decide on countermeasures. We also promptly submit a report on safety, disaster prevention and environmental issues to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and the JISF.
JFE Engineering strives to eliminate accidents at its construction and operating sites and manufacturing plants. By establishing “priority items to be shared across the company” to which all employees and all members of associated companies adhere and promoting “identification of sources of danger and safety measures based on risk assessments” in accordance with each operation, the company is committed to disaster elimination. Additionally, driving efforts such as “physical and mental health promotion” and “creation of comfortable working environments” help to ensure the health of employees and raise the level of occupational health. In 2016, the company obtained OHSAS 18001 certification, an international standard for occupational health and safety management systems, for its construction activities in Japan an overseas as well as its manufacturing operations at the Tsurumi and Tsu Works. Certification was upgraded to ISO 45001 in 2019.
JFE Shoji is actively working on eliminating unsafe operations that could lead to severe accidents and targeting zero severe accidents at its processing sites such as coil centers.
For each of its group companies, JFE Shoji assigns a safety manager, who is responsible for improving safety at each company. Every safety manager is also responsible for activities such as (1) strengthening on-site patrols, (2) establishing safety monitors, (3) enforcing risk assessment and hazard prediction, and (4) identifying unsafe operations. Safety managers meet every other month to share information. All workplace accidents that result in employees being absent from work must be reported to the top management from the president of each Group company as part of the JFE Shoji Group -wide effort to address safety management. Annual safety awards are also presented. Through these initiatives, the company will raise the level of safety management within the whole group and continue to maintain safe working environments.
The JFE Group seeks to create safe, attractive environments where everyone can enjoy working and aggressively promotes the establishment of environments in which personnel with diverse backgrounds can demonstrate their full potential. To that end, it has developed the JFE Group Health Declaration and collaborates with its health insurance union and industrial health staff to strengthen employee health so that everyone can work with vigor.
JFE Group Health Declaration
JFE, recognizing that safety and health are fundamental for fulfilling its mission, creates workplaces in which every employee can work with vigor.
JFE and its health insurance union work together to advance initiatives for maintaining and upgrading the physical and mental health of employees and their families.
JFE gives top priority to safety and health and to creating a health culture in which each employee takes personal responsibility.
Physical Health Initiatives
- Ensure the implementation of regular physical examinations and strengthen cancer screenings.
- Prevent aggravation of lifestyle diseases by conducting metabolic syndrome checkups and offering health guidance.
- Utilize the health insurance union’s health promotion app, PepUp, to educate employees on physical exercise and other healthy habits.
- Promote non-smoking areas and maintain separate areas for smokers and non-smokers in buildings. Provide guidance to help employees quit smoking through industrial physicians and public health nurses.
■ Metabolic Syndrome and Smoking Rates
Maintaining and Promoting the Health of Employees’ Families
The JFE Group works with the health insurance union to maintain and improve the health of employees and their families by, for example, encouraging spouses to undergo health examinations. The rate of health examinations for dependents (age 40 or older) has been steadily increasing over four years, to 51.4% in FY2019, up 13.8 points from 37.6% in FY2014.
For employee health data, please refer to the following information.ESG Data: Social Data
The JFE Group conducts four basic initiatives to maintain the mental health of employees: “self-care” for workers who strive to remain aware of stress and take preventive measures; “care by management supervisors” who provide advice to subordinates; “care by industrial health staff” who support employees, managers and supervisors; and “care by human resources outside workplaces,” including specialist clinics and individuals.
JFE’s health insurance union also provides mental health counseling, including a 24-hour hotline for employees and their families (spouse and dependents).
Initiatives on Health Issues
We operate a health management system for effectively managing the health of all employees, including those on overseas assignments and business trips and those studying abroad.
We particularly seek to ensure that employees working abroad can maintain a healthy lifestyle, along with their accompanying family members, by conducting health checkups and vaccinations before they move overseas, and we also provide information on preventing infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria during assignment briefings. We will continue to monitor and appropriately respond to global health issues (HIV, tuberculosis and malaria).
Development of the Health and Productivity Planning Management Promotion System, Company-wide Goals and Follow-ups
To drive initiatives regarding maintaining and improving the health of employees and their families, JFE Steel launched the Health and Productivity Management Promotion WG upon the establishment of its Group Health Declaration in 2016, and it is monitoring the achievement of medium- to long-term goals applicable to all affiliate companies.
■ JFE Steel’s Company-wide Targets (2020)
|Targets||2020 Results (est.)|
|Thorough implementation of physical examinations||Rate of complete exams: 100%||77.0%|
|Rate of complete exams for dependents: 60%||48.2%|
|Preventive health Measures||Rate of providing specific health guidance: at least 60%||47.5%|
|Rate of obesity (BMI: 25% or higher) 25% or less||29.5%|
|Maintaining and improving health||Participation in the Powering Up Health Care program: at least 50%||40.3%|
|Promotion of non-smoking||Smoking rates: 25% or less||33.8%|
■ Health and Productivity Planning Management Promotion System
■ Health and Productivity Management Promotion WG
|Members||• Each region, works, main office||• Industrial physicians and public health nurses
• Manager of Labor Management Office, Labor Management HR Department, Organizational HR Department
• Office of Safety and Health (health staff), Safety and Health Department
|• Health Insurance Union||• Directing Manager, Manager of Health Development Office|
|Discussion Topics||• Evaluation of Health and Productivity Management (physical, mental and work environment) (evaluation of indices and activities)
• Company-wide activities
• Reporting to the management team
|Frequency||• February, May, August, November (once a quarter)|
JFE Steel business sites offer the Active Exercise program, which the West Japan Works designed to help people increase their physical strength and prevent injuries due to falling. The program’s effectiveness in preventing occupational accidents and improving health has even attracted attention outside the company, so it is being shared as a contribution to society.
Activities for Boosting Health Based on Health Checkup Data
JFE Engineering is pursuing initiatives for improving health focused on five domains, including sleep, smoking and obesity issues extracted from past health checkup data, along with cancer and mental health.
■ Initiatives Based on Past Health Checkup Data
|2018||Strengthen cancer checkups||Stomach endoscopy during regular health checkups|
|2019||Encourage a better understanding of health conditions to nurture awareness and promote behavioral changes||Interviews with all new employees|
|Measures for preventing passive smoking||Designate the 22nd of each month as a day for making an effort to stop smoking|
|Promote self-care among all employees||Selfcare seminars to practice methods for raising concentration through short naps and breathing techniques|
|Address obesity||Recommend increased physical exercise by displaying the calories consumed by climbing stairs and healthy strides|
Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The JFE Group is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic through a variety of measures against infections from the perspectives of securing the health and safety of employees as well as avoiding business continuity risks. Each company practices thorough health management, including the wearing of masks, washing and disinfecting hands and monitoring body temperature. We also encourage employees to work from home as much as possible and promote off-peak commuting based on flexible workstyles without setting core work hours. We have installed partitions in offices and conference rooms, have been limiting the number of persons entering each room, and are also promoting online meetings in addition to other measures for avoiding crowded conditions.
Nonetheless, the steelworks and waste incineration facilities of JFE Steel and JFE Engineering must continue their operations even under a state of emergency, and the following measures are taken to prevent infection.
We minimize the number of participants attending meetings required for safety and operational management by dividing them into groups while also taking care to avoid gaps in communication with regard to necessary information. When holding meetings with many people in one place, we seek to avoid crowding while providing adequate ventilation, limiting attendance to the absolutely necessary number of personnel and maintaining distance between participants. We also adhere to industry guidelines and conduct thorough daily checks of employees’ physical conditions.
In the lounge areas, we place vinyl sheet partitions at the center of the table to avoid that people do face each other while sitting. Each work site is striving to avoid physical contact by adopting measures such as creating push-rods bearing employees’ names for pressing the buttons of drink servers.
Other measures include limiting the number of employees coming to work by dividing them into three groups to stagger commuting and setting up temporary parking spaces for factory workers to disperse crowds in the parking lots.