Health and Productivity Management
Health and Productivity Management Initiatives
Epson believes that providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment and promoting physical and mental well-being are the foundation of a healthy company. Accordingly, understanding that safety and health are the lifeblood of the company, we have instituted NESP*1 activities at our sites around the world, so that our employees and partners can enjoy working as part of a team in a healthy environment and in the knowledge that they are safe and secure. Health and productivity management is a priority of these activities, and initiatives in this area support the improvement and maintenance of employee health.
Outside Japan, we are working continuously to improve employee health in ways that fit the situation at each company. Occupational health and safety laws vary by country and region, so each overseas affiliate manages employee health based on local law.
*1 The New Epson Safety & Health Program (NESP), established in FY2000, is an original Epson program that covers safety, health, fire and disaster prevention and management, and facilities. It is based on an occupational safety and health management system (OSHMS) that conforms to International Labour Organization (ILO) guidelines.
Health and Productivity Management Objectives
At stated in Epson's Management Philosophy, we respect individuality while promoting teamwork and are committed to delivering unique value through innovative and creative solutions. To achieve this, we have set health and productivity management objectives based on one of Epson's fundamental management policies, the Basic NESP Policy. The objectives are to maintain and promote employee health and well-being, foster an organizational culture that is vibrant and exciting, and improve both health and corporate value.
Epson seeks to enhance productivity not simply by complying with Japan's Labor Standard Law and Industrial Safety and Health Act but also by promoting individual health, energizing the organization, and heightening a sense of unity. Expanded cooperation with our health insurance association is also serving to increase health and corporate value.
Recognized for Health Management Excellence for the Third Consecutive Year
In February 2019, Seiko Epson was recognized for the third consecutive year under the Certified Health and Productivity Management Organization Recognition Program (White 500), in the large enterprise category. Now in its third year, the program, which is jointly administered by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Nippon Kenko Kaigi, honors enterprises who work with insurers to promote good health and productivity.
To earn certification, a company is evaluated on the basis of 23 sets of criteria, such as whether it works with a health insurer, whether an occupational physician and/or public health nurse are involved in planning ways to promote good health and wellbeing, whether it sets concrete targets or plans for promoting health and preventing overwork, and whether it has taken action to protect employees from passive smoking hazards. Epson satisfied all the criteria. In a questionnaire used for certification, Epson earned particularly high marks for things such as the involvement of executive management, scheme building, measures specifically targeting at-risk individuals, and the verification and improvement of measures effectiveness.
Executing Health Action 2020 and Promoting Health and Productivity Management
In Japan, Epson has instituted a mid-term health plan every five years since FY2001.The current plan, Health Action 2020, was instituted in April 2016. The objective of this plan is to promote health and productivity management that enhances health and corporate value. The plan basically seeks to ensure safety and improve the working environment while also fostering employee and workplace independence and autonomy. In addition to physical and mental health, the plan addresses workplace health*1 and includes actions to energize and build a sense of unity between individuals and the organization and to increase productivity through work reforms and personnel measures.
Health Action 2020, aligned with the Basic NESP Policy and announced by the president of Seiko Epson, was examined by executive management at meetings of the General Safety and Health Controllers Committee and approved by the director in charge of health management. It was then rolled out to all sites and Group companies in Japan. Workplace health, physical health, and mental health achievements and issues are reported at meetings of the General Safety and Health Controllers Committee, and Seiko Epson's supervisory departments, health insurance association, and occupational physicians work together on a Health and Productivity Management Committee to continuously apply the PDCA cycle.
*1 Epson coined and has used the term "workplace health" since FY2016. It is based on the World Health Organization's definition of health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being" but also incorporates the idea of health and productivity management, which has elements of both mental and physical well-being coupled with how we work. A healthy workplace is a safe, dynamic, communicative workplace in which everyone feels energized and enjoys job satisfaction.
The Origin of Health and Productivity Management at Epson, and Work Reforms
Health and productivity management at Epson originated with "Epson's Work Goals and Work Culture," a statement of goals set forth in 2004 in a labor-management agreement regarding overtime work and work on days off. Initiatives designed to increase workplace health, which are described in Health Action 2020, preserve the spirit of "Epson's Work Goals and Work Culture."
Since FY2017, Epson has been carrying out work reforms under the "WILL BE Program"*1 to achieve our work and work culture goals. This program is driving the improvement of workplace health.
*1 "WILL BE" signifies work-life balance, innovation, liveliness, and enjoyment.
Introductory Statement to "Epson's Work Goals and Work Culture"
Our goal is for all employees to maintain and improve their physical and mental health while working efficiently in a vital, rewarding work environment, without excessive labor demands. In this way, the company will develop in perpetuity, raising its corporate value and ensuring a win-win relationship with its employees.
We aim to achieve this beneficial working style and work culture both for the individual and the company.
Mental Health Initiatives
Seiko Epson and its group companies in Japan cite mental health as a key area and have introduced initiatives that are focused on prevention and on fostering strong personal relationships in a vibrant workplace culture.
We have offered ongoing mental health training since 2000. We give group training for new employees, mid-level employees, and others in senior staff and management positions. Certain online courses have been designed for all employees. Also, employees gather together to read out loud from a mental health textbook. One example of training is "Around 35: Mental Health for the Prime of Your Career." This course is for employees who are around 35, an age at which their role in the company tends to change and when there are often important changes in their personal lives. The course helps them to better understand themselves, deal with stress, and maintain their own personal mental health. Between the 2012 and 2018 fiscal years, 2,175 employees have taken this course, which has been run a total of 181 times.
Our business sites have health management offices, where medical professionals (occupational physicians, nurses, and clinical psychologists) offer employees advice on mental and physical health issues. Industrial counselors are on duty in our employee counseling offices. They provide all types of advice as well as career counseling to help employees achieve self-realization and chart their careers.
Since 2004, all employees undergo an occupational stress evaluation when they take their annual physical examination. Medical professionals and industrial counselors follow up with employees found to be highly stressed. The primary purpose is to help employees manage their stress. This evaluation facilitates early detection and early treatment of mental health issues.
Since December 2015, Japan's Industrial Safety and Health Act has required certain employers to offer stress checks to employees. In response, we revised the content of our evaluation to meet the new legal requirements and enacted a Group standard for the stress check system, which is overseen by the safety and health committees of domestic Group companies and sites. We have conducted stress checks in line with this standard since 2016 and, since 2017, have provided a stress analysis report to each department and supported efforts to improve the workplace environment.
Employees whose mental health troubles have caused them to take time off from their jobs can benefit from our back-to-work program. Since FY2007, the program has helped smooth the transition back to the workplace and avoid recurring troubles. Depending on their situation, employees may meet with medical professionals and industrial counselors, working with them as a team to plot their approach. Moreover, the employee's primary care physician, workplace manager, and human resources department work together closely to provide better support. In FY2016 we updated the back-to-work program and extended the maximum length of leaves of absence due to personal injury or illness from 18 months to 30 months so that employees can focus on recovery and recuperation.
Providing a Clean, Smoke-Free Work Environment
We have been stepping up actions to protect employees from harm caused by both active and passive smoking. In 2016, we began to gradually reduce the number of smoking areas at our sites in Japan and to move them outdoors. Furthermore, in April 2018, we banned smoking during working hours, except for during the lunch break.
We have also been helping employees to quit smoking by drawing their attention to associated risks on World No Tobacco Day, offering professional counseling, and fully subsidizing the cost of treatment at a smoking cessation outpatient clinic. The additional actions we have taken since FY2016 have accelerated the rate at which employees in the domestic Epson Group have quit smoking. Whereas the percentage of smokers declined by 2.6% over the five years from FY2011, it has declined by 3.2% since FY2016. In FY2018, the percentage of smokers dropped to 22.4%. Epson is prepared to implement additional measures to promote a smoke- and odor-free work environment.
Epidemic Prevention and Life-Saving Initiatives
Emerging Infectious Diseases Prevention
Epson considers infectious diseases to be a serious business risk. To eliminate infectious disease-related plant closures, we have been taking action since 2009 to ensure that our people are alert to infectious diseases and that they practice measures to prevent their spread in the workplace. In 2017, we stepped up our inspection and improvement programs at our overseas manufacturing companies to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Epson Group companies around the world maintain their own business continuity plans (BCP) to control risks associated with emerging infectious diseases. These BCP are tailored to their specific needs and serve not only to protect their employees but to minimize harm and ensure the continuity of business operations.
Seiko Epson provides first aid training in Group companies in Japan to prepare personnel to provide effective first aid and care in a medical emergency involving cardiopulmonary arrest. Executives and other personnel have been given hands-on training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs). As of the end of March 2019, approximately 13,300 employees had received training.