Occupational Safety and Health
Approach to Occupational Safety and Health
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 safety and health 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.
The core component of this effort is the New Epson Safety & Health Program (NESP), established in FY2000. Covering safety, health, fire/disaster prevention, and facilities, this original Epson program is based on an occupational safety and health management system (OSHMS) that conforms to International Labour Organization (ILO) guidelines. Since that program came into effect, we have enforced the Basic NESP Policy and manage our workplaces with the idea that every workplace is responsible for maintaining its own safety.
Epson believes that the company's reason for being is to allow its employees to use their skills and make them happy. We will communicate this idea among employees and take the necessary actions to achieve it by observing all local and regional laws, regulations, and internal rules. We endeavor to provide safe, secure, healthy workplaces to maintain and promote the mental and physical wellbeing of our people.
Understanding that safety, security, and health are life of the company, we will work together to eliminate occupational accidents, injuries, and illnesses and achieve sustainability and enrich communities.
Director and Executive Officer
General Administrative Manager, Human Resources Division
and Overall Safety and Health Controller
We had no serious occupational accidents (accidents resulting in fatalities or permanent disabilities) in the 2020 fiscal year.
The frequency and severity of occupational accidents in the Epson Group were also far lower than the national average. The frequency and severity did increase over FY2019. However, a drop in operating hours caused by factory closures in response to COVID-19 had an impact on these numbers.
Workdays lost are calculated based on the criteria below.
- Fatality: 7,500 days
- Permanent total disability: days of disability level 1-3 (7,500 days)
- Permanent partial disability: 50 to 5,500 days depending on disability level from 4-14
- Temporary disability: the total number of lost days, including scheduled day off, multiplied by 300/365
Safety Management Initiatives
Epson's FY2021 safety targets are as follows.
- Zero serious occupational or industrial accidents
- Frequency 0.13 or less & severity 0.004 or less
Obtaining ISO 45001 Certification
To protect employees from occupational safety and health risks, Epson will systematically aim to acquire certification under the ISO 45001 international standard for occupational safety and health management systems, mainly at manufacturing sites, over a three-year period. As of June 2021, four of our 16 overseas manufacturing sites have acquired ISO 45001 certification, for a coverage rate of 25%.
Thai Subsidiary Awarded Gold for Zero Accident Record
In August 2020, Epson Precision (Thailand) Ltd. (EPTH) was awarded the Gold Level Award under the Zero Accident Campaign, an authorized program of the Thai Ministry of Labor.
This award recognizes companies whose employees have collectively operated without an occupational accident for 10,000,000 consecutive hours or more. EPTH recorded 13,150,385 hours of accident-free operations between March 19, 2017 and December 31, 2019. In the 2019 fiscal year, 75 companies were recognized with the Gold Level Award, 16 of which were Japanese companies.
Global Sharing of Information on Safety and Health
Epson seeks to improve its safety and health programs around the world by holding regular meetings at our production sites in Japan and overseas to share information and discuss issues at the executive management and operational levels. In 2020, as a countermeasure to COVID-19, we switched to online meetings to share information.
At the executive management level, the chief operating officers and presidents of Epson companies and sites in Japan and overseas separately gather twice a year for meetings of the General Safety and Health Controllers Committee to update one another about actions being taken and discuss issues to identify opportunities for improvement.
At the operational level, managers and health and safety personnel also meet regularly to share information. In Japan, they meet every other month to discuss important topics and issues. Overseas, in China and Southeast Asia, representatives from each manufacturing affiliate meet regularly to develop a common understanding on shared issues, discuss key actions to ensure compliance with applicable local legal and regulatory requirements, and drive improvement.
Raising Employee Awareness with Accident Reports
Epson analyzes all occupational injuries and accidents in the Epson Group, identifies causes, and makes plans for preventing similar incidents. Occupational injuries and accidents are reported in the form of Safety News bulletins that describe accident causes, countermeasures, and actions that all sites are to take to prevent similar accidents in the future. These reports are placed on the intranet and discussed with employees.
Professional Development through Safety and Health Training
Epson considers safety and health training vital for protecting employees. The training curriculum is tailored to the position, roles, and responsibilities of employees. Training for non-management employees focuses on practical techniques such as risk assessment and hazard prediction. Training for managers and supervisors focuses on leadership. All Group companies use the same training curriculum.
To prevent COVID-19 from spreading, we train our employees online instead of holding ordinary group trainings. At overseas affiliates in China, employees can take safety courses through their tablet or phone in a secure online environment.
In the 2020 fiscal year, we offered an online safety course in Japan that was taken by about 99% of managers and supervisors (2,406 people) and by about 99% of non-management employees (15,606 people). We also planned and implemented basic training for managers and supervisors overseas. The course was taken by 97% of managers and supervisors in Greater China (700 people) and by 100% in the Southeast Asia territory (1,232 people). In FY2021, we will provide training to all eligible people, including new managers and supervisors, with a goal of a 100% course completion rate.
Fire and Disaster Prevention
Epson is committed to fire safety and disaster management. Our independent fire brigades help to protect lives and property. We hold fire and disaster drills and practice extinguishing small fires to help minimize damage in the event of a wide-scale disaster. The actions both increase our preparedness and heighten employee awareness.
Formation of Independent Fire Brigades
Epson has had independent fire brigades in place for 66 years. The first brigade was formed in 1955, with 15 employees dedicated to protecting their factory from fire. As our business has grown, so has the number of fire brigades. There are now approximately 900 employee firefighters active at business sites in Japan and at facilities around the world. Fire brigades train year-round to protect life and company property.
Purpose and significance of independent fire brigade initiatives
- Regular training teaches members about firefighting techniques and skills and raises their safety awareness so they can take immediate and proper action in an emergency. This is part of company safety education.
- Preserve the safety of personnel (render first aid) and extinguish fires early to limit damage to facilities and equipment in the event of an occupational accident or natural disaster.
- Employees who learn about safety and firefighting techniques and skills become key members of the workplace to instruct others there. They model fire/disaster prevention and safety for all employees, which raise workplace awareness of the same.
- Initiatives to fight fire enhance communication. Fire brigades are a good place to foster friendships between members from different departments, develop character, and cultivate human resources.
Fire Brigade Competitions
Epson has held a fire brigade competition annually in September that gives brigade members around the world a chance to demonstrate how quickly they are able to take the proper action in an emergency and to demonstrate their skills in extinguishing a small fire.
About 700 people in 43 teams, including 15 from overseas, took part in the 2019 Competition. The 43 teams consisted of 23 in the small pump division, 12 in the indoor fire hydrant division, and eight in the bugle band division. The high level of fire safety awareness was evident from the seriousness with which the teams competed in bad weather, showing that the spirit to protect lives and property under which the brigades were first formed is alive and well. The entire Epson Group will continue to improve our fire and disaster prevention and management programs.
The FY2020 Epson Group Fire Brigade Competition was canceled due to COVID-19, but the fire brigades continue to routinely practice basic fire-fighting skills to extinguish fires early.
Facility Safety Maintenance
Epson maintains safe facilities in line with the NESP program to prevent accidents caused by faulty buildings, equipment, and facilities.
Facility safety maintenance covers all domestic and foreign Epson Group buildings and building equipment, including but not limited to electrical equipment, air conditioning and sanitary equipment, drainage equipment, disaster management equipment, communication equipment, and equipment for supplying gas and chemicals to production machinery. Maintaining the soundness of buildings and building equipment, preventing damage from fires and earthquakes, and ensuring the safety of employees and others will help Epson to ensure business continuity and deliver products and services on time. Epson thus has in place a variety of facility safety measures.
For example, before a new building or new building equipment is constructed, installed, refurbished, or removed, a safety assessment is conducted to identify potential problems and improve designs. In addition to managing safety during construction, we also conduct post-construction safety assessments where we check whether buildings and building equipment were constructed or installed as designed. If there is a problem, we have it fixed, and if it is not fixed, the building or equipment cannot be used until the problem is resolved.
In addition to ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and codes when conducting safety assessments, we are also working to build safer buildings and building equipment by establishing our own standards and preventing the recurrence of past accidents and problems.
In many cases, we hire outside contractors to do the actual construction work. When we hire a contractor, we carefully manage safety by communicating the construction rules, controlling access to the site, ensuring that confidentiality is maintained, and providing instructions for working safely. We also try to raise safety awareness among contractors by holding safety conferences.
To encourage employees to acquire the licenses and qualifications needed for facility management and to maintain and raise the level of facility management, Epson provides employees with ongoing professional education. To help ensure electrical safety, Epson created its own program for training and qualifying electrical equipment technicians. Only qualified technicians are allowed to perform electrical work and maintenance on machinery used at Epson sites worldwide.
We at Epson will continue to try to eliminate occupational accidents through activities like these.