HOME > Sustainability > Responsible Care Initiatives > Process Safety and Disaster Prevention Initiatives

Sustainability

  • Get to know our story! Nippon Shokubai
  • Corporate Profile Video
  • Contact Us
For your inquiry

Responsible Care Initiatives

Process Safety and Disaster Prevention Initiatives

Under the Corporate Credo “Safety takes priority over production,” all our employees take part in various activities to ensure safety.

Basic Approach to Safety Issues

We have incorporated the lessons learned from the accident at the Himeji Plant in 2012 to reinforce our basic approach to safety issues. We have clarified our Corporate Credo, Safety Oath, and the safety management principles presented below, as well as the roles of the company at each organizational level, and are ensuring that all employees stay fully informed.


Corporate Credo,
“Safety takes priority over production”


Inspection of Kawasaki Plant by President


Inspection of Himeji Plant by President

Safety management principles

We are putting into practice the fundamental principles for safety management, behavior principles during production activities and other guidelines that are established in the Safety Management Regulations of our company.


Safety Oath

<Fundamental principle of safety management (excerpt)>
(1) Assure safety based on our Corporate Credo, "Safety takes priority over production."
<Behavior principle during production activities>
(1) Stop operation immediately if you discover something abnormal in the functioning of equipment.
No one will ask who was responsible.
Message from management regarding safety issues

On Safety Oath Day in fiscal 2019, our President said in his speech that safety should be achieved by all employees accumulating daily efforts with awareness of safety. He requested us to thoroughly implement the “Safety takes priority over production” principle by sharing and raising awareness of process safety and disaster prevention, and to hold safety discussions in every company workplace during our Safe Operation Month (September 16 to October 15), at which everyone should reconfirm their individual roles and responsibilities in fostering a safety culture.
In addition, the President visited the Himeji and Kawasaki Plants for safety inspections and talked to employees, reemphasizing the importance of the implementation of "Safety takes priority over production."

Promotion of Voluntary Safety Initiatives

Since its foundation, Nippon Shokubai has ensured safe production with the technologies we developed in-house, and the voluntary safety initiatives we have introduced are aimed at zero Class A and Class B severe process safety accidents.

Efforts to prevent accidents and malfunctions

We employ HAZOP to identify latent risks in a plant. We are working to prevent incidents by systematically implementing HAZOP for both routine and non-routine work, and also by conducting Management of Change and non-routine work management.
As small group initiatives, we are promoting HMI activities at the Himeji Plant and TPM activities at the Kawasaki Plant to identify problems and implement improvements.
We will continue with our multi-faceted approach to prevent accidents and malfunctions.

Systematic implementation of safety measures

When an accident happens, we investigate the cause in stages and introduce measures to prevent any recurrence. Long-term maintenance of facilities is incorporated in our maintenance plans and implemented according to the plans. We are also systematically dealing with the aging degradation of our facilities.

Earthquake preparedness

Following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, we reviewed our earthquake preparedness in the event of a future major earthquake and tsunami from both the tangible and intangible aspects and are adopting the necessary measures, which are periodically reviewed and reinforced.
Regarding the existing measures that are in place to improve the seismic resistance of high-pressure gas facilities, we confirmed that all spherical reservoirs with steel tube bracing and those towers and tanks that are important high-pressure gas facilities have seismic designs that meet the seismic standards for reporting to the relevant authorities. We continue to implement seismic resistance measures for our piping facilities in fiscal 2020.

Results of process safety accidents

In fiscal 2019, we had zero class A and B process safety accidents. We will continue our efforts to prevent process safety accidents while constantly improving safety activities.

Trends in the number of process safety accidents

Enhancing education and training

To upgrade the skills and expertise required to maintain safe operations, we are fulfilling the requirements for training-related risk management at our chemical plants.
As in fiscal 2018, we again invited instructors from the Sanyo Association for the Advancement of Science & Technology and held a course on risk management for foremen and higher level employees at each plant and research center and a course on safety management for mainly managerial employees. A total of 51 people participated from all workplaces including members of the research segment.
To increase the competency of the employees who implement HAZOP and to train the next generation, we invited outside lecturers to both plants and held HAZOP trainings again in fiscal 2019.
At both plants, we have collected “know-why” information so that people can understand the origins of our procedures and rules and to enable skills to be passed on. We are using this information for teaching.
The opinions voiced by our employees have encouraged us to continue conducting training both inside and outside the company to improve knowledge of safe operations and to increase safety awareness.


HAZOP training


“Risk assessment based on lessons
of accidents” class

Maintenance and improvement of safety management efforts

Each year, RC inspections are conducted by executive management at both Himeji and Kawasaki plants. In fiscal 2019, they verified the safety management activities at both plants.
The Executive Officer of the RC Division at our Head Office conducted safety audits as the head of the auditing committee, to ensure continuous improvements to our safety management.

High-pressure gas safety accredited plants

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry accredited the Chidori Plant and the Ukishima Plant located at our Kawasaki Plant as Accredited Completion Inspection and Safety Inspection Executors for high-pressure gas in 1989 and 1991, respectively. Reaccreditation inspections are conducted every five years.
This accreditation permits continuous operation of high-pressure gas production facilities and autonomous safety inspections by companies with competent self-managed safety systems.

Improving emergency drills

We have established disaster prevention arrangements at every plant, and we systematically conduct a variety of emergency drills every year.
At our Himeji Plant we conducted Comprehensive Emergency drills in collaboration with the Aboshi and Shikama Fire Stations.
At our Kawasaki Plant we conducted Comprehensive Emergency drills with the Rinko Fire Station and the local disaster prevention council, and at our Suita Research Center we also conducted Comprehensive Emergency drills with the Suita Minami Fire Station.
By feeding back issues that were made apparent in the emergency drills in the next trainings, we will continue to review and strengthen our disaster prevention, including related arrangements, education and training.


Comprehensive Emergency drill
at the Kawasaki Plant


Comprehensive Emergency drill
at the Himeji Plant


Comprehensive Emergency drill
at the Suita Research Center

Strengthening a culture of “safety prioritization”

Both of our plants are undertaking unique efforts to strengthen a culture of safety prioritization. For example, employees at our Himeji Plant conducted self checks of fundamental safety behavior, and employees at our Kawasaki Plant undertook safety behavior check activities.
In June 2019, the Himeji Plant underwent a third-party evaluation of safety competency (safety infrastructure) by the Japan Safety Competency Center, an NPO. The Plant is scheduled to undergo a third-party evaluation of safety culture in fiscal 2020. The feedback from the evaluations will be reflected in the RC plans, thereby ensuring continuous improvement of our safety competency.

Preventing accidents caused by a loss of collective memory


Safety Oath Ceremony

To show our determination never to forget the accident in 2012 and our resolve never to let such an accident happen again, we held a Safety Oath Ceremony in front of the Safety Oath Monument at the Himeji Plant in fiscal 2019, renewing our commitment to continually improving our safety competency.
As a new measure, we began to exhibit the tanks that were involved in the accident.

Commendations


Receiving award at the Hyogo High-
Pressure Gas Safety Managers’ Convention

At the Hyogo High-Pressure Gas Safety Managers’ Convention of the Hyogo High-Pressure Gas Safety Organization, an employee of our Himeji Plant received the Chairman’s commendation as an excellent high-pressure gas safety manager.

Definitions

HAZOP (Hazard and Operability Study)
A safety evaluation method for systematically evaluating the adequacy of safeguards in plants and eliminating latent risks in plants through comprehensive detection.
HMI (Himeji Monozukuri Isshin) activities
These activities advance improvement and innovation at the Himeji Plant.
TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) activities
These improvement activities seek to realize production methods that pursue the highest overall efficiency in production systems.