Health and Safety
Our basic approach and strategy
As an occupational health and safety initiative, Unicharm Group strives to ensure health and safety management in the workplace through the Unicharm Group's “‘Beliefs and Pledges’ and Corporate Principles of Action*” in order to realize our “Pledge to Associates” to prevent workplace accidents and to ensure that our employees can work safely and securely.
- We pledge to sincerely conduct our business activities in order to be a trusted partner to our customers, shareholders, business partners, employees and society, and have established the Unicharm Group “Corporate Principles of Action” to do so.
Basic Policy for Health Management
- Employees give priority to primary prevention and strive to improve lifestyle habits based on the idea of protecting one's health through one's own actions.
- The company provides a safe and comfortable environment so that employees can enjoy a fulfilling workplace and fully exercise their abilities.
- The Human Resources Division properly uses and manages personal information such as medical examination results and promotes health management with collaborators inside and outside the company.
Being thorough with Workplace Safety and Industrial Health Management
To prevent workplace accident and ensure that employees can work safely and comfortably, we strictly implement safety and health management in the workplace toward a goal of zero accident. At the same time, we give top priority to ensuring employing safety at all times, do not force employees into excessive labor or overtime and provide a work environment in which safety and health managers play a central role. Managers also confirm the mental and physical health of their subordinates and promptly respond when they find an issue.
We also have third-party organizations monitor our manufacturing sites in and outside of Japan. This monitoring serves to identify issues with long working hours, occupational safety, wages and building safety so we can make improvements.
The Iki-Iki Health Promotion Office was opened in 2017 to assist employees with physical and mental health management. We have also implemented an occupational safety and health management system (OSHMS) focused on manufacturing in order to continuously maintain and improve our health and safety activities and have specified a PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) process to promote ongoing health and safety management on an autonomous basis that assists in preventing workplace accidents, promotes worker health, creates a comfortable work environment and improves our activities for enhancing safety and health standards. OSHMS operations ensure that all employees at manufacturing plants have set objectives for health and safety activities with clear roles and responsibilities. Along with regular checks by the plant manager, who is responsible for overall health and safety management at the plant, this system allows the identification of latent risks for occupational injuries and diseases and revision of health and safety activities.
In Japan, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare sets out OSHMS guidelines.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has also sets out OSHMS guidelines as international standards. Japan's guidelines conform to the ILO standards.
In order to create a safe and comfortable workplace, we have established a Health and Safety Committee with selected employees, labor union representatives and occupational physicians. The committee meets once per month on matters such as activities to improve the workplace environment, prevention of workplace accidents and elimination of vehicle accidents. Important actions from a PDCA perspective are reported to the directors through the Health and Safety Committee office. Actions related to safety that have been approved by the directors are implemented as activities in each department. Progress is reported to the directors in the Health and Safety Committee and periodic reports with their decisions on actions and instructions for improvements being issued to implement the PDCA cycle for safety activities.
Additionally, by using the company intranet, we post “Health Lab,” health promotion information, and “Overseas Support Information,” information on safety/security and health issues (e.g., HIV, AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria) in foreign countries, which is provided as needed to employees going on business trips to other countries.
We are aiming for zero workplace accident and a five percent year-on-year increase in the rate of paid annual leave taken.
With the aim of zero workplace accident, production-focused managers (including plant managers) visit sites and take necessary measures to promote PDCA for occupational health and safety. In FY2019, both the workplace accident frequency rate and the workplace accident severity rate fell once again, bringing Unicharm below the industry average.
Please see Human Resources Data for the workplace accident frequency rate and the workplace accident severity rate.
With telework and working interval programs, a monthly no-overtime day and premium Friday across the entire company, Unicharm Corporation is realizing the creation of well-balanced way to work. We have also clarified priorities, with employees thoroughly managing their actions by creating weekly plans for effective use of work time in order to promote reductions in working hours and the creation of a meaningful working environment.
Company-wide safety conference
We hold company-wide safety conference as part of our efforts to ensure employee safety. As one example, Unicharm Products Co., Ltd., which manufactures products in Japan, held its 17th company-wide safety conference on April 17, 2019 at the Central Plant, Shikoku Factory. Unicharm Products President & CEO, Eiji Ishikawa, who is also a Director and Vice President at Unicharm Corporation, reaffirmed the company's commitment to safety, noting that “we can prevent all accidents and injuries.” Toward this end, he strongly declared that senior executives would take the initiative to create a “safe and comfortable workplace” based on a philosophy of “safety as an asset” and “safety taking precedence overall.”
Health and Safety Committee
Unicharm's “Health and Safety Committee” consists of industrial doctors and elected commissioners from the company and the labor union. The Committee implements various activities once a month, including activities related to improving the working environment and preventing work-related accidents, as well as carrying out campaigns to eliminate vehicle accidents. We have also implemented workplace improvement activities and promotion activities for new 2019 Japanese regulations that require the consumption of a minimum number of paid holidays and implemented telework and working interval programs, a monthly no-overtime day and premium Friday to create a well-balanced way to work. We have also clarified priorities, with employees thoroughly managing their actions by creating weekly plans for effective use of work time in order to promote reductions in working hours and the creation of a worthwhile working environment.
Promoting employee health
In order to make it possible for employees to be both healthy in body and mind and highly productive, we have implemented ongoing health and safety activities and improved facilities so that in FY2019, there were no fatal workplace accidents. Active promotion of annual health checkups also resulted in a 100 percent uptake rate at Unicharm Corporation in FY2019, the tenth consecutive year since 2009 that the uptake rate was 100 percent. As an early prevention measure for female breast cancer and cervical cancer, all female employees of Unicharm Corporation, regardless of age, are required to have a breast and gynecological checkup, the costs of which are fully paid by the company. With October designated as Pink Ribbon Month, we gave out pink ribbon badges and educational books to employees, providing our employees, their families and people close to them with the opportunity to think about breast cancer.
For our Pink Ribbon activities, please see Making Contributions to Society through Business Development.
To shift health management practices from treatment to prevention, we began administering a stress check in FY2016 and promptly directing those with high stress for health consultations with health nurses and industrial physicians. Health nurses also publish the monthly Healthy Lab Newsletter as a health awareness-raising activity and hold body composition measurement and health-themed discussion events to provide advice for improving the everyday life of employees. Additional initiatives aimed at conveying the importance of improving lifestyle habits from an early stage and being more health-conscious include introducing the company's internal consultation desk to new employees, providing health management training sessions for employees in their 30s and offering individual consultation on Tuesdays and Thursdays regarding protection against infectious diseases such as influenza.
Furthermore, Unicharm Corporation has had a company-wide ban on smoking in the workplace since January 1, 2016.
We also introduced an employee support program by which our employees and their families can consult with external counselors about their worries and troubles, in order to facilitate their realization of fulfilling and healthy lives without worries. In FY2019, we introduced an app “Oshikko Check” in Mita-area for making lifestyle improvements based on changes in urine pH. We also conducted various kinds of training and education, such as lifesaving training for emergencies, for 2,363 people.
In recognition of these efforts, since 2018 Unicharm has been recognized for three consecutive years as a Certified Health and Productivity Management Outstanding Organization White 500.
Human Resources Data
Please see Human Resources Data for health and safety performance.