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Safety, Industrial Hygiene

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Safety First, Always
At Bridgestone, we make safety a business value. Creating a safe working place for all is everyone’s responsibility.

The Bridgestone Group refined the Bridgestone Safety Mission Statement in 2012, changing the wording to “Safety First, Always” and “At Bridgestone, we make safety a business value. Creating a safe working place is everyone’s responsibility.”

Along with refining the Group-wide guidelines for Safety, Health and Disaster Prevention activities, we established Bridgestone Safety Fundamental Activities:

(1) 3S : Select and Remove, Sort, Keep Clean
(2) KY : Finding hazards beforehand
(3) RA : Risk Assessment
(4) Safety Rules

Those activities are to be conducted by all employees in all workplaces. The Group has been challenging employees to understand objectives and expectations of the activities and asking them to proactively conduct these activities.

Refined version of the Bridgestone Safety Mission Statement

Management Structure

To promote Group-wide sustainability activities, Bridgestone created a structure comprising a global CSR management system, a regional CSR management system, and working groups (WGs) for each area of activity.
The global CSR management system prioritizes initiatives in areas pertaining to a variety of global issues, formulates global sustainability strategies, confirms the progress of activities in each area under the supervision of the CEO and COO through the Global EXCO*1, and confirms the in-house penetration of CSR activities conducted by the Global Quality Management Committee (GQMC).

The Safety, Industrial Hygiene Working Group considers the most effective means to implement the Bridgestone Fundamental Safety Activities on a global basis. The WG has three task forces (Global Management Systems, Global Standards, and Benchmarks/KPI), and drafts global standards from each perspective. The GMP*2 collects information on disasters and prevention related to health and safety and prepares a quarterly report that the WG utilizes for practical application.

During 2017, the Safety, Industrial Hygiene WG reviewed the scope to which the Bridgestone Safety Mission Statement and general regulations are applied to employees, contractors, and visitors and reported its findings at the GQMC.

  1. Global Executive Committee: The highest-level committee associated with Bridgestone Global Group business execution
  2. Global Management Platform

The Bridgestone Group is establishing a network comprising the Safety, Disaster Prevention and Environmental Enhancement Division and its SBUs to share information on accidents and the prevention of similar accidents, and for determining issue resolution and action policies. To share policies and details of measures throughout the corporate group, we also hold meetings with health and safety-related personnel at Bridgestone Group companies to facilitate exchanges of opinion with business managers and the safety personnel at SBUs.

To discuss and deliberate substantial safety issues from a management perspective, Bridgestone corporate officers in charge of safety, disaster prevention, and quality cooperate with Human Resources and General Affairs and other divisions to promote health and safety activities throughout the entire Company, review issues, and confirm the implementation status of the Bridgestone Fundamental Safety Activities.

In addition, the Central Health and Safety Committee, the company-wide organization comprising representatives of both labor and management, proactively discusses issues to improve health and safety in the workplace.

Safety and health management organization at Bridgestone

Bridgestone Group Safety Mid-term Management Plan and Policies

The Bridgestone Group formulates mid-term management plans targeting ideals and engages in the Group-wide discussion and promotion of specific measures in three domains to achieve these ideals: consciousness, technology and structure (management).

Since 2012, it has formulated Bridgestone Fundamental Safety Activities.

Going forward, it will continue implementing unified safety activities globally.

Activities Based on the Bridgestone Safety Fundamental Activities

Bridgestone promotes activities stipulated in the Bridgestone Fundamental Safety Activities as unified safety activities at all work sites. These activities stipulate basic safety practices 3S (derived from the Japanese words Seiri, Seiton and Seiso, meaning Select & Remove, Sort and Keep Clean); KY (Finding hazards beforehand); and RA (Risk Assessment), which are conducted uniformly at all work sites and by all employees conducted as ongoing initiatives.

In addition to publishing Activity Guidelines defining specific implementation items and promoting activities, instructors familiar with Bridgestone Fundamental Safety Activities are assigned to each work site to facilitate a structure for developing and executing uniform safety activities at all work sites.

The Company also conducts level-based safety education for managers and supervisors at each work site.

Going forward, it will continue initiatives to spread and establish Bridgestone Fundamental Safety Activities.

Employees engaged in Instructor Training

Training of Bridgestone (China) Investment Co., Ltd.

Training of Bridgestone Logistics Europe NV

Safety awareness

Bridgestone has implemented Safety Consciousness Surveys since 2009 to cultivate safety consciousness among employees. This survey asks questions related to the occurrence of accidents and safety activities and investigates the degree to which safety consciousness improves each year. The answers are used to engage in improvements of the various issues raised in the survey and are linked to further improving safety consciousness.

In addition, the management team visits work sites in each location, including overseas Group companies, as part of ongoing efforts to discuss the importance of prioritizing safety over all other considerations.

Moving forward, it will continue these initiatives in conjunction with guidance from the management team to actively promote the Bridgestone Fundamental Safety Activities and foster safety consciousness in the workplace.

Engineering Initiatives

Bridgestone is working to lower risk by pursuing safety from the equipment design stage and maintaining safety during equipment use. This includes store and warehouse equipment, as well as production equipment. These efforts involve conducting assessments to identify risks and establish engineering controls and implementing work procedures to reduce risks and the potential for serious injury.

During 2017 the Company continued efforts to assign and train safety engineers (SEs) as experts in equipment safety and conduct risk assessments. Based on the results, it is working to identify hazardous equipment and implement safety measures, giving priority to equipment posing major injury risks.

Bridgestone has been reappraising the hazard level of procedures and implementing the necessary safety measures through risk assessment (RA) activities associated with the Bridgestone Fundamental Safety Activities and constantly promoting the creation of safe workplaces.

Standard chart for evaluating the risk of equipment use

Standard chart for evaluating the risk of equipment use

*Possibility = A < D, ① <④
A = Surrounded by safety cover and difficult to enter dangerous zone
B = Safety cover exists, but so do inadequacies such as low rail; may come in contact with dangerous area if ones pushes it
C = No safety cover, but has emergency stop equipment
D = No safety cover plus inadequacies in such areas as warning and display

① = Minimal injury
② = Light injury
③ = Serious injury (including inability to work)
④ = Critical injury (including death)

System (Management) Related Initiatives

Bridgestone Group production work sites use a checklist to assess the status of safety and health activities including legal compliance while working to strengthen areas needing improvement.

Information on industrial accidents that have occurred within the Group is shared along with information on the same kind of accidents at other companies in the industry and companies in general. Countermeasures and other steps are implemented to prevent accidents from occurring.

The Group continuously introduces and expands safety and health management systems. These efforts ensure that the Bridgestone Fundamental Safety Activities function appropriately and promote ongoing improvements.


The Bridgestone Group has established Global Criteria for Occupational Injury to classify injuries occurring at Group production, distribution and sales facilities as well as warehouses. In addition to compiling injury statistics on a quarterly basis, the Group puts the investigation to use in preventing similar injuries.

During 2017 the number of work-related injuries in Bridgestone Corporation was below the average Japanese manufacturing industry level in terms of frequency*1 and below the average industry level in terms of severity*2. In 2017, for all of the 190 production and logistics sites of the Bridgestone Group, there were 17 fatal or serious injuries (-7 instances compared to 2016), including fractures due to falls (at December 31, 2017).

Bridgestone will continue to promote safety activities centered on the Bridgestone Safety Fundamental Activities without compromise, deviation or exception, with the aim of reducing the number of all injuries, including serious injuries, closer to zero.

  1. Frequency rate indicates the frequency of accidents with casualties. Frequency rate = (number of casualties/total actual working hours) x 1,000,000
  2. Severity rate indicates the severity of accidents. Severity rate = (total number of working days lost/total number of working hours) x 1,000

Safety initiative evaluations

Within the Bridgestone Group (with the exception of some Group companies) checklists are used to confirm the status of training, education and drill execution; work rule guide composition and abnormality data uptake and improvement action; daily and regular fire equipment testing; and other safety activities. By understanding the results of these evaluations and moving forward steadily with improvements, we can enhance our status.

Disaster Prevention Management Activities

The Bridgestone Group has created a Disaster Prevention Global Guideline based on previous incidents with primary focus on Disaster Prevention preparedness exercises, including incipient firefighting drills and preventative inspections such as electrical wiring. We continue to strengthen fire prevention activities and strive to create safe, stress-free workplaces.

Similar to injuries, the company shares information on fires that occur within the Group and the measures taken to prevent similar accidents.

Bridgestone Group has designated September 8 as Bridgestone Group Disaster Prevention Day, and the company’s workplaces now conduct disaster prevention drills every year on that day.

Global Disaster Prevention Center

Training session at the Global Disaster Prevention Center

Training session at the Global Disaster Prevention Center

To instill in all Group employees the Bridgestone Safety Mission Statement of “Safety First, Always” from a disaster prevention perspective, the Global Disaster Prevention Center was established in Kodaira, Tokyo, in September 2015 and is located inside Bridgestone.

The Global Disaster Prevention Center engages in education and training to review the causes of unforgettable disaster prevention failures, such as the fire at the Bridgestone Tochigi Plant on September 8, 2003. Bridgestone conducts various types of training at the Global Disaster Prevention Center, including sessions that resonate with employees because of stories told about past fire disasters and sessions that demonstrate the danger of fire by allowing employees to experience the sensations of static electricity and dust explosions. Bridgestone also conducts training that leads to prevention and early detection of disasters using wreckage found in fire-devastated areas and model facilities. By introducing examples of fires that have occurred not only in Japan but also overseas, the center has established a hands-on learning environment for global disaster prevention training.

Bridgestone continually enhances the trainings provided at the Global Disaster Prevention Center. Sessions related to natural disasters were added on March 11, 2016, the anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, and present lessons learned from that disaster.

Health Management

Health Management Approach in Japan

Our goal at Bridgestone is “To Maintain a Sound Labor Force and Create a Pleasant Workplace,” and we conduct our health management, including healthcare management, accordingly.

Main Initiatives

Regular Check-ups

In Japan, Bridgestone conducts regular and special health check-ups, as well as health exams, for employees working overseas as required under the Industrial Safety and Health Law. Employees facing health issues are given proper healthcare guidance, typically by resident industrial physicians at the Company’s Health Care Center.

In addition to having 12 industrial medicine specialists available at 12 sites nationwide, Bridgestone holds an annual meeting in which all industrial physicians participate. The Company also has a full industrial health staff, including public health nurses, for handling special examinations and health insurance guidance.

Preventing Overwork

Bridgestone recognizes the need to avoid long hours at the office and unusual amounts of overtime or late-night work to prevent health risks caused by overwork. In Japan, Bridgestone complies with the Labor Standards Act by working to reduce overtime and encouraging employees to use their annual holiday leave.

In 2017, the rate of employees taking annual paid leave was 73.3%, with an average of 14.7 days.

Bridgestone also has a program requiring employees working more than a fixed number of hours to consult with industrial physicians to help maintain good health.

Total annual hours worked* 2,051 hours (FY 2017)
Annual overtime hours worked 291 hours (FY 2017)

* Total annual hours worked = (Annual regular hours worked) + (Annual overtime hours worked) - (Annual paid holidays taken) - (Other holidays taken)

Thorough Smoking Area Enforcement

Bridgestone complies with the Health Promotion Act executed in Japan in May 2003 by thoroughly enforcing smoking in designated areas only. This policy applies to visitors.

Mental Health Efforts

In Japan, Bridgestone supports its employees psychological and physical health. Industrial physicians and medical staff serve as the core of the company’s mental health efforts, along with an external Employee Assistance Program (EAP). In line with Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare guidelines (covering self-care, consultation line care, on-site industrial medical staff care and off-site care), Bridgestone has established a mental health plan for each office.

Bridgestone’s Efforts in Japan

  1. Since 2006: Consultation department member’s care for managers and supervisors and self-care for new employees and mid-career hires
  2. 2006: Introduction of external EAP covering employee families as well
  3. Since 2007: Launch of psychological consultation website on the company intranet, providing information
  4. “Return to Work Program” launched in 2010 for return to work assistance and recurrence prevention through ties with Human Resources, superiors, industrial physicians, main physicians and external EAP.
  5. Since 2011: Strengthened secondary prevention and implemented mental health questionnaires (stress tests), mainly during health check-ups. Questionnaire results are provided as feedback to the employee for early detection of mental health issues.
  6. Since 2013: Counseling Office staffed by career counselors established at headquarters. This office conducts two-tiered mental health care, primary and secondary, by selecting the company level and providing counseling for all employees in it.
  7. Since 2014: The Company conducted an “organizational diagnosis” of three offices in the Tokyo metropolitan area. As primary prevention, initiatives were undertaken to reduce risk of mental health disorders occurring as a result of the workplace.
  8. Since 2016: Stress tests and organizational assessments conducted at all business locations.

Health Program Evaluation

Bridgestone seeks transparency in its approach to evaluating occupational health efforts. The company formulated a management status checklist based on its original standards concerning five areas of occupational health: overall management, health education, work environment management, work management and health management. Bridgestone introduced this checklist at manufacturing facilities and/or offices in 2010, extending it to Group companies in Japan in 2011, and conducts regular checks and makes improvements in an effort to establish and maintain the system.

Going forward, the company will further enhance health education and continue activities to maintain and improve the system for compliance with regulations and standards for occupational health in the Bridgestone Group.