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. We promote safety activities throughout the value chain.

The Bridgestone Group introduces all employees to the Group’s fundamental safety activities and expects all employees to regularly conduct these activities in their workplaces. The 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 for all is everyone’s responsibility” and the Group promotes safety activities throughout the value chain. The Safety Mission Statement is applied to related stakeholders including employees, contractors, and visitors. As a reminder, the Safety Mission Statement is posted in all locations. Through leadership, training and other educational approaches, the Group strives to continue to grow and ensure all employees embody the Safety Mission Statement.

Refined version of the Bridgestone Safety Mission Statement

The Bridgestone Group aims to mitigate and control all work-related injury risks. In an effort to achieve this goal, the Group has established an internal global safety management system in reference to ISO 45001 and national standards/regulations. It also created global standards on occupational health and safety, as well as disaster prevention.

Additionally, ongoing safety training is conducted across the organization to meet both the Group’s own exacting standards and all local regulatory requirements wherever the Group operates.

Management structure

The Safety and Industrial Hygiene Working Group, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Global Quality Management Committee (GQMC), discusses the most effective means of implementing group-wide fundamental safety activities under the supervision of the Global Executive Committee (G-EXCO),* which includes in its membership the Global CEO and provides oversight of health and safety. The working group currently has four task forces: System content standardization; Metrics/KPI’s to visualize perfect safety; Safety activity for retail stores & warehouse and; Monitoring/suggestion. Each task force drafts global standards from its individual perspective. The task force for Monitoring/suggestion collects information on the prevention of occupational health and safety incidents, and prepares a quarterly report for the working group’s use. Each task force regularly reports occupational health and safety-related risk assessment activities to the Auditing Committee, which is made up of Board members, and G-EXCO.

The Bridgestone Group’s Safety, Disaster Prevention and Environmental Promotion Division and the strategic business units (SBU) share information on accidents and preventing recurrence, identify issues and decide policies. Determined to share these policies and detailed measures with the rest of the Group, the Group holds meetings with occupational health and safety personnel at Group companies to facilitate a lively exchange between business managers and safety personnel at the SBU. At the plant level, periodical health and safety committees are held according to local regulations to discuss safety enhancement and risk mitigation between labor and management.

Global management structure:Safety and Industrial Hygiene

Global management structure

* The highest-level committee which is associated with Bridgestone Global Group business execution and consists of members including Global CEO and Representative Executive Officer.

Management structure of Bridgestone Corporation in Japan

To encourage cooperation on substantial safety issues from a management perspective in Japan, the Bridgestone corporate officer in charge of safety and disaster prevention works together with general affairs, health management and other divisions to promote company-wide occupational health and safety activities, identify issues, and confirm progress on implementing the fundamental safety activities.

The Central Health and Safety Committee is a company-wide organization comprising representatives of both labor and senior management (including relevant vice presidents, directors, etc.). The committee meets to proactively discuss risk mitigation and improvements in workplace health and safety twice a year.

Bridgestone occupational health and safety management

Bridgestone occupational safety and health management

KPIs towards achievement of our mission

Each of the strategic business units has defined specific key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals to help reduce the total number of occupational health and safety incidents. In 2019, the Bridgestone Group also introduced two new safety-related KPIs: “Safety maturity” measures its realization of the Bridgestone Safety Mission Statement and “risk assessment” measures the overall safety of new operations, projects and equipment.

Safety maturity

The Bridgestone Group is in the trial stage of developing a safety maturity assessment tool based on its global common safety standards. The plan is to expand safety maturity assessment globally and in 2021 complete the development of an enterprise safety maturity assessment system for visualizing safety awareness and safety management system implementation in different regions. Over time, the Group’s goal is to improve awareness and implementation levels worldwide.

Risk assessment

The risk assessment KPI includes targets for equipment risk assessment. The Group’s target is 100% completion of each year’s implementation plan. The latest progress was 96%*1 as of December 31, 2020.

*1 163 sites are targeted for the risk assessment/158 sites are assessed.

Lost-time injuries frequency rate (LTIFR)*1, serious injury rate*2

The Group set targets for the year 2023 as follows. For the progress of each rates, please see the section “Safety performance” below.

- LTIFR of employees: 2.60
- Serious injury rate of employees: 0.05

*1 Lost-time injuries frequency rate = (number of lost-time injuries/total working hours) x 1,000,000
*2 Serious injury rate = (number of serious injury/total working hours) x 1,000,000

Global standards on safety and disaster prevention management

Since 2018, the Bridgestone Group has introduced 28 common global safety standards in reference to ISO 45001 and national standards/regulations, and these standards are introduced to all sites across the organization.

In 2020, the Group developed nine additional global safety standards, as outlined below (from 2018 to 2019, 19 standards were introduced):

  • Management of change
  • Communication
  • Emergency preparation and response
  • Safety training
  • Near miss, hidden danger report system
  • Handling large tires
  • Motor vehicle safety
  • Chemicals
  • Ergonomics

Alongside these standards, the Group began developing common global requirements that each departments should implement to ensure safety, prevent disasters and protect the environment. The group also began developing a digital platform that allows employees to evaluate the implementation status and activity results of safety-related projects at any time.

Safety management and initiatives

Management system

As mentioned earlier, the Bridgestone Group has established a structure of global safety management system in reference to ISO 45001 and national standards/regulations, and created global standards. As of April 2021, 55 manufacturing plants have obtained ISO 45001 certification (38% of a total 143 plants) and all facilities are adopting global standards as they are being developed. The Bridgestone Group manufacturing sites use checklists to assess standards of occupational health and safety, including compliance with applicable laws and regulations, while further improving working safety levels.

The Group conducts investigations and shares findings with related departments when serious work-related accidents occur within the Group. Countermeasures based on root cause analysis are introduced to prevent recurrence.

The Group uses internal checklists to confirm that safety training, education and drills are implemented; specifications on work procedures are properly drafted; any abnormalities are reported and improved; and fire equipment is checked daily.

The Group also is in the process of expanding safety-risk assessments beyond equipment to include work performed in production, sales and warehouse locations. Future efforts will include new technology to improve worker safety, such as human detection in hazardous areas.

Keen to ascertain the extent of safety system and awareness within the Group, it started developing a maturity assessment method in 2019 based on global risk assessment standards and has started gradually introducing the method across all the global work sites in 2020.

The Group constantly seeks to enhance the occupational health and safety management systems to ensure the fundamental safety activities provide appropriate worker safety.

Our response to COVID-19 pandemic

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has presented unusual challenges to operating Group businesses in a safe and healthy manner. The Group’s global framework and set of standards, however, have enabled it to respond efficiently and expeditiously to sudden changes while adjusting its response over time.

The Group has conducted a comprehensive safety check on a global level to ensure safety and disaster prevention even under the volatile production conditions caused by COVID-19. The Group developed a risk assessment method regarding COVID-19 and deployed it globally. In this way, the Group carried out safe business operations and provided a stable product supply to customers. Furthermore, to support workplace activities, the Group established remote systems for conducting audits and providing training.

Bridgestone safety fundamental activities

The Bridgestone Group implements its safety fundamental activities at all the work sites. These activities stipulate basic safety practices: the 3S (seiri, seiton and seiso meaning select and remove, sort, and keep clean); KY (kiken yochi meaning preempting hazards); RA (risk assessment); and Safety Rules (including compliance with standards). All these basic safety practices are conducted uniformly at all work sites and by all employees as ongoing initiatives. In 2020, all 140,000 Bridgestone Group employees received additional safety training and 129 instructors were trained to promote the safety fundamental activities.

In addition to publishing standards defining specific items for implementation and promoting activities, instructors familiar with the activities are assigned to each work site to help develop and execute uniform safety activities at all the work sites.

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

Trained instructors

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of trained instructors 135 122 120 129

Employees participating in instructor training

Bridgestone (China) Investment Co., Ltd. training 1 Bridgestone (China) Investment Co., Ltd. training 2

Bridgestone (China) Investment Co., Ltd. training

Bridgestone Logistics Europe NV training 1 Bridgestone Logistics Europe NV training 2

Bridgestone Logistics Europe NV training

Safety training

In addition to safety training offered locally at every Bridgestone location due to its legal requirements, corporate/global-wide safety trainings were provided as follows.

Trainings Scope Year 2018 2019 2020
Annual training (e-learning) Bridgestone Corporation and group companies in Japan Cumulative number of trained employees 21,609 16,143 24,647
Total training hours 5,576 5,080 5,186
Safety Engineer training Global Cumulative number of trained employees 30 36 17
Total training hours 1,125 1,350 638

Ensuring safe engineering and work environment

Bridgestone is working to lower risk by pursuing occupational safety in manufacturing locations, stores and warehouses according to global risk assessment standards. The efforts involve conducting assessments to identify risks and establish engineering controls and implementing appropriate work procedures to reduce serious injury risk. The Company also conducts risk assessments as required by the ISO 45001-based Bridgestone Group risk assessment standards when any new equipment is introduced, or when any new or revised work practices are determined, etc.

The Company continues to assign and train safety engineers (SEs) as experts in equipment safety. Based on the results of the risk assessments for existing operations and equipment and for new or modified projects, it identifies any equipment that carries a high injury risk and put safety measures in place. It also determined a new global standard; Near miss, Hidden danger report system in the second half of 2020 to report incidents that did not lead to accidents but could potentially have done so, and to implement countermeasures based on that standard to better preempt and prevent accidents.

Workload mitigation

As part of the efforts to manage work environments, Bridgestone issued global standard on ‘Ergonomics’ to identify improvement opportunities and mitigate the workload.

In addition, Bridgestone is seeking to counteract heatstroke by installing air cooling machines and encouraging more vigorous airflow inside plants, then distributes drinks and candies to employees and contractors to help prevent heatstroke.

Safety performance

The Bridgestone Group has established the Global Criteria for Occupational Injury to classify injuries occurring at the Group production, distribution and sales facilities as well as warehouses. The Group compiles injury statistics on a quarterly basis, and uses any investigations to help prevent similar injuries. The Group has globally collected data on lost-time injuries frequency rate (LTIFR)*1 for employees and contractors since 2019 and data on occupational illness frequency rate (OIFR)*2 since 2020.

In 2020, across the Bridgestone Group, there were 12 serious injuries*3 and no fatalities among employees at its 4,691 production and logistics sites and retail shops.

In 2020, the LTIFR and severity rate*4 of operations in Japan only were below the average of both the Japanese manufacturing industry and rubber product manufacturing.

Bridgestone’s safety-related data is verified by Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance, a third-party institution, to ensure the accuracy and transparency of this information. The Group will also continue to implement global safety standards.

Bridgestone Group 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.

Independent Assurance Statement(488KB)

Fatalities (Bridgestone Group)

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020
Employees 1 0 1 0
Contractors 2 1 0 2

Serious injury rate*5 (Bridgestone Group)

Year 2019 2020 2023 target
Employees 0.09 0.04 0.05
Contractors 0.29*6 0.19 0.15

LTIFR (Bridgestone Group)

Year 2019 2020 2023 target
Employees 2.86*7 2.57 2.60
Contractors 1.86*6*7 2.31 1.70

OIFR (Bridgestone Group)

Employees 0.50*9

OIFR (Bridgestone Corporation)

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020
Employees 0.50 0.31 0.39 0.52
  1. Lost-time injuries frequency rate = (number of lost-time injuries/total working hours) x 1,000,000
  2. Occupational illness frequency rate = (number of occupational illness/total working hours) x 1,000,000
  3. The Bridgestone Group defines serious injuries as amputation (except some first joints of finger or toe), complete loss of vision, fracture (excluding finger, toe, foot, hand or infractures) or hospitalization of more than one month.
  4. Severity rate = (total number of working days lost/total number of working hours) x 1,000
  5. Serious injury rate = (number of serious injury/total working hours) x 1,000,000
  6. The data is for six months from July to December, 2019.
  7. Updated due to revise the scope of data.
  8. This number was updated after the Labor Office made a final judgement on the disability grade of a person injured in 2017.
  9. The data covers manufacturing sites from July to December, 2020.

Disaster prevention management and initiatives

The Bridgestone Group has created a Disaster Prevention Global Guideline based on previous incidents with a primary focus on emergency drills, including firefighting drills and inspections of electrical wiring.

As with injuries, the Group shares information on fires within the Group after they occur and any subsequent measures taken to prevent similar accidents.

The Bridgestone Group has designated September 8 as Bridgestone Group Disaster Prevention Day, and the company’s workplaces now conduct emergency drills every year on that day. The Group continues to strengthen fire prevention measures and strives to create safe and secure workplaces.

Global Disaster Prevention Center

Training session at the Global Disaster Prevention Center

Training session at the Global Disaster Prevention Center

The Global Disaster Prevention Center was established in Kodaira, Tokyo, in September 2015 within Bridgestone in order to instill a deeper commitment in all Group employees to the Bridgestone Safety Mission Statement of “Safety First, Always” from a disaster prevention perspective.

Fire prevention is another key safety value at the Bridgestone Group. The Global Disaster Prevention Center engages in education and training to review the causes of past failures, such as the fire at the Bridgestone Tochigi Plant on September 8, 2003. Bridgestone conducts various training at the center, including sessions that resonate with employees through stories told about past fire accidents and sessions that demonstrate the danger of fire by allowing employees to experience the sensation of static electricity and dust explosions. Bridgestone also conducts training that facilitates prevention and early detection of accidents using wreckage found in fire-devastated areas and model facilities. By introducing examples of fires that have occurred not only in Japan but worldwide, the center boasts a hands-on learning environment for global safety training.

Bridgestone continually enhances the training provided at the center. The Company added sessions related to natural disasters on March 11, 2016, the anniversary of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, and lessons learned from that disaster.

Trained personnel at Global Disaster Prevention Center

Year 2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of trained personnel 3,114 2,198 1,989 527

Health management and initiatives

The goal at Bridgestone is “to maintain a sound labor force and create a comfortable workplace,” and the Company conducts the occupational health management, including healthcare programs, with that aim in mind.

Health management approach in Japan

Health and productivity management

Bridgestone Corporation values the physical and mental well-being of its employees as a key management priority, seeing it as vital to a dynamic organization where everyone can work safely and with deep personal fulfillment and satisfaction. The Company practices health and productivity management to support the health of each employee in accordance with the Bridgestone Group’s mission of "Serving Society with Superior Quality."

In Japan, the Company strives to maximize productivity by fostering a healthy workforce that takes fewer sick days and brings a natural vitality to every task. In partnership with the Bridgestone Health Insurance Society, the Company implements the following six core programs while also working to improve employees' health literacy.

Six core programs

・Smoking cessation

This program seeks to reduce the smoking rate among employees in Japan in addition to preventing passive smoking. The Company aims to lower the smoking rate to 30% by 2022 and 12% by 2025 by encouraging employees to receive medical assistance for smoking cessation (for a one-month period) and participate in a cessation support program (three-month period). In April 2020, the Company banned smoking during work hours.

・Cancer detection and treatment

Bridgestone conducts regular and special health check-ups, as well as health exams for employees working outside Japan as required under the Industrial Safety and Health Law. Industrial physicians and other medical personnel offer healthcare guidance to employees with health issues, usually at the Company’s Health Care Center.

Furthermore, in order to increase screening rates and achieve early detection and treatment, the Company provides at-work cancer screening, informs employees of subsidies for screening expenses, and raises awareness through videos and an e-learning. In addition to using a bus to provide screening services, the Company is considering offering screening services through a nationwide network*1 of clinics made available through the Bridgestone Health Insurance Society starting in July 2021.

As a priority issue for FY2021, the Company aims to provide women's cancer screening at all sites in Japan and achieve a screening rate of at least 50%. This effort is aimed at early detection as well as to help employees who receive cancer treatment to return to the workplace.

  1. Made possible through an agreement between Bridgestone Health Insurance Society and a medical examination enforcement organization.
・Lifestyle diseases

The Company uses information and communication technologies to encourage employees to use a health guidance program*1 designed to improve lifestyle-related health outcomes. It also encourages use of an online health improvement service available by smartphone or computer.

  1. A program for employees deemed high risk for serious lifestyle diseases based on the results of their annual health check-up. Eligible employees receive free guidance and support from a medical expert for improving their lifestyle habits.

・Mental health care

The Company has developed a guideline on mental health, and established a mental health plan for each office that complies with Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare guidelines on self-care, consultation line care, on-site industrial medical staff care, and off-site care.

Based on a mental health plan, every site in Japan has a health promotion officer in charge of building a team of nurses, public health nurses, and other health professionals that provide counseling services under the guidance of an industrial physician. This mental health team is supported by an external Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that also covers employees’ families.

・Infectious disease

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the Company prepared response procedures for suspected cases of infection among employees and sent this document to all sites in Japan. The Company has updated its response procedures consulting with industrial physicians whenever necessary to prevent further spread, based on changing conditions and the newest information announced by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

・Integration of health-related efforts

Bridgestone's General Affairs and Health Management Promotion Division manages advancement of the above programs in partnership with the Health Care Center and industrial health staff at each site and with the Bridgestone Health Insurance Society.

Healthcare program evaluation

Bridgestone evaluates the health programs and management status against original standards in five areas of occupational health: overall management, health education, work environment management, work management and health management. The Company introduced this evaluation at manufacturing facilities and offices in 2010, extending it to Group companies in Japan in 2011.

Going forward, the Company will seek to further enhance health education and improve compliance with occupational health regulations and its own Group standards.