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 Safety Mission Statement applies equally to employees, contractors and visitors. In every Bridgestone Group operation around the world, the Safety Mission Statement is prominently displayed for employees, contractors and visitors to see. Through leadership, training and other educational approaches, the Group strives to continue to ensure all employees embody the Safety Mission Statement.

This mission is particularly important to protect the health and safety of the Group’s employees and contractors by applying the higher safety standards, as also expected by customers and stakeholders. These standards must continue to evolve as ergonomic risks increase with aging populations, regulations change, and machinery and equipment ages. The Bridgestone Group is also proactively promoting the high safety culture within the new businesses it develops or acquires.

Refined version of the Bridgestone Safety Mission Statement

Management system

The Bridgestone Group aims to mitigate and control all work-related risks. 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 29 global standards on occupational health and safety, as well as disaster prevention, and these standards are introduced to all sites across the organization.

The Bridgestone Group also has the Bridgestone Health and Safety Management Policy (Guideline of safety, Industrial Hygiene and disaster prevention activities in the Group), which is approved by the Global Quality Management Committee (GQMC) chaired by the GQMC leader, Chief Quality Management Officer (CQMO). The policy summarizes its safety activities based on the Safety Mission Statement in order to inform our decision-making when implementing Bridgestone’s safety management system. The policy covers compliance of health and safety related laws and regulations, risk assessment and mitigation, recurrence prevention, trainings and education for safety awareness and safe behavior, continuous improvement through internal and external audits.

Bridgestone Health and Safety Management Policy (55KB)

The Group conducts various internal health and safety audits to assess and improve performance. Since 2018, compliance audits for occupational health and safety (OHS) regulations as well as safety management system audits have been conducted by each strategic business unit (SBU) corporate functions globally every three years. In addition, manufacturing safety maturity assessments will be conducted at least every three years beginning in 2022.

Ongoing safety training is also conducted across the Group to meet both the Group’s own standards and local regulatory requirements wherever the Group operates.

Management structure

Under the oversight of Global EXCO members, including the Global CEO, the Group’s Fundamental Area Safety Group within the Global Quality Management Committee (GQMC) manages and responds to global risks, challenges and opportunities of health and safety. Additionally, best practices are exchanged with SBUs and Global Business Support (GBS) through regular safety meetings.

The Fundamental Area Safety Group has established five task forces: system content standardization; metrics/KPI’s to visualize perfect safety; safety activities for retail stores & warehouses; safety rule compliance & safety education; and monitoring & suggestion. The Group established a new task force for safety rule compliance and safety education that will determine how to best enhance employee safety awareness, capabilities and engagement.

The task force for monitoring & suggestion collects information on the prevention of occupational health and safety accidents and prepares a quarterly report for the working group’s use. Each task force regularly reports OHS-related risk assessment activities to the Auditing Committee, which is made up of Board members, and Global EXCO.

Global management structure:Safety and Industrial Hygiene

Global management structure

* Global EXCO or G-EXCO: The highest-level committee associated with Bridgestone Global Group business execution chaired by the Global CEO and Representative Executive Officer.

The Bridgestone Group’s Safety, Disaster Prevention and Environmental Division and the SBUs share information on accidents and recurrence prevention measures, identifying issues and decide on workplace policies. In order to share these policies and detailed measures with the rest of the Group, the Group holds meetings with OHS personnel at Group companies and exchange information between business managers and safety personnel at SBUs. At the plant level, periodic health and safety committee meeting is held according to local regulations to discuss safety enhancement and risk mitigation between labor representatives and management.

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

* CQMO: Chief Quality Management Officer, Vice President and Senior Officer, Bridgestone Corporation

Goals and KPIs

To achieve its Safety Mission Statement, the Bridgestone Group annually measures its safety performance and monitors global best practices. The overall goal is to achieve top results in its industry. The Group’s Goals and KPIs include lost-time injuries frequency rate (LTIFR), and serious injury rate. In 2022, the Group also expects to set three additional KPIs for occupational illness frequency rate (OIFR), risk-assessment implementation (risk mitigation & control) status and safety-maturity assessment score.

Lost-time injuries frequency rate (LTIFR), serious injury rate (SIR)

The Group set the targets for 2023 in 2020 and 2021 as below.

- LTIFR*1 for employees & temporary staff: 2.6
- LTIFR for contractors: 1.7
- Serious injury rate*2 for employees & temporary staff: 0.05
- Serious injury rate for contractors: 0.15

The analysis of serious injuries from 2012-2016 showed that approximately 85% of all serious injuries were related to the five major risks: body caught by equipment, mobile equipment, work at height, heavy object handling, tire high pressure inflating.
To reduce injuries associated with these five major risks, the Group has established the global safety standards including risk assessment, Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO), mobile equipment, work in high places, hoist/crane operation, handling large/heavy tires and tire inflation. In 2021, serious injuries related to the five major risks accounted for about 69% of all serious injuries.

*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

Risk-assessment implementation status

We conduct risk assessment to ensure overall safety of new operations, projects and equipment, setting targets for equipment safety. The risk-assessment implementation rate, a KPI introduced in 2019, measures completion of each year’s evaluation plan. The Group’s target is 100%, and the 2021 result was 101%*1 (as of December 31, 2021).

*1 8473 equipment were targeted for the risk evaluation/ 8534 equipment were assessed.

Safety-maturity assessment

The safety maturity assessment introduced in 2021 indicates the level of realization of the Bridgestone Safety Mission Statement. We have developed a safety-maturity assessment tool based on its global common safety standards, aiming at monitoring the progress.

The Group began the safety maturity assessments in production sites in 2022 and is preparing for non-production facilities. This information will yield strengths that can be best leveraged globally, and weaknesses that can be addressed to continue to improve safety KPIs.

Under a new global program, master assessors and assessors who will conduct safety maturity assessments are being certified. Over time, the Group’s goal is to improve awareness and implementation levels worldwide.

Global safety standards

The Bridgestone Group has established 29 global safety standards in line with ISO 45001 (OHS management system standards) as well as national standards and regulations, and has implemented these standards to all sites across the organization. Nineteen standards were adopted from 2018 to 2019. Nine additional global safety standards covering the following areas were introduced in 2020: management of change, communication, emergency preparation and response, safety training, near miss and hidden danger report system, handling large tires, motor vehicle safety, chemicals and ergonomics.

The Group is also developing a digital platform that is enhancing employees’ engagement and their ability to manage safety activities and effective execution of safety related projects.

To further advance its safety culture, in 2022 the Bridgestone Group is focusing on uniform implementation of safety measures for 12 specific machines. In 2022, it is also defining global common safety requirements of heavy object handling task and maintenance tasks.

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 2021, across the Bridgestone Group, there were 26 serious injuries*3 and one fatality among employees at its 4,815 production and logistics sites and retail shops.

In 2021, the LTIFR of operations in Japan only was below the average of both the Japanese manufacturing industry and rubber product manufacturing.

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

Bridgestone Group will also continue to promote safety activities centered on the Bridgestone Fundamental Safety 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 (243KB)

Fatalities (Bridgestone Group)

Year 2018 2019 2020 2021
Employees, temporary staff 0 1 0 1
Contractors 1 0 2 0

Serious injury rate*5 (Bridgestone Group)

Year 2019 2020 2021 2023 target
Employees, temporary staff 0.09 0.04 0.08 0.05
Contractors 0.29*6 0.19 0.11 0.15

LTIFR (Bridgestone Group)

Year 2019 2020 2021 2023 target
Employees, temporary staff 2.86*7 2.57 2.75 2.60
Contractors 1.86*6*7 2.31 0.79 1.70

OIFR (Bridgestone Group)

2020 2021
Employees, temporary staff 0.50*9 1.32

OIFR (Bridgestone Corporation)

Year 2018 2019 2020 2021
Employees 0.31 0.39 0.52 1.89
  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, bone fracture (excluding fingers, toes, a foot, a hand or cracks) 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.

Safety initiatives

Implementing management system

As mentioned earlier, the Bridgestone Group has established a global safety management system in reference to ISO 45001 and national standards / regulations and created global standards. As of April 2022, 57 manufacturing plants have obtained ISO 45001 certification (42% of a total 137 plants), seven manufacturing plants in the U.S. have obtained Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) certification (5% of a total 137plants), and all facilities are adopting Group’s global standards.

The Bridgestone Group manufacturing sites use checklists to assess OHS standards, including compliance with applicable laws and regulations, while further improving working safety levels.

The Group conducts investigations and shares findings with related departments when a serious work-related accident occurs 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 marked for corrective action; and fire equipment is checked daily.

Also, the Group 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.

Our response to COVID-19 pandemic

The 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, has enabled it to keep responding efficiently and expeditiously to sudden changes while adjusting its response over time.

The Group developed a risk assessment method regarding COVID-19 and deployed it globally, improved telework systems and distributed antigen test kits to essential workers. It also established remote systems for conducting audits and providing training to support workplace activities. The Group formulated and is continuously implementing action guidelines for business trips and other activities in accordance with the regulations and requests of each country and region. 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.

In Japan, the Group provided safe and efficient opportunities of vaccination at occupational area to employees and their related persons who wanted to be vaccinated.

In this way, the Group is continuously carrying out safe business operations and providing a stable product supply to customers.

Bridgestone Safety Fundamental Activities

The Bridgestone Group implements its fundamental safety 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 2021, all 140,000 Bridgestone Group employees received additional safety training and 90 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 2018 2019 2020 2021
Number of trained instructors 122 120 129 90

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, Group-wide safety training was provided as follows.

Trainings Scope Year 2019 2020 2021
Annual training (e-learning) Bridgestone Corporation and Group companies in Japan Cumulative number of trained employees 16,143 24,647 15,509
Total training hours 5,080 5,186 4,135
Safety Engineer training Global Cumulative number of trained employees 36 17 108
Total training hours 1,350 638 2,268

Ensuring safe engineering and work environment

Bridgestone is working to lower risks 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.

The company continues to assign and train safety engineers (SEs) as experts in equipment safety. Based on the results of risk assessments for existing operations and equipment and for new or modified projects, it identifies any equipment that carries a high injury risk and puts safety measures in place.

Workload mitigation

As part of the efforts to manage work environments, the Bridgestone Corporation issued a global standard on ergonomics to identify improvement opportunities and mitigate the workload.

In addition, the company seeks to counteract heatstroke by installing air cooling machines and encouraging more vigorous airflow inside plants and distributes drinks and electrolyte tablets to employees and contractors to help prevent heatstroke.

Disaster prevention initiatives

Implementing lessons learned from past incidents, the Bridgestone Group created the Disaster Prevention Global Guidelines, which focus on emergency drills, including firefighting drills and electrical wiring inspections. As with injuries, the Group shares information on fire accidents and any subsequent measures taken to prevent similar accidents throughout the Group. The Group also designated September 8 as Bridgestone Group Disaster Prevention Day. All company worksites conduct emergency drills every year on that day.

Moving forward, the Bridgestone Group will continue to work on improving fire prevention in the workplace by including fire risk mitigation in the new safety policy. The Group plans to establish fire risk assessment as part of the Bridgestone global safety management system standards, which will be implemented at the SBU and worksite levels. The fire risk assessment will enable each site to identify and mitigate fire risks from both internal and external sources.

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 Corporation 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 Corporation 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 Corporation continually seeks to enhance the training provided at the center. The company has 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 2018 2019 2020 2021
Number of trained personnel 2,198 1,989 527 978

As part of the efforts to manage work environments, the Bridgestone Corporation issued a global standard on ergonomics to identify improvement opportunities and mitigate the workload.

In addition, the company seeks to counteract heatstroke by installing air cooling machines and encouraging more vigorous airflow inside plants and distributes drinks and electrolyte tablets to employees and contractors to help prevent heatstroke.

Health initiatives in Japan

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

Health management approach

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 aims to maximize productivity by fostering a healthy workforce that helps employees improve their personal health 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 e-learning. In addition to using a bus to provide screening services, the company started to offer screening services through a nationwide network*1 of clinics made available through the Bridgestone Health Insurance Society in July 2021.

As a priority issue for FY2021, the company aimed to provide women's cancer screening at all sites in Japan and achieve a screening rate of at least 50%. This effort was aimed at early detection as well as to help employees receiving 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 of nurse, public health nurse, or other health professional who organizes mental health team. It provides counseling services under the guidance of an industrial physician and 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 Corporation's General Affairs and Health Management Promotion Division manages the 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 Corporation 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.