Occupational Safety & Health

Occupational Safety and Health Promotion Structure

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

The Sumitomo Rubber Group is striving to protect the safety and health of employees and maintain a comfortable operational environment. To this end, the Group is acting in close collaboration with the labor union to promote various activities under the slogan “Occupational safety and health must be prioritized over anything else” in order to reduce the number of occupational accidents to zero.

As part of these efforts, the Central Safety and Health Committee has determined activity policies for the Group.

In line with these policies, we will (1) observe “three basic principles for nurturing safety-oriented human resources, namely, (i) complying with rules, (ii) raising safety awareness and (iii) ensuring that managers and supervisors fulfill their responsibilities.”

Moreover, we will (2) uphold “three basic policies for maintaining facility safety, namely, (i) securing mechanisms that automatically put a halt to facility operations when a human operator is present in a dangerous area and, therefore, at a risk of a serious accident, (ii) ensuring that any facility can be suspended immediately by a human operator at will and (iii) installing equipment designed to draw operators’ attention to potential hazards when they enter a dangerous area.

We believe that, premised on the practice of these policies, creating an open-minded workplace where everyone cares about one another is a matter of fundamental importance in terms of nurturing safety-oriented human resources. We will thus strive to ensure that the spirit of placing utmost priority on occupational safety and health is entrenched in every corner of our workplace. Moreover, these policies are equally applicable to employees of the Sumitomo Rubber Group, employees of contractors and stakeholders who visit our facilities.

Organizational Chart of the Sumitomo Rubber Group’s Safety and Health Activities


Activities Aimed at Educating Employees on and Raising Their Awareness of Occupational Safety and Health

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

The Sumitomo Rubber Group strives to reduce the number of occupational accidents to zero. To this end, we consider nurturing safety-oriented human resources a matter of utmost importance. Accordingly, we provide employees with grade-specific training programs in addition to implementing hands-on education even as we confirm the degree of their achievement in terms of both techniques and literacy as part of periodic safety and health education activities.

In fiscal 2022, we promoted safety assurance activities under the BTC Project, which has taken root in the entire workforce, while addressing areas of weakness identified at each business base in reference to safety indicators (KPIs) in order to make ongoing improvements and thereby create a danger-free workplace. In fiscal 2023, we will focus on implementing BTC Project as a pillar of our activities and, to this end, accelerate workplace improvement activities through the horizontal rollout of best practices achieved by each business base. In doing so, we will ensure that all employees play their part in these activities, with the aim of attaining unified safety standards and the shared goal of “zero accidents.” We will continue to nurture human resources capable of observing safety rules irrespective of circumstances as well as create a workplace that prioritizes safety above all else and is free of any occupational accidents.

Hands-on experiential education aimed at familiarizing employees with the dangers of being caught in rotating machinery
Equipment designed to provide the experience of walking on a slippery floor
Virtual reality (VR)-based education that provides a glimpse into the real-life experience of danger
Training content Scope of coverage 2020 2021 2022
Safety education Hands-on safety education Global 30,828 employees 31,482 employees 38,226 employees

Activities Aimed at Securing Robust Employee Awareness and Literacy in Fire Prevention

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

At the Sumitomo Rubber Group, all employees are asked to participate in fire prevention activities. Accordingly, the entire workforce strives to prevent the risk of fire at our worksites, with each business base setting up a Fire Prevention Committee. Under these committees, three fire prevention teams are simultaneously maintained and charged with the mitigation of fire risks, the implementation of facility-related countermeasures and the promotion of education and other activities to raise employee awareness, respectively.

In 2018, we also began holding Fire Prevention Campaigns through which top management members provide on-site patrols at each business base to confirm the status of their fire prevention activities.

In 2022, we strove to upgrade our conventional mode of voluntary fire-prevention audits aimed at confirming the status of on-site management measures for fire prevention via the use of a third-party perspective. To this end, Head Office provided education to employees tasked with auditing while certifying individuals who meet specific technical standards in order to prevent any risk of workplace fire from being left unchecked. Thus, employees certified as fire-prevention auditors are now engaged in voluntary audits, with the aim of identifying and addressing fire risks, including those inherent to certain workplaces.

Looking ahead, we will strive to ensure that knowledge acquired by employees responsible for fire prevention activities is utilized to upgrade facilities in place at business bases as well as to assess fire risks associated with on-site operations. At the same time, we will incorporate this knowledge to update the content of education for on-site operators. Through these initiatives, we will mitigate fire risks inherent in our familiar tasks and thereby take on the challenge of reducing the number of fire accidents, be it minor or major, to zero.

Staff at the Hunan Factory, China, taking tests to be certified as fire-prevention auditors

Taking on the Challenge of Achieving Zero Accidents via Thoroughgoing Risk Assessments Focused on Occupational Safety and Health

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

With the aim of achieving the status of zero danger and accidents, the Sumitomo Rubber Group is engaged in risk assessments focused on occupational safety and health as part of forward-looking safety assurance activities designed to remove dangers and make our operations intrinsically safe. In addition, we proactively utilize web-based safety audits and observations even as we engage in the confirmation of on-site status via physical worksite visits as our basics.

In the course of conducting risk assessments of existing facilities, we follow an Occupational Safety and Health Manual established by the Sumitomo Rubber Group to determine the scope of such assessments. However, we prioritize compliance with laws and regulations or applicable management standards when they stipulate assessments outside the scope of our manual.

For example, risk assessments of operations employing powered careers are conducted based on our Occupational Safety and Health Manual, which provides guidance on the investigation of risks and hazards within facilities and due to operations and operator actions as well as other factors. In this way, we strive to ensure that no shortfalls in occupational safety and health measures are left unaddressed while assessing the inherent risks of operations, including those attributable to the facilities themselves and operator actions. Findings from these assessments are utilized to implement optimal countermeasures commensurate with the degree of risks identified.

In fiscal 2022, our safety records were virtually unchanged from the previous year. For fiscal 2023, we have identified a twofold target of (1) reducing the number of major accidents to zero and (2) curbing the total number of accidents to 40 or fewer, maintaining our target level on par with the Midterm Plan target for fiscal 2022. We have also defined such priority issues as promoting BTC Project activities in order to create a workplace environment in which everyone is encouraged to voice slightest concerns about safety and push ahead with safety assurance activities aimed at making improvement in areas of our weakness in light of safety indicators (KPIs). In these and other ways, we will create an even safer workplace while taking on the challenge of achieving zero accidents.

Status of Occupational Accidents (frequency rate of accidents involving lost workdays*)


*Frequency rate of accidents: The number of individuals who suffered injuries from occupational accidents, including accidents causing fatalities per 1 million hours of actual work. Frequency rate of accidents = The number of individuals who suffered injuries or fatalities / Actual working hours × 1,000,000

Supervision of the Status of Employee Health and Safety through the Companywide Occupational Safety & Health and Fire Prevention Convention

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

The status of safety, fire prevention and employee health is supervised by the Board of Directors as appropriate because addressing any risks affecting these factors is considered a matter of great importance. Accordingly, the Risk Management Committee, which meets twice a year, reports the status of its activities to the Board, while each business base brings similar reports about its operational status.

Moreover, on a biannual basis we hold a Companywide Occupational Safety & Health and Fire Prevention Convention attended by internal directors, including the Representative Director and President, as well as all executive officers and heads of all manufacturing bases, with the aim of ensuring that latest information regarding safety, fire prevention and employee health is shared among the entire workforce. Through this event, we gather reports on targets for and the status of progress in various measures related to workplace safety, health and productivity while confirming the current number of occupational accidents and the details of countermeasures in place to prevent recurrences. Reports from each business base are also subsequently shared by their peers throughout the Group. By doing so, we endeavor to mitigate the level of risks affecting safety, fire prevention and employee health.

Improving the Operational Environment

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

To protect the safety and health of employees, we continuously strive to create a safe operational environment in which everyone can take on their tasks with confidence. In fiscal 2022, we stepped up measures to improve the operational environment by addressing issues associated with heat, noise, dust, organic solvents and other factors as part of efforts to realize a more pleasant workplace environment. In fiscal 2023, we will place emphasis on implementing countermeasures against heat.

Asbestos Countermeasures

  • Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd.

Sumitomo Rubber Industries does not manufacture tires or any other products incorporating asbestos. Furthermore, at the end of 2006, the Company completed the inspection of spray-applied materials used in its buildings as well as the analysis of mineral-based raw materials, confirming the absence of asbestos-related issues. However, it was confirmed that, among its workforce, a total of 13 people have passed away due to lung cancer, while four individuals succumbed to a mesothelial tumor, with all these cases publicly recognized as occupational fatalities (as of December 2021).

On April 1, 2007, the Company established a special compensation program for individuals who have suffered health damage due to asbestos. Thus, we voluntarily provide special compensation to those whose diseases are recognized as being attributable to occupational exposure to asbestos. Moreover, since March 2007, we have striven to reach out to retirees to encourage them to undergo health checkups aimed at diagnosing the presence of asbestos-related diseases. As a result, 41 people have applied to become holders of government-issued medical certificate for asbestos-related health damage.

Looking ahead, we will proactively address requests from employees and ex-employees for relevant consultation.

Acquiring Certification under the ISO45001 Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Management System Standard

  • The Sumitomo Rubber Group

The Sumitomo Rubber Group had previously acquired certification under OHSAS18001, an international standard for occupational health and safety management system. In 2019, our business bases began upgrading their OHSAS18001 certification to that based on ISO 45001 in a phased manner. With the South Africa Factory having completed this transition in September 2021, all certified factories have successfully shifted to ISO 45001. Currently, 12 factories, which account for 44% of the 27 factories run by the Group, maintain certification under ISO 45001.

Status of Business Bases Certified under ISO45001

Date of certification Certified sites
September 2021 South Africa Factory
November 2020 Indonesia Factory
October 2020 Thailand Factory (natural rubber processing)
July 2020 Nagoya Factory
June 2020 Shirakawa Factory
February 2020 Hunan Factory, China
November 2019 Miyazaki Factory
November 2019 Izumiotsu Factory
December 2018 Changshu Factory, China
November 2016 Turkey Factory
September 2014 Brazil Factory
January 2009 Thailand Factory