Safety, Disaster Prevention

Related ESG :
Safety and industrial accident prevention
Good Health and Well-Being Decent Work and Economic Growth Sustainable Cities and Communities Responsible Consumption and Production Partnerships for the Goals

Management approach

Policy and approach

Toyobo group recognizes that ensuring health and safety is a precondition for successful corporate activities. We have formulated the Toyobo Group Basic Policy on Health & Safety, which applies not only to our employees but also to the personnel of partner companies (contractors), and we are striving to build a safe workplace environment. Our safety declaration for fiscal 2023 is “We will thoroughly implement 'putting safety first,' and we will emphasize labor safety, environmental safety, product safety, and equipment safety.” Under our slogan of "Protect yourself, protect your colleagues, and speak up when noticing something,"

Toyobo group designates September as "Disaster Preparedness Month" and September 6 as "Toyobo Group Disaster Preparedness Day," and conducts awareness-raising activities related to preparedness for fires and other disasters.
We do so out of a powerful determination to never forget the fatal fires that occurred at the Tsuruga Research and Production Center (No. 2 Plant) on September 6, 2018 and the Inuyama Plant on September 27, 2020, and to never allow the lessons learned from these to fade away.

We are working to build workplaces and personnel that prevent fires, and to build disaster-resistant production sites that will let us regain the trust of the society.

< TOYOBO Group Basic Policy on Health & Safety >

  1. Health & safety principle

    Based on the concept that ensuring safety and sanitation is a major premise for business activities, we will actively work to ensure the safety of employees, enhance the cleanliness of working environments, and improve health under the spirit of respect between people with the aim of creating cheerful, happy workplaces and a prosperous society.

  2. Policy for health & safety activities
    Ensuring workplace safety
    Toyobo group works to enhance the safety and security of environments at its workplaces with the aim of achieving zero accidents.
    Enhancing environmental sanitation and improving health
    Toyobo group is enhancing the sanitation of environments at its workplaces and working to improve the health of its employees with the aim of realizing happy workplaces.
    Compliance with social norms
    Toyobo group complies with social rules and works to realize a prosperous society and communities with which the company can coexist.


In order to achieve steady progress in initiatives relating to safety and disaster prevention, which are the most important management issues, we have established the Safety and Disaster Management Division, which is a body reporting directly to the President, with a high degree of decision-making authority.

The Head of the Safety and Disaster Management Division (S&DM), who is Director and Managing Executive Officer, hosts the Safety and Disaster Management Conference, which consists of experts in varied fields as its members. In this conference, the members evaluate the effectiveness of safety and disaster management activities and draft and formulate company-wide policies, which are finally determined by the Sustainability Committee. The conference reports on progress to the Board of Directors as appropriate.

Under the SD&M, the Safety and Disaster Management Department plans and advances safety and disaster management activities. It also hosts the Safety and Disaster Management Promotion Conference, made up of representatives from each department. This conference manages discussions, decision-making, and progress related to specific matters based on policy. It also organizes teams of members and a chairperson to visit the company's business sites, factories, and group companies to conduct safety and environmental assessments and to inspect local activities. To address fire and explosion risks in particular, we perform periodic inspections of on-site management through third-party experts.

Furthermore, each production center, plant, and research center has its own Health and Safety Committee, which is composed of employee representatives, managers and experts, and which investigates and deliberates on matters relating to employee safety, disaster prevention and health, including risk assessment status, at each workplace.

Labor union representatives also participate in the discussions of the Safety and Disaster Management Promotion Conference and the Health and Safety Committee.

Toyobo group structure for safety, disaster prevention, and the environment

Toyobo Group Structure for Safety, Disaster Prevention, and the Environment

Deliberates and decides policy on safety and disaster prevention
Deliberates and decides policy on the global environment
Deliberates and decides specific matters, and manages progress
Supports activities, provides information, and conducts interdepartmental coordination

Targets and KPIs

< Targets >

  • We will strive to prevent disasters and accidents by clarifying and thoroughly complying with basic safety throughout the entire Toyobo group.

< KPIs and results >

Initiatives KPIs Targets Results (2022)
  • Build a culture of safety
  • Prevent workplace accidents (make human-operated equipment safer, promote security and disaster prevention)
Number of major accidents*
0 accidents per year
0 accidents
Frequency rate of workplace accidents resulting in lost workdays
0.25 or less
Number of fires or explosions
0 accidents per year
0 accidents
Number of spill accidents
0 accidents per year
0 accidents
  • Major accidents: Defined according to internal standards based on the definition stipulated by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare


Safety initiatives

Under the TOYOBO Group Basic Policy on Health & Safety, we are implementing the following occupational safety initiatives.

Making people, equipment, and processes safer

We identify sources of serious hazards and enact measures to prevent major accidents. Specifically, we use risk assessments and work research to assess on-site risks, then make improvements to equipment and work processes. We are also making efforts to prevent accidents by incorporating those improvements in procedure manuals and by educating employees. When an accident occurs at other companies or workplaces, we review the incident as a case study to prevent the occurrence of similar accidents, while checking for and addressing similar risks in our own workplaces.

We issue “Safety and Disaster Prevention News.” Using the lessons from accidents and disasters that have actually occurred in the past, it helps to spread awareness by providing easy-to-understand explanations, supported by illustrations, regarding key points to note to conduct operations safely, and how to respond in the event of an accident. These are becoming widely used as tools for dialogue at workplace safety meetings, and back issues of the documents are available on our company intranet for viewing at any time.

In production centers where the foreign technical training system (overseas trainees) is in operation, we have assigned instructors to provide Japanese language education and support for daily life to ensure the safety and livelihood (communication) of the trainees.

As an example, for trainees to work safely, we devise ways to make it easier for them to understand, such as translating the standard operating procedure (SOP) and using hiragana to write the reading kana.

Promotion of disaster prevention

In order to learn from the fire that occurred at our plants and empower employees to protect their own workplaces in the event of a fire, we revised the content of our fire drills to make them more practical and enabled participation in drills by all employees, including those of cooperating companies, at least once a year. For group companies inside and outside of our business sites, we advance these activities under our group policy and are gradually expanding the number of targeted companies.

Together with people at workplaces, we promote steady actions to strengthen disaster prevention, with the aim of creating worksites that prevent fires from occurring and that, in the event a fire does occur, prevent personal harm and minimize other damage. Toward that end, we have established guidelines for fire prevention equipment and standards for disaster prevention management to reduce the risk of fires. To address fire and explosion risks, we perform periodic inspections of on-site management through third-party experts.

With regard to natural disasters, we will continue to implement disaster mitigation measures by reinforcing buildings against earthquakes, improving office and plant infrastructure, and conducting emergency response drills.

3S activities and training

We undertake 3S (sort, sweep, and standardize) activities, which are the foundation for safety and disaster prevention activities, on a company-wide basis. We have put in place a safety and disaster prevention training system that is shared throughout the company, and we provide the safety and disaster prevention training that is needed at each level.

In addition, with the aim of realizing effective safety and disaster prevention knowledge training, we have installed Disaster Prevention Training Workshops—training spaces in which panel exhibition plays a central role—in all production centers, and we have established Disaster Prevention Experience Training Facilities at key sites.

Establishment of a disaster prevention training center at the Iwakuni Production Center

With the aim of looking back on and learning from accidents that have occurred in the past, and preventing the lessons from being forgotten, in August 2021 a new Disaster Prevention Training Center was opened at the Iwakuni Production Center, where personnel can experience the terrifying nature of accidents and make use of simulation equipment.

This is a training center, where, for example, besides being able to experience the awfulness of fires and explosions, such as dust explosions and fires caused by static electricity, it is also possible to experience the horror of accidents that involve being pulled into machinery. The center also shares case studies of accidents that have occurred in Toyobo group in the past.

To provide additional opportunities for personnel to enhance their knowledge of and awareness of fires and smoke, and to pay more attention to safety and disaster prevention, we have started internal training and are promoting internal education. Training at this center is offered on an application basis, and is also open to employees of group companies.

Establishment of a Disaster Prevention Training Center at the Iwakuni Production Center
Establishment of a Disaster Prevention Training Center at the Iwakuni Production Center
Frequency rate of lost workday injuries (Japan)

Frequency Rate of Lost Workday Injuries (Japan)

Toyobo group is striving to achieve zero accidents in accordance with the TOYOBO Group Basic Policy on Health & Safety. We place importance on the frequency rate of workplace accidents resulting in lost workdays*1. This was 0.55 in 2022, including affiliated businesses at the same business site.

We have set a goal of zero major incidents*2 as a KPI, we achieved zero major accidents.

  • Frequency rate of workplace accidents resulting in lost workdays refers to the rate of accidents resulting in lost workday injuries per one million hours worked
  • Major accidents: Defined according to internal standards based on the definition stipulated by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Acquisition of occupational safety and health management system certification (ISO45001)

We are working toward ISO45001 certification of conformance with requirements for an occupational safety and health management system, to reduce risks in our working environments. As of the end of March 2023, we have obtained certification at two sites, the Iwakuni Production Center and the Utsunomiya Plant. We plan to continue obtaining certifications at other production centers and plants.

Fire prevention measures (FY2023)

In the wake of the September 2018 fire accident at the Tsuruga Research and Production Center (No. 2Plant) and the September 2020 fire accident at Inuyama Plant, Toyobo group is taking two main approaches to improving safety prevention. We are fostering a culture of safety by clearly establishing safety as the highest priority and revising our education structure. We are also fortifying our safety infrastructure by formulating a plan to enhance our safety and disaster prevention equipment and management and by developing specific PDCA cycles.

Fostering a culture of safety

We had always stated that worksite “safety is the highest priority,” but we now recognized that the problem was that management involvement was insufficient. To foster a deeply imbedded culture of safety, in April 2022 we announced the New Safety Declaration. The Safety Declaration clarifies for all employee our management stance of placing the highest priority on safety related to occupational labor and conditions, our products, and our equipment. Measures to change our awareness of safety issues include revamping the position-based safety education system and introducing safety workshops and education programs for management level employees led by external organizations. A safety workshop for management-level employees was held in December 2021, with all of the participating company executives having the opportunity to study safety conditions at various companies. We held safety workshops for newly appointed officers and group company presidents in FY2023, and plan to continue doing so.

In November 2022, we conducted a survey of safety awareness among top management, Toyobo employees, and employees of cooperating companies involved in production to confirm the level of safety awareness in their respective organizations. The survey targeted 7,525 persons, with a response rate of 93%. The strengths and weaknesses of every element of organizational structure, business operations, and leadership with respect to safety were turned into visual data. Drawing on the results of the survey, we will advance activities to overcome weaknesses (issues) in organizations and thereby raise the level of the organizations' safety culture.

Fortifying for safety infrastructure

We are also creating a foundation for implementing the PDCA cycle in safety and disaster prevention. In FY2021, we established the Safety and Disaster Management Division, which is under the direct supervision of the President and which encompasses the Security and Disaster Department and the Occupational Safety Department. To achieve more efficient operation, in April 2022 we reorganized the Division into the Safety and Disaster Management Division, with the Safety and Disaster Management Department and Environmental Management Department placed under it.

In FY2022, we launched the Disaster Management Project under which we are advancing the creation of mechanisms for disaster prevention management. Specifically, we drew on the knowledge of experts to formulate disaster prevention management standards for fire prevention that will apply across the group. In formulating the standards, we have taken into consideration the aligning of disaster prevention management standards with actual conditions so that self-inspections can be conducted on-site. We have also built a system by which specialists perform periodic checks of operational status at workplaces.

To address postponement of measures and funding necessary for safety and disaster prevention against an overemphasis on short-term budgets in business operations, in FY2022 we formulated the Medium-Term Management Plan for Safety and Disaster Prevention. Working with external specialists, we created detailed risk maps for 29 sites including group companies and evaluated the natural disaster risks at each. We are incorporating this information in future workplace concepts while advancing disaster countermeasures. We further conducted reviews of disaster prevention functions at all business sites and identified those that require containment measures to mitigate the risk of fires spreading. As a result, we intend to invest an additional ¥18.6 billion across the group, with measures scheduled for completion in FY2026.

We are also moving ahead with the installation of disaster prevention training spaces at the group's primary production sites in Japan. At the disaster prevention training space created in the Iwakuni Production Center in August 2021, we have begun training aimed at raising awareness of disaster prevention and safety, through simulated experiences and reviews of past accidents. We also plan to set up a disaster prevention and safety training center in the Inuyama Plant in September 2023. We will continue advancing the establishment and active use of these training centers.

Key issues in FY2024

In FY2024, we will advance initiatives with the following set as key issues:

  • Deployment of safety and disaster prevention activities with participation by all employees
  • Enhancement of hierarchy-specific training
  • Reduction of fire and explosion risks
Steps to enhance our culture of safety

Steps to Enhance Our Culture of Safety

  • This expression is a quote from the dss+ Bradley curve of the stages of safety culture development
  • 3S:Sort, straighten, sweep