Sustainability

Occupational Safety and Health

Basic Approach

The NGK Group operates an Occupational Safety and Health Management System (OSHMS) in line with its Safety and Health Policy. The OSHMS serves as a mechanism for the ongoing, systematic achievement of employee safety and health initiatives. By strictly implementing this system and conducting risk assessment-based safety measures, we strive to raise the level of occupational safety and health throughout the entire Group.

Safety and Health Policy

Structure to Promote Safety and Health Management

Structure to promote safety and health management. Led by the Board of Directors, the Safety and Health Committee oversees each business site.

Enhancing Safety and Health Activities

NGK views the enhancement of safety and health activities as one of its top priorities. As such, we developed a three-year action plan in fiscal 2016 built around the key themes of compliance, risk reduction, and enhanced governance and have undertaken activities based upon it. These activities have resulted in us achieving overall targets for compliance and enhanced governance. However, for risk reduction, we found that for the Group as a whole risk assessment for jobs other than routine work was insufficient. In particular, we determined it necessary to step up risk response to prevent electrocution, explosions, and employees getting caught in rotating machinery—the cause of critical disasters and major accidents.
In fiscal 2019, towards preventing critical disasters and major accidents or minimizing their damage, we formulated the second three-year action plan prioritizing the strengthening of risk management and governance systems.
In addition, we have promoted the acquisition of international occupational safety and health management system certification by all NGK sites, factories, and manufacturing-related Group companies in and outside Japan.
These safety and health efforts have earned NGK certification from the Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association (JISHA) for ISO 45001 and for JIS Q 45100, a first for Japan,. This was one of the reasons NGK received the Chairperson Prize in JISHA’s 2019 Occupational Health and Safety Activity Awards.

Results of Fiscal 2020 Initiatives

Medium-Term Action Plan Fiscal Year Implementation Items Key Initiatives
Strengthen Risk Management Reduce risk of workplace hazard and occupational accident that result in serious injury We completed a reexamination of equipment/operations that present workers with potential workplace hazard and occupational accident leading to serious injury, such as being caught in rotating machinery, electrocution or explosions, and we put in place operational safeguards (e.g., organizational or administrative measures) at all production sites to control these risks. We are also largely finished with the implementation of engineering or technical measures (e.g., equipment update or remodeling), except at some overseas sites.
Strengthen Group Governance Entrench Group Company Governance Mechanisms In addition to safety and health-related auditing of Group companies by Safety & Health Department at the Head Office, Group company governance was strengthened in other ways, such as through internal auditing of Group companies by Business Group specialized teams responsible for overseeing them. 
Acquire Safety and Health Management System International Certification (ISO45001) As of June 2021, safety and health management system international certification has been obtained for all production sites of Group companies in Japan and overseas.

Work-Related Fatalities

Item Scope 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of work-related fatalities (persons) NGK 0 0 1* 0 0
Manufacturing Group companies in Japan 0 0 0 0 0
Manufacturing Group companies outside Japan 0 0 0 0 0

In 2018 there was one work-related fatality. This fatality was the result of a traffic accident involving the truck of another company, which struck an NGK employee at a pedestrian crossing on a public road.

Work-Related Accidents

Item Scope Category 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Number of work-related
accidents
NGK Lost worktime accidents 3 1 4 0 1
Non-lost worktime accidents 3 2 8 7 3
Total 6 3 12 7 4
Manufacturing Group companies in Japan Lost worktime accidents 3 0 1 1 3
Non-lost worktime accidents 5 7 7 7 8
Total 8 7 8 8 11
Manufacturing Group companies outside Japan Lost worktime accidents 30 20 8 13 8
Non-lost worktime accidents 12 8 9 6 2
Total 42 28 17 19 10

Work-Related Accidents

Chart showing changes in the number of work-related accidents over five years. In fiscal 2019, there were four cases for NGK, 11 cases for Group manufacturing companies in Japan, and 10 cases for Group manufacturing companies outside Japan.

Lost Worktime Accidents and Non-Lost Worktime Accidents by Type (past 7 years; NGK)

Graph showing types of non-lost worktime accidents over the past seven years. There were 46 cases in total, with the most common being 14 cases of falling down or falling from a height.

Severity Rate (number of lost workdays per 1,000 hours worked)

Item Scope 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Severity rate
(Number of lost workdays per 1,000 hours worked)
Entire NGK Group 0.026 0.013 0.193 0.012 0.006
NGK 0.004 0.000 0.743 0.000 0.002
Manufacturing Group companies in Japan 0.009 0.000 0.000 0.005 0.003
Manufacturing Group companies outside Japan 0.040 0.022 0.015 0.020 0.009
All industries
(Japan, sites with 1,000 or more employees)*
0.03 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.03
Manufacturing industry
(Japan, sites with 1,000 or more employees)*
0.03 0.01 0.03 0.04 0.03

Statistics on work-related accidents from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.

Lost Time Injury Frequency (Employees)

Item Scope 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Rate of lost time injury frequency
(Number of lost-worktime accidents per a million hours worked)
Entire NGK Group 1.00 0.55 0.32 0.34 0.31
NGK 0.34 0.11 0.40 0.00 0.10
Manufacturing Group companies in Japan 0.50 0.00 0.14 0.13 0.46
Manufacturing Group companies outside Japan 1.42 0.91 0.34 0.56 0.36
All industries
(Japan, sites with 1,000 or more employees)*
0.46 0.56 0.52 0.47 0.69
Manufacturing industry
(Japan, sites with 1,000 or more employees)*
0.24 0.25 0.29 0.26 0.28

Statistics on work-related accidents from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.

Lost Time Injury Frequency (Contractors)

NGK Group business activities do not utilize any contractors at the manufacturing site and only a few clerical staff. Given the low risk of accidents or other mishaps, occupational injuries for contractors are also managed together with those for NGK Group employees.

Occupational Illness Frequency

Item Scope FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
Rate of occupational illness frequency (%) NGK 0.11 0.11 0.10 0.00 0.00

External Certification on Occupational Safety and Health Management System

To continuously raise the level of occupational safety and health in workplaces, we encourage companies in the NGK Group to acquire certification for international occupational safety and health management systems.
In 2017, our Nagoya Site received the first ISO 45001 private certification in Japan. In 2018, all other NGK sites and factories in Japan received ISO 45001 certification and JIS Q 45100 certification.
In addition, as of June 2021, all 26 manufacturing related Group companies in Japan and overseas have completed the acquisition of ISO 45001.

Acquisition of Management System Certification

Item Scope Category FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 June 2021
Acquisition of occupational safety and health management system certification NGK* ISO 45001 and
JIS Q 45100
100% 100% 100% 100%
Manufacturing Group companies in Japan (11) ISO 45001 and
JIS Q 45100
58% 100% 100% 100%
Manufacturing Group companies outside Japan (15) ISO 45001 40% 73% 93% 100%

Note: NGK/Nagoya Site, Chita Site, Komaki Site, Ishikawa Plant, Mitake Plant

Danger-Prediction Training Center Established

Picture of hazard simulation and hazard prediction training school session.

In order to reduce occupational accidents primarily caused by young workers or inexperienced workers, in 2018 we opened a 450 m2 Danger-Prediction Training Center at the Chita site, where we provide safety education led by employees who have accumulated experience outside the company.
The training center is equipped with cranes, equipment simulating occupational accidents that have occurred in the company, such as being caught in rotating machinery, and machinery simulating electrocution, explosion and other occupational hazards causing serious bodily injury. In addition to training regarding general hazards, the program is designed to enhance sensitivity to danger through practical simulated situations.
Additionally, in 2020, we introduced hazard simulation VR (virtual reality) equipment, which is combined with existing hazard simulation equipment and lectures to create a new training program to further enhance workers’ sensitivity to danger.

Safety Process Expert Meeting (PEM)

NGK’s Ceramic Products Business Group brings together overseas production site safety and health managers to its yearly Safety Process Expert Meeting (PEM) with the aim of improving safety levels across the NGK Group. In fiscal 2019, a total of over 30 employees from HONEYCERAM production bases in and outside Japan gathered at the NGK Nagoya Site to share Group-wide activity policies and plans related to safety and health, and to exchange information about their respective companies. And with the aim of boosting risk assessment skills, all participants toured the plant to observe work processes and discuss things like potential sources of danger, successful measures, and possible improvements to be made. (Canceled in fiscal 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic)