Health Management

Basic Approach

The NGK Group strives to promote employees’ health through the NGK Group Health Declaration: “Developing dynamic, people-friendly work environments and a health-conscious corporate culture.”

Health Management Promotion System

Medical professionals, such as Chief industrial physicians and industrial health nurses, and the health management secretariat collaborate with the labor union and the health insurance association to promote health management at NGK. This is overseen by the director responsible for the Human Resources Dept.

Initiatives to Shorten Total Hours Worked

Reducing Long Work Hours

In July 2016, we lowered the maximum amount of overtime work to 70 hours per month (with an upper limit of 300 hours per half-year). To this end, employees are, as a rule, not allowed to work for more than seven days straight and are not allowed to do overtime on their twice-a-week refresh days. If either of these are necessary, they must get permission from their bosses beforehand. To prevent employees from working excessively long hours, there must be an interval period of at least 10 hours between shifts of late-night work.
In FY2021, there were nine cases of overtime work exceeding the company’s upper limit, but no cases which violated legal regulations.

Response to Increase in Overtime Work

Every year, NGK discloses actual working hours and leave taken to the labor union. We then exchange ideas and discuss what measures to take.
If it appears that the amount of overtime worked is going to exceed 45 hours, we will first hold a labor-management meeting to determine the reason for the increase in overtime, then implement measures such as evening out work periods and workloads or adding additional workers.
Whenever it is determined that employees are actually working long hours, we discuss countermeasures for each worksite with the labor union.
For employees temporarily stationed overseas, as soon as it is discovered that they are working long hours, they are required to submit a written reason and undergo a health examination. This not only serves to maintain the health of employees temporarily stationed overseas, but allows us to determine the cause of the long working hours from the written report, and implement countermeasures to correct the situation.

Overtime Hours Worked

Item Scope Category FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Hours worked / overtime work
(Annual fixed working hours: 1,919 hours)
NGK general employees Annual actual working hours 2,072 2,081 2,059 2,044 2,044
Average overtime work per month 24.3 25.2 23.7 21.6 23.4
NGK including key personnel (managers) Annual actual working hours 2,089 2,087 2,056 2,057 2,059
Average overtime work per month 23.4 25.2 23.6 22.0 23.8
NGK manufacturing divisions Annual actual working hours 2,129 2,129 2,067 2,061 2,056
Average overtime work per month 25.7 27.3 24.4 22.8 24.1
NGK non-manufacturing divisions Annual actual working hours 2,077 2,050 2,052 2,037 2,038
Average overtime work per month 22.4 24.0 23.2 21.1 23.1

Following Up on Employees Working Long Hours

NGK provides employees working long hours, including non-regular and part-time employees, with ongoing opportunities to meet with industrial physicians for health consultations and exams. The results are reported at monthly Safety and Health Committee meetings at each worksite to thoroughly promote the reduction of overtime work.

Item Scope Category FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Number of employees having consultations NGK All 85 243 78 41 37

Note: Numbers of people shown are cumulative totals. They also include people who only underwent a health exam.

Promoting Activities Supporting Mental and Physical Health

Four Types of Care for Mental Health

We facilitate the widespread implementation of ongoing mental and physical health promotion activities, centering on the four types of care for mental health promoted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW).
In FY2021, we carried out stress checks for all employees.
These test results were sent to each department and analyzed by group. Based on the results of this analysis, we prepared training for managers of workplaces with comparatively high stress levels in improving interpersonal relations within the workplace and improving the work environment.

Four Types of Care

This graphic shows our four types of care for mental health. They consist of self-care, line care, care by industrial health staff within business sites, and care by resources outside business sites.

Percentage of Employees Taking Stress Checks

Item Scope FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Percentage of employees taking stress checks NGK 93.4 94.9 95.9 94.1 95.2
Percentage with high stress levels 9.7 11.7 10.7 9.9 9.0

Position-Based Mental Care Education

With an emphasis on self-care for new employees and young employees, we strive to deepen understanding of mental health by combining self-care and line care for new supervisors and key personnel.
We provide training for key personnel in areas with high occurrences of employee mental health problems with the goal of detecting and treating problems early on and putting these employees on the road to early recovery.

Position-Based Mental Care Education

Item Scope Category FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Number of employees taking position-based mental care education NGK All 402 567 614 585 517
New hires 158 192 143 140 105
General employees 181 306 339 362 307
Key personnel 63 69 132 83 105

Promoting Better Health and Wellbeing Among Employees

In addition to annual health exams, NGK holds collaborative health promotion activities* with the health insurance association in efforts to promote better health and physical strength among employees. These activities include health lectures, health declaration challenges, the use of health apps for smartphones, physical strength measuring events, walking-age assessment events and related lectures, and recreational walks. New initiatives in FY2021 included streaming online fitness videos, holding online seminars on the themes of Dietary and Exercise Guidance and Exercising While Doing Daily Activities, and a quit smoking campaign.

An initiative in which health insurance associations work closely with companies and use their respective strengths to create a positive work environment by efficiently and effectively promoting the health and wellbeing of employees and their families.

Percentage of Employees Taking Health Exams

Item Scope Category FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021 Target
Periodic health exam*1 NGK Total target employees 4,266 4,683 4,936 4,967 4,857
Number taking health exam 4,230 4,601 4,855 4,894 4,728
Number of exceptions*2 36 82 81 73 129
Health exam ratio (%) 100 100 100 100 100 100

1 Including chest X-rays to catch the early signs of tuberculosis

2 Employees on maternity leave, temporary retirement, etc.

Percentage of Employees Taking Metabolic Syndrome Checkup

Item Scope FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021 Target
Percentage of employees taking metabolic syndrome checkups NGK 86.3 86.3 87.5 85.7 Being compiled -
Percentage with metabolic syndrome 13.1 14.3 13.2 15.6
Percentage under medical guidance 58.6 56.7 64.6 57.5

Number of Participants in Health Promotion Initiatives

Unit: Persons

Item Scope FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Health lectures NGK managers 200 270 300 - -
Health declaration challenge NGK employees 1,306 1,590 1,199 1,560 1,505
Smartphone health apps NGK employees and families 522 742 1,127 1,134 1,511
Physical dynamism checkups NGK employees 192 191 - - -
Walking-age assessments and lectures NGK employees - - 64 - -
Recreational walks NGK employees and families 223 163 223 - -

Note: Items marked with a “—” were not carried out in the year in question.

Percentage of Smokers

Item Scope FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Smoking ratio (%) NGK 24.6 25.0 26.0 23.5 22.2

Response to Infectious Diseases and Other Global Health Problems

There are approximately 450 NGK employees and family members posted overseas, and while the number of business trips by our employees in Japan decreased due to Covid-19, their number is steadily increasing. So we are cognizant of the possibility of their contracting infectious diseases. To reduce this risk, employees posted overseas and their families, as well as those taking business trips, are provided with health management training by specialists. Participants learn the fundamentals of infectious diseases, are advised to take immunization shots, and are taught ways to avoid contracting Infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
During the influenza season from autumn to winter, employees posted overseas are encouraged to get vaccinated locally. We also offer vaccinations at the in-company clinic.
In addition, from June through March of FY2021, we provided workplace vaccinations for three rounds of Covid-19 vaccine injections to approximately 6,000 people. We also carried over our efforts from FY2020 in identifying close contacts of those infected with Covid-19, placed limits on office attendance, encouraged employees to eat without talking, and distributed free masks.

Outstanding Health and Productivity Management Company

Since 2021, the NGK Health Insurance Association has been included in the newly-established “Bright 500” list under the small and medium sized enterprise category of the Health and Productivity Management Organization Recognition Program for two years in a row.

This is the logo for the “Bright 500” list under the 2022 Health and Productivity Management Organization Recognition Program.

Aichi Prefecture Advanced Health Management Company

NGK and the NGK Health Insurance Association have earned a designation as an Advanced Health Management Company by the Aichi prefectural government. The aim of this program is to recognize companies and organizations that aggressively pursue health management, in the process increasing the number of companies taking action towards a healthy workforce and increasing the healthy life expectancy of the prefecture’s citizens.

This is an image of the certificate of registration as an Aichi Prefecture Advanced Health Management Company.