Sustainability

Safety and Health

Occupational Safety and Health

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.

Activities in FY2019

Medium-term action plan Action items Priority activities
Strengthen risk management Identify critical disaster risks and serious
hazard risks and strengthen preventative
measures
  • Reassess all equipment and jobs throughout the entire Group where there is the possibility of getting caught in rotating machinery, being electrocuted, or causing explosions
  • Review risk assessment and conduct emergency measures for equipment and jobs where critical disaster risks and explosion risks exist
Develop a more fully integrated governance structure Set in place governance systems at Group companies
  • Confirm the completion status of remaining issues at each Group company through audits
  • Promote the acquisition of international certification for safety and health management systems at all manufacturing Group companies
  • Strengthen the comprehensiveness of policy communication and information sharing in each Business Group

Work-Related Accidents

Item Scope Category 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of
work-related
accidents
NGK Lost worktime accidents 2 3 1 4 0
Non-lost worktime accidents 9 3 2 8 7
Total 11 6 3 12 7
Manufacturing Group
companies in Japan
Lost worktime accidents 4 3 0 1 1
Non-lost worktime accidents
6 5 7 7 7
Total 10 8 7 8 8
Manufacturing Group
companies outside Japan
Lost worktime accidents
- 30 20 8 13
Non-lost worktime accidents
- 12 8 9 6
Total - 42 28 17 19

Work-Related Accidents

Chart showing changes in the number of work-related accidents over five years. In fiscal 2019, there were seven cases for NGK, eight cases for Group manufacturing companies in Japan, and 19 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 51 cases in total, with the most common being 15 cases of falling down or falling from a height.

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

Item Scope 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Severity rate (%)
(Number of lost workdays per 1,000 hours worked)
Entire NGK Group - 0.026 0.013 0.193 0.012
NGK 0.007 0.004 0.000 0.743 0.000
Manufacturing Group companies in Japan
- 0.009 0.000 0.000 0.005
Manufacturing Group companies outside Japan
- 0.040 0.022 0.015 0.020
All industries (Japan, sites with 100 or more employees)* 0.070 0.100 0.090 0.090 0.090
Manufacturing industry (Japan, sites with 100 or more employees)* 0.060 0.070 0.008 0.100 0.100

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

Rate of Lost-Worktime Injuries (number of lost-worktime accidents per a million hours worked)

Item Scope 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Rate of lost-worktime injuries
(Number of lost-worktime accidents per a million hours worked)
Entire NGK Group - 1.00 0.55 0.32 0.34
NGK 0.29 0.34 0.11 0.40 0.00
Manufacturing Group companies in Japan
- 0.50 0.00 0.14 0.13
Manufacturing Group companies outside Japan
- 1.42 0.91 0.34 0.56
All industries (Japan, sites with 100 or more employees)* 1.61 1.63 1.66 1.83 1.80
Manufacturing industry (Japan, sites with 100 or more employees)* 1.06 1.15 1.02 1.20 1.20

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

Rate of Occupational Disease

Item Scope FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019
Rate of occupational disease (%) NGK 0.00 0.11 0.11 0.10 0.00

Number of Deaths from Work-Related Accidents

Item Scope 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of deaths from work-related accidents (persons) NGK 0 0 0 1 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 in a crosswalk.

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 2018 DRAFT certification.
In addition, 23 of the 27 manufacturing-related Group companies in Japan and overseas have ISO 45001 or OHSAS 18001 certification.

Acquisition of Management System Certification

Item Scope Category FY2018 FY2019
Acquisition of occupational safety and health management system certification NGK ISO 45001 and JIS Q 45100 100% 100%
Manufacturing Group companies in Japan (12)
ISO 45001 58% 100%
Manufacturing Group companies outside Japan (15) ISO 45001 or OHSAS 18001 40% 73%

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.
Participants in the hazard simulation and hazard prediction training school in fiscal 2019. About 1,700 people attended this year.

In order to reduce occupational accidents caused by young workers or inexperienced workers, we have replaced our conventional training center with 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.
In the training center, cranes, equipment for experiencing dangers such as being caught in rotating machinery, and mannequins are arranged to simulate occupational accidents that have occurred in the company. In addition to training regarding general hazards, the program is designed to enhance sensitivity to danger through practical simulated situations.
In 2020, we introduced hazard simulation VR (virtual reality) and CG (computer graphics) equipment, thus enabling a new training program combining existing hazard simulation equipment and lectures that will boost workers’ sensitivity to danger.

Hosting a 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.