Initiatives for Safety and Reliability

Safety and Security

Creating safer working environments with the aim of eliminating accidents and occupational injuries


Occupational Health and Safety Management System

The Group has established a Responsible Care Committee chaired by the director overseeing company-wide safety. This committee determines health and safety activity policies along with important measures for preventing disasters and accidents, and based on these, rolls out health and safety activities across the entire company. What is more, in October 2019 we enacted our uniform, company-wide Safety Philosophy: Prioritizing Safety in Everything We Do and our three Safety Action Guidelines. These have been translated into eight languages and deployed throughout the entire company to promote the complete elimination of serious disasters and major accidents.

Each of our business sites makes efforts closely in tune with the needs of individual workplaces within a company-wide framework and under an accountability structure involving the managers of business sites. At its monthly meetings, the Health and Safety Committee inspects health and safety management activities, ensures thorough compliance with relevant laws and ordinances, and considers capital investments to realize risk reduction, among other actions.

In 2009, our Group’s plants and main subsidiaries in Japan began pursuing OHSAS18001 accreditation, followed by our Group’s overseas subsidiaries from 2010. Today, a total of 23 business sites have received accreditation, including five business sites and three subsidiaries in Japan and 15 subsidiaries overseas. In addition, we are making steady progress on transitioning over to ISO 45001 as a result of the repeal of OHSAS 18001 scheduled for 2021.

Managiment Structure

Machinery and Equipment Risk Reduction Activities

All new machinery and equipment installed at domestic production plants and subsidiaries from 2008 and at overseas subsidiaries from 2009, have been designed in compliance with ISO12100. We carry out risk assessments of existing facilities when changes occur, such as when the facilities are restructured or work procedures change, in an effort to make machinery and equipment fundamentally safer.

Risk Reduction Activities relating to Chemical Substances

In 2012, we introduced chemical substance risk assessments at plants in Japan and subsidiaries worldwide. We verify our evaluation results when changes occur, such as information on the risks and hazards posed by chemical substances and changes to work procedures. This is done in aiming to prevent adverse health effects to employees through exposure to chemical substances, and to prevent explosion or fire incidents caused by chemical substances.

Accident Prevention

Accident Prevention is the top priority of all our business sites. Our objective is to make business sites safer and more secure, and thus earn the confidence of the local community, ensure employee safety, and maintain stable supplies of products to customers.

The Disaster Prevention Committee is convened and implements activities systematically with the aim of helping all business sites achieve an accident and disaster-free record. It also conducts drills and puts in place accident prevention measures to minimize damage in the event that an accident does occur.

Sumitomo Bakelite (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
Firefighting drill

Sumitomo Bakelite (Nagtong) Co., Ltd.
General emergency drill

S.B. Sheet Waterproof Systems Co., Ltd. (Nara Plant)
Evacuation drill (test scenario using a satellite phone)

Amagasaki Plant
Emergency response drill for when leaks occur (arranging sandbags to prevent leaked oil from entering a rainwater channel)

Chemical Substance Management

Making Sure Our Chemical Substance Management is Compliant Wherever We Operate Worldwide

Chemical Substance Management System

We are focussing on promoting the use of SDSs across the Group not only for disclosing information related to chemical substances under regulatory control in Japan and overseas, but also for disclosing relevant information voluntarily so as to improve the quality of the Group's information disclosure practices. Particularly for the GHS system, we have introduced MSDgen, and offer SDS and labels that are compliant with the laws and regulations of 40 countries, including Japan, in the official languages of each country. In 2019, we revised our SDS to accommodate the new additions to Taiwan's Priority Management Chemicals and the U.S.’ TSCA Active Inventory.

Countries in which we provide SDS: 40 (North America/Latin America: 4 countries, Europe: 25 countries, Asia/Oceania: 10 countries, Japan)

Chemical Substance Management System

In the interest of ensuring safety, we confirm that all of the chemical substances constituting the raw materials and products handled by the Group conform with the laws and regulations of each country. We are also making progress with the creation of a Chemical Substance Management System to centrally manage these chemical substances. Introducing this system allows us to speed up chemical substance-related investigations (inventory in each country, the safety of products and raw materials, regulatory information, etc.) and to provide accurate information. We are now rolling out the system to plants that manufacture molded articles* and expanding application of volume tracking management to products for Taiwan and South Korea, in addition to Japan’s Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture and Industrial Safety and Health Act as well as Europe’s REACH. We will continue to enhance our system for managing chemical substances in order to ensure even more meticulous management of these substances.

  • *“Molded articles” here refers to all molded articles that have a defined shape with dimensions that can be measured. This applies to molded products and parts of devices, electronic components, paper, packaging materials, etc.

Product Liability

The Group has established quality management systems (QMS) based on ISO 9001 and is continuing to acquire relevant certifications (a total of 36 sites have been certified as of May 1, 2020). Recognizing the provision of products and services that customers can always feel satisfaction and peace of mind in using is an important social mission for our company, all relevant departments collaborate on all processes - from product planning, research, design & development, preparation for production, production, sales & service, to quality assurance - with an awareness of the importance of ensuring the safety of products, and create and appropriately implement and management frameworks within which to enhance and maintain product safety and quality. We formulated our Quality Management Policy to ensure that every employee of the Group systematically implements quality assurance initiatives in accordance with QMS. We also began training for quality management representative.

Future State Vision of Appropriate New-Product Development and Commercialization Processes of the Group

Quality Management Policy for FY2020

Basic Policy

In mind with Customer First and Quality First, we (all SB Group employees) shall create an efficient workflow of quality formation for fundamental improvement, contributing to increasing the company’s profitability and at the same time achieving a sustainable society through SDGs:

***** One Sumibe / Zero Defect / Proactive *****

Action Plan: SDG 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

1. Working toward Ensuring Quality that Provides Safety and Peace of Mind (QA Department’s Role and Responsibility)
2. Quality Improvement Activities of Existing Businesses (Complaints Handling Aimed at Improving Customer Satisfaction)
3. Reducing Risks to New Products or New Businesses
4. Improvement of the Entire Total Manufacturing (Monozukuri) Process through Daily Inspection and Monozukuri Audit
5. Fostering Outstanding Quality Management Representative to Lead the Next Generation

'Monozukuri' Audits

Purpose and method of the ‘Monozukuri’ Audits

Conventional audits that have been conducted for quality, environment, and safety for each business site made it difficult for us to identify the root issues each business site is faced with, due to factors such as insufficient man-hours spent on the audits, inadequate skills of the auditors, and a lack of information provided beforehand.

Furthermore, the internal audits conducted by each business site focused on the management system, and It was not possible to successfully link the activities from the extraction of essential issues to the prevention of recurrence and prevention.

Therefore, in order to resolve these problems, we built an audit system (combining 'Monozukuri' Audits and internal audits) that is able to identify the root issues in each business site, correct and improve the situation, and prevent occurrence and recurrence of issues.

Scene of ‘Monozukuri’ Audits

A scene from a ‘Monozukuri’ Audit at Indopherin Jaya

A scene from a ‘Monozukuri’ Audit at the Kanuma Plant

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