As part of ERJ’s current focus on industrial safety, Bridgestone Corp. details the workings of a highly-developed strategy across its global tire and rubber manufacturing operations:
Factory Safety: Bridgestone approach to occupational health and safety
The focus of the Bridgestone Group on Health and Safety of employees is part of our broader conception of "trust and pride" and “Dan-Totsu” (absolute leader) in any business area. In terms of safety, this reveals the interest of the Company for the protection of life, a careful management of people, the advancement of employee skills and the stimulation of pride to be part of a great company. The objective is pursued through a system-engineering-awareness safety approach:
• System: setting cleat rules and procedure to be respected, in order to ensure safe operations and continuous.
• Awareness: increasing the sensibility of all employees for Health & Safety, making H&S culture a part of the company asset, though continuous education, evaluation and improvement, as well as awarding for individual employees or groups which are more virtuous in the field of Health and Safety and in other areas.
• Engineering: continuous review of equipment maintenance, updates and innovations from safety standpoint.
This approach for safety has also allowed the consolidation and strengthening of the positive trend in employee injury frequency which, since 2006, has seen a drastic and continuous decrease in accidents and incidents within the Group (more than 90% reduction over the last 6 years).
A constant dialogue with unions’ representatives on health and safety aspects is also in place since several years through a dedicated European committee, where members from headquarter and plants of different countries, can meet and exchange about both the effectiveness of current actions and all the future plans.
In 2013 all Bridgestone Europe tyre plants, obtained the OHSAS 18001 safety certification from Bureau Veritas.
Additionally the Bridgestone Group defined at global level the company Safety Mission Statement in 2012, introducing group-wide guidelines for Safety, Health and Disaster Prevention activities, and establishing the “Bridgestone Safety Fundamental Activities”, as a further tool to pursue the above mentioned approach:
(1) 3S : Select and Remove, Sort, Keep Clean: in a clean and well sorted working place, there is by far less probability for injuries to occur. Such excellent working place shall be continuously maintained by simple and well defined practices.
(2) KY : Finding hazards beforehand: a unique and well structurers periodical training tool, stimulating each worker to “visualize” on its own and through guidance and confrontation with colleagues in a kind of safety-contest, about the potential risks associated to several different working situations which are exemplified by images.
(3) RA : Risk Assessment: the primary duty of the employer is to identify risks in the worksites and assess and eliminating or minimizing them. The efforts of the company are especially addressed towards the harmonization of the risk assessment across different factories, adding the benefit of better benchmarking.
(4) Safety Rules: the basic safety working rules that each and every employee must always know within Bridgestone. To this purpose such rules are continuously displayed and trainings are repeatedly performed.
Those activities are to be conducted by all employees in all work places in thousands of Bridgestone locations worldwide, and we have been challenging employees to understand objectives, expectations of these activities.
In order to standardize the content of the activities in all of our workplaces worldwide, the company issued clear global guidelines and assigned highly qualified instructors who are familiar with the Bridgestone Safety Fundamental Activities to each workplace to establish a structure facilitating the development and implementation of these standard activities.
The implementation and effectiveness of trainings, education drills is duly measured and constantly evaluated: this is an essential element, together with the analysis of injuries, near misses and abnormalities, for moving forward steadily with improvements, to further enhance our safety, hygiene, and disaster preparedness status.
2. Structures for Promoting Health and Safety
Bridgestone established a network comprising the Safety and Disaster Prevention Division and the SBUs in the Bridgestone Group for sharing accident information and prevention of similar accident recurrence, and for determining issue resolution and action policies. We also hold annual Group-wide conferences attended by the Safety and Disaster Prevention Division and representatives of each Bridgestone Group company or their Business Control Section for the sharing of policies and details of measures, as well as liaison meetings held by each Bridgestone Group company to encourage exchanges of opinion among business managers and the people responsible for safety at SBUs.
The Bridgestone Group Safety Committee, which reports to the Group CEO-chaired Integrated CSR Enhancement Committee, debates and deliberates substantive safety issues from a management perspective. The issues are also looked into within the Safety Awareness Subcommittee, Safety Engineering Subcommittee, and Safety System Subcommittee under the Group Safety Committee, confirming the development status of Bridgestone Safety Fundamental Activities.
At Bridgestone Headquarter in Japan, the Chief Safety and Disaster Prevention Officer, who is responsible for safety, health, and disaster prevention, drives companywide safety activities while maintaining contact with related units, such as the Human Resources and the Labor Relations Divisions.
3. Safety Consciousness
In the framework of the “Awareness” approach, Bridgestone has been conducting Safety Consciousness Surveys since 2009. These surveys identify safety issues at each workplace through a questionnaire that consists of about 85 questions related to the occurrence of accidents, and those results are used to make Group-wide improvements. In 2014, the survey was conducted at 127 Group company workplaces worldwide.
In addition, Bridgestone's management team visits worksites, to discuss the importance of prioritizing safety over all other considerations and “leading by example”.
4. Disaster-Prevention Management Activities
Bridgestone created a Disaster Prevention Global Guideline based on previous incidents with primary focus on Disaster Prevention preparedness exercises, including incipient fire-fighting drills, and preventative inspections, including electrical wiring. Additionally, we share information on fires that occur within the Group and the measures taken to prevent similar accidents.
We have designated “September 8” of every year, as the Bridgestone Group Disaster Prevention Day, and all of our workplaces now conduct disaster prevention drills every year on that day.