Health and Safety
At Sojitz, we consider our employees to be our greatest asset. We believe it is our responsibility to create a safe, flexible, and rewarding work environment that promotes the mental and physical well-being of our staff and their families. Sojitz has established an emergency system for ensuring the safety of employees both in Japan and overseas in the event of an accident or natural disaster, as part of Sojitz’s efforts to create a healthy and safe environment in which each and every employee is able to exercise their full potential.
Health Management: Sojitz Healthy Value Charter
We believe that when highly motivated employees exercise their full potential, Sojitz can expand its capabilities as an organization and fulfill its commitment to creating “value and prosperity.” In March 2018, we established the Sojitz Healthy Value charter to protect and improve employee health. Various plans under this initiative are currently underway, and Sojitz will continue its efforts to strengthen health management activities at the company.
Our Commitment to “Sojitz Healthy Value”
- ✓We believe that the physical and mental health of employees and a sound working environment are the keys to creating “value and prosperity” as set forth in our corporate statement.
- ✓Sojitz Group supports the individual efforts employees and their families make towards maintaining and improving their health, striving for a work environment in which each and every employee is able to fully exercise their abilities.
Regulations for Health and Safety Management
In accordance with the aims of the Industrial Safety and Health Law, Sojitz established its Health and Safety Policy to prevent work-related accidents and employee illness, promote health, and encourage the development of workplace infrastructure. The policy includes provisions on the Sojitz’s health management structure, the Safety & Sanitation Committee, and annual health checks and stress assessments.
Safety Policies & Crisis Management: Sojitz Group Basic Crisis Management Policy
In order to ensure the safety of employees and their families working in Japan and abroad, Sojitz has established the Sojitz Group Basic Crisis Management Policy. Sojitz has set in place a crisis management system for responding to natural disasters, including earthquakes and typhoons, and other unforeseen incidents in Japan and abroad such as terrorist attacks, war, crime, riots, infectious diseases, and cyber-attacks.
The basic tenets of the Sojitz Group Basic Crisis Management Policy are as follows:
- Ensure the safety of employees and others
- Ensure the safety of company assets and restart operations as soon as possible
- Support stakeholders and the local community
- Strengthen crisis response and raise crisis management awareness
- ・Sojitz maintains its record of having 100% of employees participate in the annual health check. Moving forward, Sojitz aims to achieve 70% attendance at any recommended follow-up health check appointments by FY2023.
- ・Sojitz aims to reduce the percentage of employees who smoke from 22% (FY2019) to 12% by the end of FY2023.
- ・Sojitz aims to reduce the percentage of employees (aged 35 or older) with a BMI of 30 or greater to less than 1%.
- ・Sojitz aims to reduce the percentage of employees taking temporary leave due to mental illness by half (from the FY2019 total) by FY2023.
Sojitz has established a system for promoting and protecting the health of its employees. The president and CEO, acting as the head of occupational health and safety for the company, discusses and collaborates with the HR Dept.’s Health Support Office, the Sojitz Health Insurance Union, and the Sojitz Labor Union. The structure of Sojitz’s health management system is detailed below:
- In accordance with the aims of the Industrial Safety and Health Law, which includes approaches to mental health and the prevention and reduction of stress, Sojitz has established safety and sanitation management regulations to prevent work-related accidents and employee illness, promote health, and encourage the development of workplace infrastructure. Sojitz manages employee health through the Health Care Room and the Health Support Office, which are staffed by occupational physicians and nurses.
- As part of our initiatives based on these regulations, Sojitz’s Safety & Sanitation Committee convenes every month to monitor health and safety activities (through reports on safety and sanitation activities, discussion of improvement plans, etc.). The results of these meetings are then posted internally for all employees to view.
The Safety & Sanitation Committee is comprised of members from the Human Resources Dept., occupational physicians, and members of the Sojitz Labor Union. There are 9 members at Sojitz’s Tokyo headquarters (5 from Sojitz Corporation and 4 from the Sojitz Labor Union) and 6 members at Sojitz’s Kansai Office (3 from Sojitz Corporation and 3 from the Sojitz Labor Union).
Health Support Office and Health Care Room
Sojitz has established the Health Support Office to conduct health management activities, such as monitoring employee health through medical checkups. Both Tokyo HQ and the Kansai Office are equipped with Health Care Rooms that employ specialists in a variety of fields. Tokyo HQ has an occupational physician, internists (cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology), specialist psychiatrist, one occupational nurse, and four nurses on site at all times. The Kansai Office also has an occupational physician, internist, psychosomatic medicine specialist, and one nurse on staff. These medical professionals are on site to discuss daily health-related concerns and provide medical treatments.
Safety Policies & Crisis Management
Sojitz’s safety framework establishes the president and CEO as bearing the highest responsibility for managing crises and provides a structure for Sojitz Group to manage crises both within and outside of Japan. Sojitz’s policies also call for the establishment of a Disaster Task Force, headed by the president and CEO, as an organization to specifically handle crisis response.
When sending employees on overseas assignment, we conduct pre-training on safety measures. In addition, we have partnerships with emergency medical service companies, with a system in place to manage emergency situations faced by employees on overseas assignment and their families, including accidents, injury, and illness.
In Japan, we periodically conduct emergency drills and tests of our safety confirmation system in preparation for major disasters. These drills serve to protect employees and make it possible to continue operations in times of emergency.
We educate managers on workplace health and safety measures at manager training sessions. In FY2017, this training was held for all managers (147 employees). At the training, in accordance with Sojitz’s work style reforms, we explained our company-wide efforts to reduce overtime (prohibiting overtime in excess of 80 hours per month for all employees, including managers), goal setting for employees’ use of paid leave (set at 17 or more days annually), and other health management-related initiatives. In this way, we take every precaution to ensure that these policies are understood throughout the company and work to link them to increased productivity. In addition, we have included important targets such as reducing overtime work and increasing use of paid leave in our organizational performance evaluation.
In recent years, Sojitz has seen a rise in employees with lifestyle diseases, as well as an increase in employees receiving ongoing treatment for cancer or other illnesses. We are strengthening our Health Support Office’s capabilities for not only preventing illnesses and promoting health, but also enabling employees to continue working during their treatment through implementation of the following policies.
Increasing the percent of employees attending annual health checks
All employees are given the opportunity to receive an annual health check and a gynecological check. We take steps to individually encourage employees who have not yet attended their health check to schedule appointments, and are striving to increase the total percentage of employees undergoing health checks. Sojitz has achieved its goal of 100% employee attendance at health checks in every fiscal year since FY2018. Moving forward, we will continue to encourage employees to attend any recommended follow-up appointments as we strive to prevent illness though early detection and treatment.
Sojitz partners with the Cancer Institute Hospital to not only offer the usual cancer-related screenings included in the health check, but also conduct examinations such as endoscopies, colonoscopies, chest CTs, and tumor marker tests. These additional screenings are held once every three years, targeting employees aged 40 years or older. In this way, we strive to detect cancer at an early stage and ensure employees are provided with the appropriate treatment. Alongside these cancer tests, we hold a cancer seminar to inform employees about basic cancer information and provide them with an explanation of the exams. Sojitz provides compensation for advanced cancer treatment (treatment recognized as advance treatment by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare) to its employees and their families to ensure that health treatments can be prioritized.
Implementation of Sojitz’s health management system
Sojitz’s Health Support Office focuses on both the physical and mental health of employees. In June 2019, the Health Support Office introduced a health management system to better monitor changes in employee health. Regular medical checkups (annual health checks, health exams for lifestyle-related diseases, cancer screenings, etc.) and stress assessments are carried out routinely for all employees. If changes are observed in an employee’s health, the Health Support Office now has a system in place to reach out to these individual employees and provide support services that include a place to discuss work-related stress.
Measures for reducing second-hand smoke
In an effort to reduce second-hand smoke, only heat-not-burn tobacco is permitted in the smoking booths at both Tokyo HQ and the Kansai Office. In FY2020, Sojitz introduced a program for assisting employees in the process of quitting smoking and set a target of reducing the number of employees who smoke from 22% (FY2019) to 12% by the end of FY2023.
Support for healthy lifestyles
We are aiming to reduce the percentage of employees aged 35 or older with a BMI of 30 or higher to less than 1% by the end of the FY2023. In order to achieve this target, we have not only set up a health counseling service as part of the Health Support Office, but also placed a national registered dietitian on site, who provides nutritional advice to help prevent adult-onset diseases. We are also working to curtail the trend of lifestyle illnesses by providing employees with low-carb boxed lunches with high nutritional value. In addition, we have held seminars on the theme of supporting women’s health and other health issues.
Mental health measures
Sojitz has employed an industrial psychiatrist since FY2020 and conducts various mental health programs to support prevention, early detection, early treatment, and relapse prevention. Sojitz conducts annual stress assessments in accordance with the Industrial Safety & Health Act and utilizes assessment results as a tool for improving the working environment, including by providing employees experiencing high levels of stress with counseling from an industrial psychologist and conducting group analyses of each organization within the company. Sojitz employs a clinical psychologist and has established a system that allows employees to receive counseling services at any time. Sojitz strives to raise awareness among employees of the importance of mental health management, including by holding seminars on mental health issues for management-level staff. Through these programs, Sojitz aims to reduce the percentage of employees taking temporary leave due to mental illness by half (from the FY2019 total) by the end of FY2023.
Healthcare and vaccinations
At both Tokyo HQ and the Kansai Office, Sojitz has a Health Care Room where employees can receive massages to help them recover from work-related fatigue and stress. In order to promote the health of employees and proper work-life management, Sojitz offers a service that allows employees to use fitness clubs at a discount. As part of measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, Sojitz offers flu vaccinations for its employees at its Tokyo headquarters and Kansai Office. Sojitz also takes various measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Sojitz’s Safety & Sanitation Committee cooperates with the industrial physicians at Tokyo HQ and the Kansai Office to share the latest updates and information relating to COVID-19. Other prevention measures include placing hand sanitizer on every floor, monitoring the status of all individuals reporting a fever (including employees at Sojitz Group affiliate companies), and distributing masks. Sojitz encourages employees to wash their hands, wear masks, and keep outings to a minimum.
Support for employees and family members undergoing treatments
Sojitz has measures in place which aim to help employees gradually acclimate to work following extended absences, such as for long-term medical treatment, by limiting working hours as necessary. We also enable employees to balance medical treatment and work by encouraging them to utilize the telework system and the super flextime system, Sojitz’s work time system adopted in place of the core time system.
A Safe and Healthy Office Environment
Sojitz utilizes office furnishings and lighting to create a safe and healthy office environment.
Employee use of the Health Support Office and Health Care Room
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Average overtime hours
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Data on Work-Related Accidents
Sojitz monitors occurrences of work-related accidents in order to ensure a safe working environment for company employees. Once the causes of an accident are understood, and if deemed necessary, we establish measures to prevent accidents from reoccurring.