Health and Safety

Basic Policies and Philosophy

The KOBELCO Group operates under the basic philosophy that safety and health are fundamental to business operations and take priority over all business activities. Under this principle, we naturally comply with relevant laws and regulations and carry out various safety and health activities to create a vibrant workplace where employees can work in a safe and secure environment.

Based on our Companywide Safety and Health Management Policy, each business site formulates its own safety and health management policy, safety and health targets, and safety and health action plans, and promotes improvements through the PDCA cycle. In addition, we work together with contractors and other important external stakeholders involved in the Group’s business to ensure the implementation of thorough safety and health management.

As a result of our efforts, occupational accidents have decreased, and the lost time injury frequency rate has been low. We will continue these activities based on our recognition that protecting the lives and health of employees is the utmost priority in terms of fulfilling corporate social responsibilities. At this point in time, the Company has not obtained external certification such as ISO 45001. However, the Environment and Safety Department plays a central role in on-site inspections and audits based on Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems (OSHMS) for all business sites, Group companies, and relevant contractors. The department identifies weaknesses and provides cross-sectional support from the perspectives of personnel, facilities, and management, in an effort to improve the level of safety and health.

Fiscal 2022 Safety and Health Policy (Priority items)



The KOBELCO Group holds Companywide Safety and Health Meetings (Group Safety and Health Meetings) attended by the executive officer who is responsible for safety and health at Kobe Steel and the safety and heath officer at each Group company, to decide on policies, targets, issues, and initiatives for improvements related to safety and health activities. In terms of business site management, the Company's safety and health division plays a central role in safety and health activities implemented in cooperation with manufacturing divisions and business partners, while the Head Office’s Environment and Safety Department is primarily responsible for internal audits (safety and health diagnoses) involving checking and following up on activities and their management status.

At the same time, when an occupational accident occurs, we strive to prevent similar accidents from occurring by rapidly clarifying the cause and taking improvement measures, as well as holding Operating Division Liaison Meetings in cases where horizontal deployment is required.

Safety and Health Management Structure

Safety and Health Management Structure

Targets for Accident Reduction (Fiscal 2022)

  • Accidents leading to death or serious injury (involving three or more people at the same time): Zero
  • Lost time injury frequency rate: 0.10 or less

Targets of the Group Medium-Term Management Plan
(Fiscal 2021–2023)

Fatal accident 0 cases
Lost time injury frequency rate 0.10

Targets for Fiscal 2022
(April 1, 2022–March 31, 2023)

Fatal accident 0 cases
Lost time injury frequency rate 0.10

Achievements against Targets

Our safety and health targets are zero fatal accidents and lost time injury frequency rate of 0.10 or less.

Results: Number of Lost Time Injuries and Lost Time Injury Frequency Rates (with/without No-Lost Time Injuries*) over the Past Five Years (Numbers in parentheses represent fatal accidents.)

Fiscal Year Kobe Steel Employees1 Employees of Contractors2 Overall
Number of lost time
Injury frequency rate
Lost time / No-Lost Time combined
Number of lost time
Injury frequency rate
Lost time / No-lost time combined
Lost time injury
frequency rate
2021 7 cases (1 cases) 0.29/0.33 5 cases (0 cases) 0.16/0.19 0.22
2020 8 cases(0 cases) 0.33/0.46 8 cases (0 cases) 0.24/0.33 0.28
2019 7 cases (0 cases) 0.29/0.37 3 cases (0 cases) 0.09/0.17 0.17
2018 5 cases (0 cases) 0.21/0.25 14 cases (0 cases) 0.39/0.39 0.32
2017 9 cases (1 cases) 0.38/0.38 8 cases (1 cases) 0.22/0.25 0.29

Issues include partial weakness in basic management and activities (variations between workplaces), such as policy management (insufficient sharing of activity targets and of plans and activities for the improvement of issues), skills management (insufficient clarification and documentation of work procedures and variations caused by dependence on individual employees), and risk management (ensuring completeness and appropriateness of risk assessments and risk reduction).

In fiscal 2022, based on the steady implementation of the priority items set out in the Medium-Term Management Plan, we will promote the creation of a PDCA framework to link various activities by implementing the following items: (1) Checking and following up the implementation of all-hands activities for raising safety awareness and watching out for each other, (2) Continued implementation of safety and health diagnoses and support activities, (3) Promoting further safety by establishing Companywide standards for machine safety, and (4) Reestablishing a reliable system to implement Group standards at overseas Group companies and taking steps to improve safety at business sites that have experienced accidents.

Initiatives of the KOBELCO Group

Response to Fatal and Injury Accidents (Initiatives to prevent similar accidents)

We investigate the causes of injuries and fatal accidents and take corrective measures for such accidents that have occurred in the KOBELCO Group and relevant contractors, and deliver reports to and have discussions with related departments and labor unions at Safety and Health Committee and other meetings.

Specifically, we clarify the causes and identify issues in accidents that have occurred by focusing on the four categories of factors: human factors, mechanical factors, environmental factors, and management factors, and work to prevent recurrences by considering and taking preventive measures from three different perspectives (management, technical, and educational).

We put together the causes and preventive measures into an Accident Investigation Report, which is reflected in the Groupwide safety rules, and deploy it to other business sites and Group companies to prevent similar accidents. In the event of an occupational accident, we promptly disclose information to the public in accordance with the Accident Reporting Guidelines of the Japan Iron and Steel Federation.

Thorough Measures against Accident Risks

In order to address potential risks of accidents in work and facilities, we regularly conduct risk assessments of new business planning projects as well as existing projects, and work to reduce those risks and enhance the inherent safety of machinery and facilities.

Supervision by the Board of Directors and the Executive Council

Our Company’s Board of Directors and Executive Council oversees and deliberates risk management in safety and health, the progress of disaster preparations and accident prevention, implementation status of horizontal deployment, and the progress of various activities set out in the safety and health management policies, under the initiative of the director who oversees Companywide safety and health.

Central Safety and Health Committee

The Central Safety and Health Committee, chaired by the executive officer responsible for Companywide safety and health, is a forum where we have discussions with labor union representatives concerning risk management in safety and health, the progress of disaster preparations and accident prevention, implementation status of horizontal deployment, and the progress of various activities set out in the safety and health management policies.

The safety and health management policies, which are deliberated and formulated by the Central Safety and Health Committee, have been implemented at all our business sites. At each business site, the Safety and Health Committee, which is attended by the management, the labor union (full-time personnel) and representatives of the labor union at each workplace (non-full-time personnel), discusses the details of the policies and the progress of various activities and strives to ensure a safer and healthier workplace environment through dialogue between labor and management.

Training on Safety and Health

At the Head Office and other business sites, we provide safety and health training, led by the Head Office, for new employees (in their first to fifth years), newly appointed supervisors (chief operators, general foremen, and assistant managers), and line managers. In fiscal 2021, all 778 eligible employees received such training. A breakdown of the number of trainees in each course is shown in the table to the right.

Number of Trainees in Fiscal 2021

Target Number of trainees
Fiscal 2020 Fiscal 2021
New employees (Years 1–5) 629 223
Supervisors 65 539
Line managers * 16

Initiatives to Address Global Health Issues

Currently, there are many countries around the world where local residents are experiencing serious situations due to lifethreatening health problems such as HIV (AIDS), tuberculosis, and malaria. The KOBELCO Group is committed to actively addressing such global health issues.

For our employees transferred overseas, we provide healthcare services and support tailored to respective regions, including health checkups (before departure, during overseas assignment, and after returning to Japan) and immunizations based on local conditions. We regularly exchange information with local contact staff and send industrial physicians to visit our overseas business sites to provide medical visit services. In this way, we strive to manage the health of employees posted overseas by providing medical support and information on the local medical environment.

As we expand our business in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, and other countries around the world, we are working to appropriately address global health issues such as HIV (AIDS), tuberculosis, and malaria by distributing overseas health management handbooks containing information on immunizations and overseas life (understanding of diseases, precautions on daily life, etc.) to employees and their families who are newly posted overseas.

Safety and Health Management for Employees Transferred Overseas and Those on Business Trips

For employees working overseas, we have a system in place to determine whether they can be transferred or not through a health checkup performed before the transfer takes place. Employees are also obligated to undergo regular health checkups even after they are transferred, and we follow up appropriately, as required.

In addition, through a partnership with International SOS, which provides support services for safety and health around the world, we have put in place a system for gathering the latest information on local safety, and for receiving appropriate guidance and assistance in the event of trouble overseas.

Response to COVID-19

Kobe Steel established a Companywide COVID-19 response headquarters. In accordance with the requests from the government and the status of infections, we put in place specific measures and rules, issue notices, and ensure the information sharing and thorough implementation of Action Guidelines to Prevent Infection.

We will continue to carefully assess the situation and respond from the perspectives of both continuing business operations and implementing infection control.

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