Employee Health and Safety

The Santen Group places the highest priority on human life, ensures the safety of employees, and creates and maintains a healthy, safe and comfortable work environment.

Information on occupational accidents is disclosed in Employment and Human Resources Data.

Health and Safety Management Systems

To further improve the health and safety of our employees, the Santen Group has introduced and begun to operate health and safety management systems according to the characteristics and scales of each of our operational sites: Japan, China (Suzhou Plant), and Finland (Tampere Plant). When an occupational accident occurs, we take measures such as identifying its causes, checking similar points at our operational sites, and enhancing safety education, to prevent the recurrence of similar accidents.

In FY2017, no Santen operational sites had work-related fatalities, including temporary or part-time employees, caused by occupational accidents.

Occupational accidents

  FY2015 FY2016 FY2017
All domestic operational sites
(Japan)
Number of lost-worktime accidents (Note 1) 3 2 3
Frequency rate of occupational accidents (Note 2) 0.80 0.48 0.76
Severity rate of occupational accidents (Note 3) 0.036 0.002 0.002
Suzhou Plant
(China)
Number of lost-worktime accidents 0 0 0
Frequency rate of occupational accidents 0.00 0.00 0.00
Severity rate of occupational accidents 0.000 0.000 0.000
Tampere Plant
(Finland)
Number of lost-worktime accidents 2 6 3
Frequency rate of occupational accidents 4.04 12.30 6.44
Severity rate of occupational accidents 0.032 0.164 0.159
Note 1
Number of lost-worktime accidents: For Japan and China, the number of accidents associated with lost worktime. For Finland, the number of accidents associated with lost worktime of more than three days.
Note 2
Frequency rate of occupational accidents: Number of deaths and injuries resulting from occupational accidents for every one million actual hours worked, an indicator of accident frequency.
Note 3
Severity rate of occupational accidents: Number of lost workdays for every 1,000 hours actually worked, an indicator of accident severity.

Measures Taken by the Health and Safety Committee

At each Santen operational site in Japan, the Health and Safety Committee, comprising both the company representatives and employee union members, meets every month. The Committee checks whether or not there are long-hour workers, and the working environment, including the temperature, humidity, air quality, luminous intensity, and noise level of each workplace; patrols the workplaces to check whether or not there are actually dangerous spots; and takes measures to assure greater workplace safety and prevent occupational accidents. The Committee also offers health and safety lectures to employees, to maintain safe and healthy working environments and further improve them.

Safety Management of Chemicals

Research and Development Center and Plants of the Santen Group are making efforts to avoid chemical-related troubles, in the manner whereby, before handling newly introduced chemicals, a specialist committee assesses the safety of the chemicals beforehand, and provides the employees who handle them with information on the results of the assessment. Since the revised Industrial Safety and Health Act, which came into force in June 2016 in Japan, obligates the relevant employers to investigate the toxicity and danger of chemicals, Santen is taking necessary measures concerning the chemicals we use, through stocktaking. Additionally, Santen continuously conducts work environment examinations to promote safety management.

Ensuring the Health and Safety of Employees on Overseas Business Trips

As Santen has expanded its business to global markets, it has sent more and more employees on overseas business trips from Japan. To ensure the safety of employees on overseas business trips, and to prepare to immediately confirm their safety in the event of a terrorist attack or natural disaster, we have adopted a computer system to obtain real-time information about their destinations and hotels, and confirm their safety by email.

Additionally, we have enabled employees on overseas business trips to receive various services, including information sharing in Japanese about local hospitals, medical translation by phone, and 24-hour overseas emergency medical support services, by contracting with an overseas medical assistance service provider. We thus help employees appointed to overseas Santen operational sites and employees on overseas business trips to maintain their health.

Efforts in Fire and Disaster Risk Management

Santen in Japan tackles disaster risk management, including not only fire prevention management provided for in the Fire Service Act but also preparedness for disasters such as large earthquakes. We continuously conduct drills in confirming the safety of each employee as an important initial action in the case of a disaster, checking emergency contact networks, and making the movement useful for ensuring physical safety and reporting the safety of employees based on the Disaster Risk Management Card, for example. We have made up deficiencies detected during the drills.

In Japan Materials and equipment for fire and disaster prevention are installed in our major operational sites, while emergency supplies are stored at all operational sites and offices. Emergency kits have been distributed to all workers related to Santen, including temporary employees and workers at contractors, and are checked every year.

Efforts toward Employees' Traffic Safety

Traffic accidents account for about 40% of occupational accidents at Santen. Therefore, placing importance on traffic safety measures, Santen has made efforts to eradicate traffic accidents and traffic offenses. In particular, we provide new employees engaging in sales activities with traffic safety education and driving skills training, and allow only those who have passed the safe driving skills test after training to drive. In FY2017, Santen incurred nine occupational accidents due to traffic accidents in Japan.

Employees' Mental and Physical Health

In Japan, Santen established health support rooms in each workplace, staffed by occupational health professional including industrial physicians and nurses, in order to maintain the health of our employees as well as to ensure primary prevention, i.e., preventing the occurrence of disease, and secondary prevention, i.e., detecting poor health in individuals at an early stage. Furthermore, we have established a care system for supporting employees on temporary retirement to return to work as well as to prevent the recurrence of disease, thereby contributing to maintenance and promotion of mental and physical health in collaboration with each employee and workplace.

Maintenance and promotion of mental health

To maintain employees' mental health, Santen conducts self-check-based health tests (stress checks) so that they can appropriately and easily become aware of their own stress-related symptoms or disorders in Japan. We take appropriate measures for employees in need of specialist care, for example, providing them with the opportunities to mainly consult medical specialists among the industrial health staff individually and have themselves introduced to external specialized institutions as needed. We also give all managerial staff members training about mental health and distribute Line Care Handbooks to them, in order to promote "line care," that is, employees' health care supported by their superiors. To facilitate the smooth return to work of employees on long-term leave due to health problems, Santen has created a favorable working environment where employees can work without worry, by introducing a "trial attendance system" to relieve their concerns about work before their real return to work and check whether they can adjust to their workplace, and "in-house mentors," who, as experienced employees, serve as mental health specialists to help employees on leave return to work.

Conducting medical examinations

In Japan all Santen employees can have medical examinations. In particular, we allow employees aged 35 or older to receive a medical examination focusing on lifestyle-related diseases, rather than following the examination's legally mandatory scope of people age 40 or older, and to have cancer checkups, gastric X-ray examinations, etc. as needed. We also provide statutory special medical examinations for employees engaged in operations for handling specific chemical substances or radiation. Based on the results of these health examinations, we recommend to some employees that they consult an expert to improve their lifestyle, or receive a reexamination or thorough examination. In FY2015, appropriately as a specialized ophthalmic pharmaceutical company, we started conducting ophthalmologic examinations of employees to help maintain their eye health.

External Assessment

February 2018 Santen was selected as one of the organizations (White 500) recognized jointly by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Nippon Kenko Kaigi under the 2018 Certified Health and Productivity Management Organization Recognition Program consecutively from 2017.