The Story of Sakichi Toyoda
Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Industries Corporation, possessed a strong ambition to contribute to society from his days as a youth. He had devoted his 63-year-long life to invention.
Our ultimate goal is to create safe and secure workplaces for everyone, where each and every associate can exercise their diverse potentials and play active roles.
In accordance with our fundamental policy of “fostering safe, healthy and pleasant workplaces,” Toyota Industries strives to prevent industrial accidents and occupational disorders as well as realize better work environments by making equipment more immune to accidents or disorders as early as in their design stage.
In fiscal 2020, we continued to promote primarily safety and health measures from human, object and administrative standpoints based on risk assessment.
The analysis results of past accidents and interviews with plant personnel revealed that many operators lacked sufficient awareness of hazard sources and conditions. As an effort to increase their individual consciousness for latent hazards in the workplace, we added hazard-related matters to which they should pay attention into their routinely used workplace reports of industrial accidents and potentially serious near-accidents as well as reports of risk prediction activities.
With the aim of identifying all risks associated with ancillary facilities and logistics during production preparations, we conducted interviews with each workplace to check issues they have encountered in conducting risk assessment. Based on the results, we created and distributed manuals and guidelines matched to actual operations to make sure that risks are identified and reduced.
In spite of all these efforts, an associate got caught in a machine in a fatal accident at the Higashichita Plant in Aichi Prefecture on December 6, 2019.
We recognized it was a grave situation that seriously threatens our corporate foundation. For never repeating such an accident in the future, we made efforts to identify deficiencies and took measures to prevent recurrence. Specifically, we conducted a full inspection of similar machines and operations at all our plants and affiliated companies around the world and added physical measures to the machines themselves to counter the identified deficiencies.
In order to establish a process to install equipment in a manner to ensure and maintain its safety, we formed the Study Group for Intrinsic Equipment Safety led by the production engineering departments to promote the introduction of machinery and equipment that are safe for operators to use. As a specific effort, we will design a circuit configuration that completely shuts down a machine by cutting off its power when an operator accesses the machine while disabling its safety device to extract a product in production processes. This circuit configuration will be incorporated in new equipment we will install in the future. We are also retrofitting a power shut-down feature to our existing equipment. Until we complete the modification, we will protect the safety of operators through periodic equipment checkups.
In the wake of the accident, we will instill the safety first approach firmly in all associates in seeking to establish a safety-oriented culture that aims for zero industrial accidents within the Toyota Industries Group.
We introduced heat risk assessment in fiscal 2018. Since then, we have been improving hot working environments for heat strokes according to the identified risks and adopting preventive measures. As we expect the trend of unusually hot summers such as the one in fiscal 2019 to continue in the future, we are stepping up our efforts to improve hot environments. We have conducted on-site surveys at workplaces where cases of heat strokes have occurred to quantitatively define sites requiring immediate action and have been implementing measures accordingly under a two-year plan. For workplaces whose operations preclude the adoption of usual measures, we have devised tailored means, optimized the layout of air conditioners and effectively reduced the associated risks. Through the implementation of additional preventive measures, such as providing education on heat stroke prevention and encouraging a practice by supervisors to directly hand out hydration drinks to operators, we successfully eliminated the number of heat stroke cases in fiscal 2020.
We will continue to raise individual awareness for the prevention of heat strokes and foster a workplace culture that quickly recognizes and responds to such disorders.
As a task for the medium term, we are promoting health improvement of associates, mainly focusing on prevention of lifestyle diseases and mental health support activities, to counter risks associated with aging and greater stress. In fiscal 2020, we examined and adopted measures to foster health promotion and maintenance activities by closely supporting associates.
For prevention of lifestyle diseases, we conduct periodic age-based health education for all associates. We also feed back to associates the results of an annual health checkup and measurements conducted on the same day, including physical fitness, body fat percentage and amount of fat around internal organs, along with advice to improve lifestyle habits. This health education is designed to provide motivation for better health by letting associates think about their health over the course of the one-day program. In fiscal 2020, we added nine items to the physical fitness measurement, which relate to flexibility, agility, bodily balance, muscle strength and endurance, to provide motivation for promoting physical fitness. Besides measurement results, we feed back physical fitness propensity scores and countermeasures, how physically fitted for work, assessment of physical fitness age and recommended exercises in order to raise relevant awareness among associates so that they can work and take active roles until an older age.
For preventing and ameliorating symptoms of metabolic syndrome, we provide health promotion guidance to associates with mild obesity or who are slightly overweight, in addition to specific health guidance required by the Japanese government. By doing so, we encourage associates to improve lifestyle habits early on. In fiscal 2020, as a measure to support associates’ self-help efforts for health promotion and maintenance, we expanded the scope of our financial aid system to include expenses for influenza vaccination, medical examinations for early detection of diseases, exercises and health promotion tools. In fiscal 2021, we will introduce a body composition analyzer*1 to measure amounts of fat, muscle, bone and water within the body as well as basal metabolic expenditure. Using these measurements along with the body mass index (BMI) based on height and weight, which had conventionally served as our only indicator, we plan to capture individual physical conditions in more detail and provide appropriate health guidance.
*1: A tool to measure body composition, including muscle, fat, bone and body water
|Stop smoking awareness events
|Participants of walking events (held jointly with health insurance association)||5,627 persons|
As part of mental health support activities, we have in place a system to offer early consultation through a healthrelated hotline. Other activities include upgrading our selfcare/line-care education to prevent new cases of mental health problems and operation of a return-to-work support program for persons on long-term leave for prevention of relapses. We have successfully achieved positive results through these activities.
Under the stress check system introduced in fiscal 2017, we again conducted a check on all associates in fiscal 2020. As in the previous fiscal year, we fed back the check results to all participants and workplaces with suggestions for improvement. We also set up an individual interview with a doctor for those wishing to do so and provided improvement support as necessary to individual workplaces. As a means to feed back the results to workplaces, we operate an IT-based workplace check results viewing system that allows the users to perform a precise search of results and tips for improvement. In fiscal 2020, we started providing the results of associate awareness surveys and related improvement examples on the same system, allowing individual workplaces to analyze their respective conditions from a multifaceted viewpoint and voluntarily engage in improvement activities.
For these efforts, Toyota Industries was again recognized in the large enterprise category of the 2020 Certified Health and Productivity Management Organization Recognition Program (White 500) jointly promoted by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Nippon Kenko Kaigi.
We will continue to undertake activities to promote both mental and physical health.
|Participants of age-based health education*2||2,422 persons||2,470 persons||2,357 persons|
|Rate of undergoing a stress check||97%||99%||99%|
*2: Temporarily suspended from March 2020 for prevention of COVID-19
Toyota Industries is promoting measures for prevention of COVID-19 by formulating a response manual based on the Japanese government’s and other related guidelines. We encourage all associates to take seven measures such as checking body temperature every morning, frequent hand washing and following proper cough etiquette. Each workplace is also striving to cut back person-to-person contact by promoting working from home and online meetings as well as eliminating non-urgent business trips. We have also established a system to prevent the spread of infection should an associate get infected or become suspected of infection. Outside Japan, we are undertaking business activities while thoroughly implementing infection prevention measures as per the instruction of the government of each country.
We will continue to take necessary preventive measures matching to the conditions of each company and strive to create workplaces where associates feel safe to work.
Toyota Industries believes that it is essential to enhance team strength so that each associate can work with vitality and the Company can achieve sustainable growth.
We believe that team strength is made up of “technical skills” that form the basis of manufacturing operations, “management skills” to make maximum use of technical skills and a “spirit of harmony” that supports both. While further enhancing our team strength, we are striving to extend and hand it down beyond all business domains, generations and geographic regions.
To develop skills to support manufacturing, the Technical Learning Center, one of our training functions, plays the central role in associate education, offering basic skills training at the Technical Training School and facilitating efforts to enhance the skills of young technical staff through in-house skills contests. We also work to cultivate highly skilled specialists through participation in the national and international skills competitions.
At the 57th National Skills Competition*3 held in 2019, in addition to receiving prizes in various other categories the Toyota Industries team won a gold medal in the “electrical welding” category, silver medals in the “structural ironsmith” and “mechatronics” categories and bronze medals in the “mechanical engineering design - CAD” and “structural ironsmith” categories, thereby attaining medals for the 19th consecutive competition.
*3: Skills competition for determining Japan’s top young engineers
Number of Medals Won at the National Skills Competition
We conduct TICO Business Practices (TIBP) training targeting managers and associates in office work and engineering fields, with the aim of mutually sharing the thinking and values that the Company gives importance to, as well as to enable our associates to solve problems effectively and efficiently. TIBP training programs are also provided at affiliated companies around the world in our efforts to raise the level of management skills throughout the Toyota Industries Group.
We are creating a bright, energetic and caring work environment that fosters a dynamic workforce and allows every member to demonstrate his or her capabilities both as an individual and as a team. We are proactively encouraging communication not only during work hours but also through social gatherings organized by each workplace, sports days and summer festivals held by respective business divisions, Group-wide Ekiden long-distance relay races and cheer squads for various sports events held jointly among Toyota Industries Group companies.
We are implementing a variety of measures to create a workplace environment that enables a diverse range of human resources to fully exercise their capabilities. These include helping associates maintain a work-life balance, promoting active roles of female associates, supporting the employment of persons with disabilities and creating an environment in which older associates can work more actively.
Since around 2002, we have been setting up various systems to help associates balance work and family. These include an on-site day care center; a return-to-work (“welcomeback”) system, which allows associates who have left work to care for children and family members or to accompany their spouse for a job transfer to get reinstated under certain preconditions; a shorter work-hour system for child care; and a leave system and loan system for fertility treatment. Through these systems, we provide an environment for associates to work at Toyota Industries for longer years with peace of mind.
As an effort to support associates to balance their work and nursing care, we distributed the Handbook for Balancing Work with Nursing Care to associates aged 40 and above to help them gain knowledge on nursing care and to create a workplace culture that allows associates to seek advice easily. We also regularly hold seminars on balancing work with nursing care for associates and their families and provide newsletters on nursing care to those who are interested.
As a result of these efforts, Toyota Industries received “Platinum Kurumin” certification from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in August 2019 in recognition of our excellent efforts concerning work-life balance as well as a “FamilyFriendly Company” award from the Aichi prefectural government in February 2020.
In addition to enhancing various systems to support worklife balance, we have proceeded with the creation of an environment that allows female associates to continue working, and in recent years, augmented our efforts to promote their even greater roles.
In 2015, we set up a project to promote more active roles for female associates in office work and engineering fields, comprising males and females from different departments.
This project was key for the identification of issues and formulation of policy proposals in promoting active roles of female associates, which formed the basis for the development of a Company-wide action plan in clarifying the initiatives for this project. In carrying out the action plan, we specifically focus on the initiatives to change the mindset among managers and across all associates, provide career support for female associates and promote flexible working practices.
Since fiscal 2017, we have held a seminar for a cumulative total of more than 1,300 managers who directly engage in the mentoring and development of associates. In fiscal 2020, we conducted enlightenment activities to foster an understanding of the environment in which associates, both male and female, having limited working hours due to nursing care or child care are working. We also worked to raise awareness of human resources development that takes into account their life events.
In order to create an environment to allow associates who are balancing work and child/nursing care to work with higher motivation and pursue career development, we have enhanced our programs to support the early return to work from a break in their career. Efforts include a full-day work-at-home system launched in October 2016; pre-maternity leave seminars started in December 2017 for associates and their spouses to think about a way of working after returning to work; and a financial aid system for day care costs adopted in April 2018 for associates working while taking care of infants younger than one year old.
As a result of these initiatives, the number of female associates holding the assistant manager or higher position has doubled from the initial level. In October 2016, we received “Eruboshi (“L Star”: L stands for Lady, Labour and Laudable)” certification, which is given to companies making excellent efforts in promoting female engagement in the workplace, from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. In November 2019, we also received an “Excellent Company” award from the Aichi prefectural government under its “Female-Friendly Company” certification program.
We have been making ongoing efforts to improve workplaces to offer females a wider range of jobs and higher quality of work, launching new initiatives to promote active roles of female associates in production operations and creating a better working environment to enable all associates working under time constraints to fulfill their individual potential.
We aspire that all associates engaging in production operations fully work and take active roles until an older age. In order for female associates to do so, we need to overcome issues of gender-related differences in physical strength and frame as well as the challenges of working during pregnancy, after giving birth and while raising children. As a means of doing so, we formed a Female Working Group and Job Level Working Group in fiscal 2020. These groups have been working to review current issues, identify countermeasures and formulate an action plan for the next and following fiscal years.
We respect the idea of people with and without disabilities working together and sharing life and work values. Under this basic policy, we continue to employ persons with disabilities every year. They are assigned to a variety of sections and work with other members to perform their designated tasks. In fiscal 2020, the ratio of associates with disabilities on a non-consolidated basis was 2.41%.
In order to enable older associates to work and take active roles in production operations, we have been focusing on creating a better, less physically stressful work environment for them by formulating rules common to all workplaces on the handling of heavy objects, working posture and other practices, as well as by improving processes in production lines.
In addition, we hold “Seminars for an Active Life” for associates reaching the age of 50 and 55 to give them an opportunity to envision life and work for the next 10 years.