The Asahi Kasei Group implements various activities to help employees maintain and advance their mental and physical well-being in accordance with its health management guidelines, including screening for lifestyle-related diseases and mental health checkups.
Enhanced health management framework
During fiscal 2016, interviews to monitor the effectiveness of the health management center were performed at 7 sites. The series of interviews launched in fiscal 2014 confirm whether the activities at each site, including the duties of our industrial physicians and health nurses, are being performed in accordance with the Industrial Safety and Health Law and our health management guidelines. Further guidance and support is being provided as necessary.
Health maintenance and promotion for employees
The Asahi Kasei Group has provided employees with health guidance and exercise guidance by outside experts and health maintenance staff in each site.
In fiscal 2016, the results of annual checkups indicated that the proportion of employees with health warning signs and the ratio of employees with obesity slightly increased, while proportion of employees who smoke decreased
Since fiscal 2013, we have promoted the use of our health improvement program, a tool for health management that was revised to enable more easy use of specified health guidance. This program is especially useful for the maintenance and improvement of employees' health at independent plants where on-site health care staff is limited, and also as an outside resource for affiliated companies.
Measures to prevent falling
Based on the falling risk assessment manual issued by the Japan Industrial Safety & Health Association, in fiscal 2013 we prepared a manual for physical fitness tests to prevent falling. In fiscal 2014 we began using this manual to assess falling risks of our employees, followed-up with guidance by industrial physicians. This was continued in fiscal 2016, and extended to other sites where the system is in place.
Mental health and care
The Asahi Kasei Group is working to improve the workplace environment by enhancing its four complimentary approaches to care in accordance with its mental health care guidelines.
For self-care by individual employees and care by industrial medical staff, in fiscal 2013 we began full implementation of an intranet-based electronic diagnosis system developed by Fujitsu Software Technologies Ltd. Ongoing stress surveys will be performed annually at each location. In addition to surveying the stress level of individual employees, this system analyzes workplace stress to help improve the workplace environment as part of our effort for care by line of authority. The system has been used to survey stress at 31 sites, with appropriate follow-up implemented. Ongoing stress surveys are performed annually at each of our sites to comply with regulations which require their implementation.
A provision for shortened working days is available for personnel returning from leave of absence for psychiatric convalescence as well as for any other injury or illness, enabling a gradual recovery of a full work load. At each plant site and office location, we provide care by specialists, including training sessions by external lecturers and referral of counseling services.
Case of workplace revitalization
The Hozumi Plant of Asahi Kasei Construction Materials Corp. manufactures autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) panels, with the number of employees peaking at around 350 in the 1990s. With declining demand for the product, operations were streamlined and the number of employees reduced to around 130. As few new employees were hired during this period of contraction, the proportion of workers aged 45 or older has risen to some 80%.
The stress survey in fiscal 2013 indicated that the rate of employees at risk was 10% higher than the national average. Since the workload is not heavy, we assume that the cause is lack of communication within the workplace where older workers may feel that it is no use talking about their problems, leading to a situation where little support is gained from supervisors or colleagues.
To address this issue, in fiscal 2014 we launched a program called “Lively and Active Hozumi Plant” and implemented action plans including one-on-one interviews with a counselor, improving the working environment for each process, raising employee skills, and shareing information. Additionally, managers regularly confirm the progress of the plan by monitoring improvements to the workplace environment. Thanks to such efforts, survey results in fiscal 2015 improved, with the rate at risk decreasing to below the national average. In fiscal 2016 the rate was reduced further. The company will continue to utilize the intranet-based electronic diagnosis system to support its ongoing effort to further advance the “Lively and Active Hozumi Plant” program.