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With Local CommunitiesSafety and Disaster Preparedness

Our plants operate in a close relationship with local communities.
Kaneka Group works to ensure that its plants earn the confidence of local communities through a variety of safety-related initiatives aimed at maximizing safety and security.

K KANEKA
J JAPAN
W WORLDWIDE

Targeting Zero Process Accidents

K J 

Safety is a top management priority for the Kaneka Group and we have various initiatives aimed at completely eliminating process accidents. Despite our efforts, 14 process accidents occurred in fiscal 2015. We are striving to prevent accidents by enhancing safety techniques, including identifying risks and developing preventive actions, through safety inspections (of static electricity and heat build-up risk) at all group companies. We will continue these activities to promote safe and secure business operations.

■Basic Safety Policies

  • ◇ Safety forms our management foundation, and is the basis of all corporate activities.
  • ◇ Safety is the foundation of local and worldwide communities’ confidence in Kaneka.
  • ◇ Safety is based on our belief that “All accidents can be prevented.”
  • ◇ Safety is the responsibility of every employee in accordance with his/her duties.
  • ◇ Safety must be maintained continuously.

Emergency Drills

K J 

In fiscal 2015, as in previous years, we held comprehensive disaster drills at all parent plants, as shown in the table below. The drills are conducted to boost our capacity to respond to emergencies through various approaches, for example, checking whether personnel at the local headquarters are able to execute decisions and instructions appropriately without knowing the scenario in advance, and whether they can communicate and share information smoothly.

■Comprehensive Disaster Drills

PlantDateParticipantsDetails
Takasago PlantDecember 11, 20151,976The plant held a joint firefighting drill with the Takasago City Fire Department based on the scenario of an earthquake resulting in a chemical leak from a high-pressure gas storage tank, and fire outbreak due to aftershocks.
Osaka PlantJuly 14, 2015964The plant held a joint firefighting drill with the Settsu City Fire Department based on the scenario of an earthquake resulting in a leak from municipal gas supply pipe and a fire in a warehouse.
March 29, 2016986The plant held a joint firefighting drill with the Settsu City Fire Department based on the scenario of an earthquake resulting in a hazardous substance leak and a fire on the roof of a research center.
Shiga PlantNovember 19, 2015395The plant held a firefighting and rescue drill based on the scenario of an earthquake resulting in chiller equipment catching on fire and workers falling and getting injured.
Kashima PlantMay 16, 2016297The plant held a firefighting drill based on the scenario of an earthquake resulting in the leak of a hazardous substance from a delivery pipe flange of a storage tank, thereby causing a fire.

Firefighting drill, part of routine safety activities (Takasago Plant)
Firefighting drill, part of routine safety activities (Takasago Plant)

Plant Safety Initiatives

K J 

To prevent explosions and fire accidents, we continue to implement efforts to reduce the accident risk, by conducting site inspections paying special attention to potential ignition from static electricity, and by quantitative assessments of the risk of chemicals coming into contact with each other, to identify any risk of unintended chemical reactions. We will continue to improve these safety techniques to ensure the safety of our plants.

Check & Act

Fourteen process accidents occurred in fiscal 2015, showing no significant change from the 16 in fiscal 2014. In many cases, the cause of the accident was equipment-related (aging equipment, inadequate maintenance, etc.), so we will make a greater effort in the future to implement plan-based maintenance and to conduct predictive maintenance.

Fire at Incineration Facility at Takasago Plant

Incident Outline

At about 12:50 on October 26, 2015, an accident occurred when fire broke out in the sludge storage area of an incinerator at the Takasago Plant (Takasago City, Hyogo Prefecture). Company employees discovered the fire and notified the public fire department, and the fire was put out with water. The fire caused damage to a portion of the sludge storage building, but no one was injured. We apologize to the local residents and anyone affected by the disturbance.

Cause of Accident

The fire is believed to have occurred when rubber coagulum in sludge was exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time, and eventually ignited due to chemical decomposition and the build-up of heat.

Safety Measures to Prevent a Recurrence

Heat analysis and other tests helped to clarify the materials and mechanisms that resulted in ignition. In an effort to prevent recurrence, information will be circulated within the Kaneka Group regarding the risk and proper handling of waste materials.

Fire at Foam Extrusion Equipment at Kashima Plant

Incident Outline

At about 19:20 on November 9, 2015, an accident occurred when foam became ignited during the cutting process for extruded polystyrene foam board at the Kashima Plant (Kamisu City, Ibaraki Prefecture). The public fire department was notified and employees immediately suppressed the fire using fire extinguishers. No one was injured and there was no physical damage. We apologize to the local residents and anyone affected by the disturbance.

Cause of Accident

When a nichrome wire was lowered, it made contact with the metal part of the ground wire clip that was temporarily attached to the side of the cradle apparatus, resulting in a spark. It is believed that this ignited the combustible gas that was being used to expand the polystyrene foam board.

Safety Measures to Prevent a Recurrence

The mechanisms that resulted in ignition were clarified in the laboratory. Measures to prevent recurrence will be adopted at plants that utilize cutting equipment with nichrome wires.

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