Occupational Health and Safety
The purpose of the Panasonic Group's occupational health and safety management is to promote a comfortable, safe workplace through efforts based on the most advanced best practices, which will contribute to the welfare of the group's employees and the development of its business. In addition, the group has established in its regulations that it will give careful consideration regarding the health and safety of subcontractors' employees who work full-time on Panasonic premises.
To maintain our efforts regarding occupational health and safety—and to improve on them continuously—Panasonic has implemented an occupational health and safety management system at nearly all its manufacturing locations globally (some of which are now under construction). The systems implemented at company locations consist primarily of the Panasonic Occupational Safety and Health Management System, which encompasses the OHSAS18001 standard, supplemented with the company's unique perspective. Panasonic also acquires external OHSAS18001 certification in locations in countries where it has been requested to do so by customers.
Using the system, Panasonic gives all employees clear roles and responsibilities, promoting engagement in health and safety-related activities by setting clear targets. The system also involves periodic reviews by the directors of business sites, thus allowing the company to revise these activities as needed. Panasonic periodically—at least annually—conducts risk assessments to uncover any remaining risks of workplace accidents or illnesses and to reduce these risks, which it does so decisively, in order of severity. Furthermore, when a workplace accident has happened within the company, Panasonic shares it as a case study through its corporate intranet so that it can implement steps to prevent re-occurrences at all business sites.
At all business sites in Japan, health and safety committees composed of members from both employee and management investigate and debate issues of health and safety management that could affect employees. Moreover, to achieve a similar level of protection for employees of partner companies, Panasonic has established occupational health and safety councils, which are involved in a variety of activities, including formulating occupational health and safety policy, as well as various forms of information sharing.
Panasonic Group staff in charge of health and safety participate in an annual Employee Health and Occupational Health and Safety Forum, where together they study case studies of efforts at different business sites, attend lectures by visiting instructors, and engage in other activities to increase their knowledge and put it into practice at each business site.
In addition, sites that have kept no accident during a certain period of time receive awards, as do those that have initiated activities relating to safety, health, or to the promotion of healthy lifestyles among employees, that can stand as models of behavior for other sites.
Panasonic Code of Conduct (Excerpts)
Panasonic has established that it will pay attention to the health of its employees and strive to secure a safe and comfortable workplace environment for them.
Chapter 3: Employee Relations
(2) Respect for Human Rights
4. The Company will give due consideration to the health of its employees and will maintain a comfortable workplace that meets all applicable safety standards.
Panasonic Occupational Safety and Health Policy
Panasonic Occupational Safety and Health Policy consists of an Occupational Safety and Health Declaration, as well as a set of Activity Guidelines for Occupational Safety and Health. The company has set initiatives that it is thoroughly undertaking in eight areas.
Occupational Safety and Health Declaration
Based on the basic management philosophy of respecting people, Panasonic Corporation is committed to creating safe and both physically and mentally healthy workplaces through appropriate and careful attention, and consistent effort.
Activity Guidelines for Occupational Safety and Health
1. Legal and regulatory compliance
Each business unit should establish its own internal policies and procedures to fulfill the relevant legal and regulatory obligations relating to occupational safety and health and ensure compliance.
2. Management resources
Each business unit should devote staff, technology, and capital to creating workplaces that are safe and healthy.
3. Establish, maintain, and improve an occupational safety and health management system
Each business unit should establish an occupational safety and health management program and regularly maintain and improve it.
4. Definitions of roles, authorities, and responsibilities, and organizational maintenance
To administer the occupational safety and health management program and promote continuous autonomous improvement, each business unit should define the roles, authorities, and responsibilities of the elected head, legal staff, managers, and supervisors of the program.
5. Removal and reduction of hazards and potential causes of damage
Each business unit should assess risks, identify hazards and potential causes of damage, and remove or reduce them.
6. Setting goals and formulating and implementing a plan for occupational safety and health management
The management and employees of each business unit should work together to assess the occupational safety and health of workplaces, identify disasters and potential threats to health, establish goals, and formulate and execute a management plan for the occupational safety and health program.
7. Auditing, and review by management
Each business unit should conduct regular audits to monitor the occupational safety and health program. Management should review the audit results and recommend improvements to the program.
8. Education and training
Each business unit should provide its employees and those of its business partners on its premises with education and training in accordance with the occupational safety and health management program, and ensure that all relevant people are kept informed of and familiarized with the program's charter and management system.
Responsible Executive and Framework
The executive responsible (as of August 2016) for occupational health and safety-related matters is Senior Managing Director Mototsugu Sato.
Panasonic has organized health and safety committees composed of equal numbers of union and company representatives.
Division Occupational Health and Safety Management Organization (Japan)
Occupational Health and Safety Support Desk
Panasonic has established the following lines of support to help employees prevent or deal with mental or physical stress:
Employee Consultants (or the human resources department of the employee's place of work)
Since 1957, Panasonic has designated employees with abundant work experience as "consultants" and has implemented a "Consultant System" whereby other employees may consult with them. The consultants answer any questions other employees have concerning welfare systems and provide support aimed at helping employees take charge of resolving worries or problems that they face in their work or private lives.
EAP* Consultation Office
For this program, Panasonic has engaged specialist counselors to listen to the personal concerns of employees, who can rest assured that what they have discussed will not be disclosed to the company or to their health insurance association.
* EAP: Employee Assistance Program
Panasonic staffs these offices with full-time occupational physicians and occupational health staff to provide a health support program that performs functions such as handling illnesses that manifest during work, consulting on mental and physical health, preventing lifestyle-related diseases, and helping smoking cessation.
Initiatives Relating to Health Issues
Prevention of HIV/AIDS and support for those infected and their families
Panasonic believes that, armed with the proper knowledge, HIV/AIDS can be prevented, and unnecessary confusion and worry in the workplace can be avoided. Thus, the company has undertaken education of all its employees as the cornerstone of its initiatives in this area. When conducting human resources management, the company deems the protection of the human rights of all employees, including those who may be infected with HIV, as a foundational principle and adheres to four subsidiary principles: Panasonic keeps personal information confidential, prohibits discrimination in personnel matters, bans compulsory testing for HIV antibodies, and carries out educational activities.