Occupational Health and Safety in the Forestry Business

Domestic Initiatives in Forestry Business

In Japan, the Sumitomo Forestry Group manages approximately 48,000 hectares of company-owned forests. Contractors conduct planting, weeding, improvement cutting, thinning and clear cutting operations. For the purpose of preventing occupational injury to these contractors, the Group conducts safety patrols and holds Workplace Safety Conferences at each forestry office once every half year. The Workplace Safety Conference was held only once at the Hyuga Forestry Office in fiscal 2020 due to restrictions on group assemblies during the coronavirus pandemic.

In fiscal 2020, there was 1 instance of occupational injury requiring payment of compensation benefits for absence from work in accordance with the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act in Sumitomo Forestry-owned forests. As a result, with the contractors involved, response measures to prevent recurrence were discussed and agreed. Additionally, warnings were issued to other contractors through the Workplace Safety Conferences.

Safety Education for Cutting Operations (Hyuga Forestry Office)

Safety Education for Cutting Operations (Hyuga Forestry Office)

Number of Occupational Injuries Involving Contractors at Forestry Work Sites in Company-Owned Forests

FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019 FY2020*
3 1 4 1 1

* The number of work-related accidents resulting in payment of compensation benefits for absence from work in accordance with the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act is disclosed.

* Data collection period: January to December 2020

Lectures Given by External Experts

The Sumitomo Forestry Group in Japan has enhanced educational activities at its Workplace Safety Conferences, including occupational safety instructions using examples of common forestry accidents, as well as environmental education, lectures given by experts on such topics as emergency first aid, and on-site safety guidance. Furthermore, so as to prevent lack of concentration when performing dangerous work by becoming accustomed to the work, the Group conducts safety education repeatedly.

At the Workplace Safety Conferences held at various forestry offices in fiscal 2019, a total of 30 business partners (approx. 120 persons) participated in lectures by experts from the Forestry and Timber Manufacturing Safety & Health Association on accident prevention measures based on analysis of causes of recent forestry occupational injuries, and on-site emergency training.

At the Hyuga Forestry Office Workplace Safety Conference in fiscal 2020, a total of 9 business partners (27 persons) participated in practical training on safe cutting procedures for trees damaged by wind, and training about revised forestry guidelines by the Forestry and Timber Manufacturing Safety & Health Association.

Safety Conference (Hyuga Forestry Office)

Safety Conference (Hyuga Forestry Office)

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Overseas Initiatives in Forestry Business

The Sumitomo Forestry Group manages a total of approximately 230,000 hectares of company-owned plantation forests overseas. To prevent occupational accidents, every overseas plantation company (Open Bay Timber Ltd. [OBT], Mayangkara Tanaman Industri [MTI], Wana Subur Lestari [WSL] and Tasman Pine Forests Ltd. [TPF]) makes sure all operators throughout the company use safety equipment while also raising awareness about occupational health and safety through efforts such as regular safety lectures and morning assemblies.

Some examples from efforts at TPF include (1) thorough equipment inspections before work, (2) regular meetings with logging contractors to evoke caution about safety management and real-time reports in the event of an accident, (3) health and safety assessments of the company itself and logging contractors through third-party occupational health and safety experts, and (4) on-site visits by employees in charge to keep everyone alert.

Some examples from OBT include (1) thorough equipment inspections before work every day, (2) on-site visits by employees in charge to keep everyone alert, and (3) setup of a storage facility to comprehensively manage equipment.

Setup of a Safety Gear Box to Comprehensively Manage Equipment

Setup of a Safety Gear Box to Comprehensively Manage Equipment (OBT)

WSL and MTI quickly formulated their own unique guidelines to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus infection, which proved effective.

The head office in Pontianak, West Kalimantan succeeded in shift system limiting people on-site as much as possible as well as total telework at the office in Djakarta via a response surpassing that required by the government. Strict access management at plantation forest operation sites prevented the spread of the virus to employees and contractors.

In addition, we produced and distributed homemade masks to our employees to address the mask shortage. As a result, we were able to prevent clusters throughout WSL and MTI. To maintain the mental and physical health of our employees as the coronavirus continues to spread, we introduced radio calisthenics every morning at business sites and worked to encourage exercise using an app.

Working without the ability to move freely or travel back to one's hometown puts an extreme burden on many employees. However, better communication and encouragement between employees brought everyone together in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus infection.

Radio Calisthenics at Plantation Forest Operation Site

Radio Calisthenics at Plantation Forest Operation Site

Number of Occupational Injuries Involving Contractors at Forestry Work Sites

Open Bay Timber Ltd. PT. Mayangkara Tanaman Industri
PT. Wana Subur Lestari
FPT. Kubu Mulia Forestry
Tasman Pine Forests Ltd.
0 0 3

* The number of work-related accidents resulting in payment of compensation benefits for absence from work in accordance with the Japanese Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act is disclosed.

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