Occupational Health and Safety
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 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.
In fiscal 2021, the Safety and Health Convention was held twice, once at the Mombetsu forestry office and once at the Osaka Plant, with a total of four suppliers (12 participants) in attendance, due to the impact of COVID-19. Various themes were discussed with relevant parties to deepen mutual understanding, including occurrence of forestry work-related accidents, occupational safety measures in forest activities, heat stroke prevention, and wood and forestry in the context of climate change.
In fiscal 2021, there were 2 instances 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.
Number of Occupational Injuries Involving Contractors at Forestry Work Sites in Company-Owned Forests
* 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.
* The aggregation period for fiscal 2020 onwards is January to December of each year, and the aggregation period before fiscal 2019 is April of each year to March of the following year.
Occupational Health and Safety Management System Chart of Forest Department
Initiatives of ISO 45001 Self-Conformity Declaration
Sumitomo Forestry's Forestry Department, which is responsible for forest management in Company-owned forests in Japan, which cover approximately 1/800th of the domestic land area, has been working with contractors to raise awareness of occupational accident prevention by developing our own occupational safety management manual, introducing mechanization, and introducing drones for transporting sapling materials. Among all industries in Japan, the forestry industry has the greatest rate of work-related accidents. We adopted the ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System in fiscal 2021, to improve safety initiatives and raise awareness of safety, and the Forestry Department head office and Niihama Forestry Office have declared themselves "Self-compliant". In the future, we plan to seek certification from an external review institute to further strengthen safety and health management in our Company-owned forestry and nursery operations.
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 [OBT], Mayangkara Tanaman Industri [MTI], Wana Subur Lestari [WSL] and Tasman Pine Forests [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.
At each company, (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.
Due to frequent occurrences of worker negligence and insufficient safety checks around the work site, number of work-related accidents increased by 13 cases In fiscal 2021, compared to fiscal 2020. Number of accidents caused by carelessness of chainsaw handlers was the highest, thus Occupational Safety and Health Training Sessions for chainsaw handlers were held as measures to prevent of recurrence and to enhance safety awareness.
Number of Occupational Injuries Involving Contractors at Forestry Work Sites
* The number of work-related accidents resulting in payment of compensation benefits for absence from work (four or more days of lost worktime) in accordance with the Japanese Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act is disclosed.
Measures against COVID-19 Infections in overseas plantation forest
Each company has established its own guidelines for Measures against COVID-19 infections and has implemented measures to prevent infection at each overseas afforestation site. Monthly antigen tests are conducted for clinics that support local medical care, as well as store personnel and executives who have frequent contact with people, in addition to basic measures such as handwashing and wearing masks.
In Indonesia, PT. Wana Subur Lestari (WSL), PT. Mayangkara Tanaman Industri (MTI), and PT. Kubu Mulia Forestri (KMF) have developed their own guidelines for COVID-19 infection and have implemented infection control measures.
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 Jakarta 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. Employees also manufactured handmade masks, which were delivered to workers at the lands for plantation business.
In Papua New Guinea, OBT assisted the Health Department in mass vaccinations of local residents in remote areas by arranging transportation, accommodation, and other services.
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 COVID-19.