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Industrial Accident Prevention Plan
(9th Industrial Accident Prevention Plan, from 1998 to 2002)

"Toward the Fulfillment of a Workplace where 21st Century Workers can Work Safely and in Health"
(March 24, 1998)

In Japanese


1. Aim of the Plan
(1) Basic concepts
(2) Past efforts
(3) Basic policies of this plan
2. Duration of the Plan
3. Goals of the Plan
4. Issues Regarding Industrial Accident Prevention
(1) Issues seen from trends in industrial accidents
(2) Issues concerning assuring workers' health
(3) Issues regarding safety and health management
(4) Issues in safety and health in a transitional industrial society
5. Industrial Accident Prevention Measures in Priority Areas
(1) Industrial accident prevention measures by industry
(2) Industrial accident prevention measures for specific accidents
6. Health Management Procedures for Workers
(1) Prevention of occupational illnesses
(2) Preventing the health hazards of chemicals
(3) Assuring good health at the workplace
(4) Stress management
(5) Staying healthy
(6) Creating a pleasant work environment
7. Strengthening Safety and Health Management Measures
(1) Measures for SME sites
(2) Strengthening safety and health management methods
(3) Promoting individual safety and health activities by management and labor
(4) Strengthening human resources
(5) Industrial accident prevention for elderly workers
(6) Measures for foreign workers
8. Developing Government Policies on Safety and Health
(1) Developing new policies
(2) Promoting R&D
(3) Administration from an international perspective

1. Aim of the Plan
(1) Basic concepts
    Ensuring the safety and health of the working people is the basis of worker welfare and is a national task.
    Under these assumptions, employers must ensure the safety and health of the workers in environments that they set. The workers must recognize their own roles while participating actively in safety and health actions taken by the employers.
    Industrial accidents have been steadily brought down through the long term efforts of those involved but still 600,000 workers are injured on their jobs, mainly in traditional accidents, and deaths still exceed 2,000.
    On the other hand, the Japanese industries face drastic environmental and structural changes home and abroad. There are the changes in employment patterns from the shift to an information based service economy, and the entrance of different types of workers such as the elderly, women, and young people which increase the styles of working. And through changes in technology, the working environment of each individual workplace is changing including their machines and equipment.
    These changes influence the corporate efforts at worker safety and health, worker awareness of safety and health, and the safety and health levels sought at the workplace and offer challenges to Japanese efforts in the field of industrial safety and health.
    This plan, under these circumstances, will identify the basic articles of industrial accident prevention measures in Japan.
(2) Past efforts
    In order to achieve results in industrial accident prevention, the government, employers, and other relevant parties must work in unison and need to implement any measures in a comprehensive and planned manner. Therefore, the government has developed the industrial accident prevention plan in order to clarify their own plans and to offer guidance to employers in their independent efforts.
    With these goals in mind, there have been eight consecutive five-year industrial accident prevention plans since 1958 when the Comprehensive Five-year Industrial Accident Prevention Plan was established. In the first through third plans between 1958 and the 1973, the most pressing issues were to prevent frequent accidents, which occurred under the regulatory framework of the Labor Standards Law that set minimum working standards.
    In plans fourth through eighth after the enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health Law in 1972, the issue became the assurance of a higher level of safety and health. In recent years, the focus has shifted to include not only preventing industrial accidents but also maintaining and increasing health and providing pleasant workplaces.
    Thus the industrial safety and health measures have evolved from assuring the minimum standards to realizing a higher standard of safety and health as the needs of the people have changed. Such direction needs to be maintained in the future.
(3) Basic policies of this plan
    This plan, considering the above points, was formulated to realize workplaces where the workers of 21st Century Japan can work in safety and in good health. With globalization and the advancement of IT (information technology) in mind, it will tackle the basic issues in the following manner:
i.  Eradication of accident related deaths
    Since each and every worker has their families to support and plays their roles in society, their lives should not be violated.
    But even though the injuries have come down from 600,000 and deaths from 3,000 in 1981, as of 1996, the fatalities still numbered 2,363. Since the number has been in the 2,000's range for 16 years, a breakthrough should be attempted to radically reduce fatalities.
ii.  Assuring safety and health in SMEs (small-and-medium-sized enterprises)
    Although the level of safety and health of Japan as whole has been steadily increasing, those of SMEs are not yet sufficient and as a result, their injury rates are still high than those of big business. Thus appropriate measures, such as assuring their compliance of industrial accident regulations, and supporting the independent and collective efforts by the SMEs, should be taken.
iii.  Assuring safety and health in a graying society
    Japan is heading toward an unprecedented graying society with a low birthrate and the number of the working elderly and the ratio they occupy in workplaces will most likely continue to rise. Elderly workers have a higher rate of industrial accidents and a higher rate of medical findings in the health checkups. Giving these elderly the peace of mind to work and offering them the opportunity to fully achieve their potential will lead to more social vitality.
    Previous safety and health policies have treated elderly workers as an addition to general safety and health policies but in the future, such measure should be put in place with the assumption that the elderly will be working alongside the younger workers.
iv.  Introducing new safety and health management methods
    Looking at the recent safety and health management records, problems lie where the practical knowledge on safety, health, and accident prevention was accumulated by the safety and health managers who have stayed on their positions for extended number of years but has not been properly transferred to successors after their retirement.
    Also, in the small-scale production sites that make up the bulk of the total of Japanese production sites, generally speaking, there are insufficient number of personnel with the proper knowledge of safety and health issues. There seems to be a number of such sites with poor management structures.
    Thus, safety and health management methods from new vantage points such as continual safety and health management methods that are less affected by personal ability and creation of a mechanism that promotes various safety and health measures by comprehensively utilizing sources, professionals and organizations, outside the firm should be developed and implemented.
v.  Promoting workers' health policies that reduce the increasing physical and mental stress at work
    Even though Japanese have become wealthy, there are continued cases of pneumoconiosis, organic solvent poisoning, and other occupational diseases. Recently, there are increasing number of workers who have been given a diagnosis during the medical examination.
    As the industrial society is expected to undergo transformation, the increasing physical and mental stress on workers from the changing facets of their work is a cause of concern. From the standpoint of a healthy development of Japanese society, it is imperative that not only occupational diseases are prevented but also the health of the workers at the workplace be actively assured. For this purpose, industrial health services will be widely offered by networking the Occupational Health Promotion Centers, Regional Occupational Health Centers, Industrial Accident Hospitals, and organizations involved in industrial health. We will further aim for a pleasant working atmosphere.
vi.  Raising safety and health awareness from the basics
    There is a concern that, in the globalization of economic activity and business competition, increases in productivity and efficiency will take precedence over safety and health measures.
    Also, because of the declining number of workers who have experienced industrial accidents caused by the declines in industrial accidents over the long term, it is possible that the level of sensitivity for safety and health has been lowered. Therefore, raising of the level of awareness, centered on the younger generation, on these issues is needed.
    In order to prevent the backsliding into the age when the low level of safety and health awareness caused large numbers of accidents, it is necessary to return to the basics of safety and health and raise their awareness. At the same time, appeals should be made to the general public for the importance of industrial accident prevention.

2. Duration of the Plan
    The plan will be a five-year plan starting in fiscal 1998 and ending in fiscal 2002.
If extraordinary circumstances regarding industrial safety and health occur within the duration of the plan, the plan will be revised.
    During the duration of the plan, its progress will be monitored appropriately and any policies based on it proposed accordingly.

3. Goals of the Plan
The goals will be:
i.   On industrial fatalities, to break through the long term 2,000 per year barrier and greatly reduce fatalities
ii.  To reduce by 20%, the number of industrial accidents during the plan
iii. To reduce cases of industrial illnesses such as pneumoconiosis, occupational cancer, etc. and to eradicate anoxia, carbon monoxide poisoning, etc. that can easily lead to fatalities
iv. To maintain and increase the health of the workers by such measures as offering more complete industrial health services and promoting a more pleasant working environment

4. Issues Regarding Industrial Accident Prevention
    Issues regarding industrial accident prevention are as follows. The actual measures are listed from "5. Industrial accident prevention measures in priority areas" to "7. Strengthening safety and health management measures." The systems that will ensure their smooth operation are listed in "8. Developing government policies on safety and health."
(1) Issues seen from trends in industrial accidents
    Industrial accidents have been on a long-term decline ever since reaching a peak in 1961. But still approximately 600,000 workers are injured on their jobs annually and 160,000 of them are injuries that require 4 or more days of sick leave (four days plus injuries). Over 2,000 worker fatalities are still reported every year and after going below the 3,000 level in 1981, fatalities have been stuck in the 2,000 level for 16 years without any significant decreases.
    Cases of large accidents with more than three injured have not seen any decreases, remaining at around 200 case a year.
a. Circumstances of industrial accident occurrences by industry
(a) Construction
    The number of workers in the construction industry account for about 10% of the total workforce in Japan but in terms of Industrial accidents, they make up approximately 30% of four day plus injuries and about 40% of fatalities.
    In industrial accident prevention, the master employers play important roles. Accidents are more frequent in sites where SME contractors are the subcontractors than where large general contractors are the subcontractors.
    Accidental falls account for approximately 40% of the total fatal injuries, including fatalities of approximately 20% of the total caused by construction machinery.
    Elsewhere, events such as soil avalanches in mountain and landslide prevention sites cause a large number of casualties and result in significant disasters which gain societal attention.
(b) Manufacturing
    Four day plus injuries in manufacturing make up approximately 30% of the industrial total and its fatalities make up about 20% of the total. Manufacturing accidents, which injure more than three workers make up about 30% of the total. Looking at the type of accidents, transportation accidents make up about 20% of the manufacturing total while accidents caused by limbs caught in machine account for almost 50% of the total. Many of the significant accidents are transport related or caused by explosions and fires.
(c) Land surface shipping
    The number of businesses and workers have both increased in the land surface shipping business due to recent increases in cargo volume and deregulation on new entrants. The content of their services has also changed because of the increasing number of shipping services available. This industry accounts for approximately 10% of all four day plus injuries and about 20% of all fatalities. In the past several years, the rate of reduction of accident cases has been sluggish and fatalities have actually been on the rise.
    In accident breakdown by type, about 70% of fatalities are traffic accidents. Most of the four days plus injuries are caused by falls while loading or unloading and falling loads.
(d) Tertiary Industry
    The tertiary industry, the service sector (excluding transport, land surface shipping, and port shipping) has been expanding, both in terms of business sites and the number of workers, due to the progression to a service oriented economy. This industry accounts for approximately 30% of the total in four days plus injuries and about 20% of all industrial fatalities. The industry share of four days plus injuries has been increasing annually.
    In the service sector as a whole, about 50% of fatalities are traffic deaths and approximately 20% of four day plus injuries are caused by falls. Due to the diversified nature of the service sector, the circumstances of industrial accidents differ in each case. Appropriate responses are needed.
b. Circumstances of industrial accident occurrences by business size
    Approximately 90% of industrial accidents occur at SMEs with less than 300 employees.
    Comparing the accident ratio between businesses with 100 to 299 employees and those with 30 to 49 employees to those with over 1,000 employees, the ratio is five times and eight times higher, respectively. The accident ratio becomes higher as the business size shrinks.
c. Circumstances of industrial accident occurrences by employee age
    Looking at the accident ratio for four days plus accidents by the victim's age group, the 30's have the lowest rate and the ratio rises with age thereafter. The 50's have a rate twice that of the 30's. Workers in their 20's also have a high accident rate.
    For employees over the age of 50, even though they comprise about 30% of the workforce, they make up close to 50% of four-day plus accidents and deaths. This ratio is also on the rise.
d. Circumstances of industrial accident occurrences by type of accident
    Looking at the industrial accidents by type of accident, many four day plus accidents are caused by falls and by being trapped by machinery. In fatalities, falls and traffic deaths each make up about 30% of all total fatalities.
(2) Issues concerning assuring workers' health
a. Causes of industrial illnesses
    Cases of pneumoconiosis are still being discovered and countermeasures are needed in tunnel boring, arc welding, and ceramics industries. For patients with pneumoconiosis, appropriate care is needed to stave off the progression of the disease and to avert its complications.
    Backaches can be found in diverse industries and processes and over 5,000 cases are reported annually. Offices are expected to become even more high tech and the health effects of computer and video monitors are a cause of concern.
b. Need for prevention against health hazards by chemical substances
    Acute illnesses such as anoxia and hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, and organic solvent poisoning often lead to deaths or severe injuries and the case numbers have not been stable over the years. Carbon monoxide and organic solvent poisoning occur often in construction. Over 30,000 people have been diagnosed by the legally established, special health checkups on chemicals.
    For these reasons, the thorough implementation of basic procedures is essential.
    Furthermore, there are cases like that of dioxin in the industrial waste business whose health effects on humans are strongly suspected and have become major social problems.
    Aside from these chemical substances, there are over 50,000 chemicals used in workplaces and new ones are introduced every year. Among them are substances like 2-bromopropane, which have later, been proved to be toxic.
    Under these circumstances, employers need to first ascertain the toxicity of the chemicals handled and determine proper measures in order to prevent health hazards from chemicals and industrial cancer. To promote such actions by employers, knowledge on existing harmful substances needs to be distributed efficiently. For chemical substances whose toxicity is not clear, the people in the industry should test their possible carcinogenicity with an eye toward relevant international trends.
c. Need for promoting health maintenance and enhancement
    Looking at recent general periodic health checkup results, in 1996, 38% of the patients received some type of diagnosis. Of which, there were increasing number of cases of cerebro- vascular disease and ischemic heart disease (HIS) are on the rise.
    Lifestyles are deeply involved in the cause and progression of such diseases. But when especially heavy workloads exceed normal work routines, the worsening of chronic illnesses could cause these diseases. Thus, from the standpoint of prevention of these diseases, appropriate health management and promoting health maintenance and enhancement of workers is very important.
    In terms of psychological health, 57% of workers felt stress caused by trouble at work and at the workplace. Keeping psychological health is also an important issue.
    In terms of business size, small businesses have a more graying population more than larger businesses. Thus small businesses have a higher rate of diagnosis in checkups yet have a lower rate of checkup attendance and efforts at health maintenance and enhancement are not sufficient.
(3) Issues regarding safety and health management
a. Need for safety and health management methods from new perspectives
    Past safety and health maintenance systems at the workplace have been appropriately codified and established, and seems to have brought a long-term decline in accidents.
    But these past efforts have been maintained and improved by a generation of workers who have experienced the age of frequent industrial accidents and have gained first hand prevention expertise. The concern is that when these experienced workers leave their posts, mostly through retirement, their accumulated knowledge of safety and health will not be properly transmitted and lead to lower levels of safety, health, and more accidents.
    Furthermore, even workplaces that have had zero accidents are not "accident free workplaces" and possess accident potential. Constant efforts are needed to keep that potential in check.
    One of the problems that cause more accidents at SMEs seems to be the fact that there is a shortage of personnel who have sufficient knowledge and expertise of safety and health management and many SMEs are not able to retain such workers.
    Safety and health management methods from new perspectives are needed to counter such trends.
b. Need to promote self-responsible safety and health by management and labor
    In order to prevent industrial accidents, not only do the employers must implement safety and health management activities but each of the workers must also actively participate in the safety and health management in the workplace. The safety and health committees are set up for this purpose but the reality is that they are not very active.
    To reduce accidents, positions of foremen and others who will directly oversee the workers are important.
(4) Issues in safety and health in a transitional industrial society
    Japan's industrial society is in a state of transition and it is expected to affect problems of safety and health. Thus measures are necessary with the following points in mind:
a. Consideration for elderly workers
    In the early 21st Century, it is expected that approximately one out of five workers will be elderly workers over the age of 60. With this in mind, it is necessary to prepare the conditions that will make it possible for elderly workers, who will become providers again, to work in good health.
    With the advancement of gender equity in employment, the number of women workers is likely to increase along with the types industries where they work.
    Given these circumstances, existing safety and health levels need to be reviewed with the increase in the number of elderly workers in mind so that workers of all age groups can work in good health.
b. Active measures to deal with increasing psychological stress
    Office procedures have changed because of the introduction of office machines and factories have become more automated making processes, repair and maintenance more complicated. In radically changing working conditions such as these, increased stress on the job is a concern and active responses are needed.
c. Creating a pleasant workplace
    Due to the rapid changes in technological innovation, work procedures and work environments are changing drastically which causes fatigue and stress in many workers. In the context of an aging workforce, more female participation in the workforce, and increases in the form of employment, workplaces that not only meet the minimum standards set by the Industrial Safety and Health Law and other legislation but also offer a pleasant workplace to all workers need to be realized.
d. Responding to new technology
    New technology and materials on the one hand offer increases in productivity and convenience in life but on the other bring industrial accidents and the possibility of health hazards from chemicals whit little data on their toxicity, in installing computer regulated automated production systems, construction systems for massive structures using construction robots, and in introducing processes that handle super fine material.
e. Responding to changes in forms of employment
    In recent years, the ratio of workers working part-time, as temps, and on the side have been increasing in every industry and all types of firms. In 1996, they accounted for 19.8% of all workers, which seem to contribute to the diversification of forms of employment. The advances in information and telecommunication systems have made telecommuting possible. And at every firm, outsourcing, subcontracting and creating subsidiaries is more common.
    Especially in the temping industry, the concern is that neither the temping agency nor their clients will offer complete safety and health management.
    The effects of such diversification of forms of employment on safety and health management need to be understood and necessary measures taken.
f. Responding to deregulation
    Even in the age of market principles and self-responsibility, it is still assumed that the safety and health of the workers are the responsibility of the employers and the need for regulations for this purpose remains. But there is a need to appropriately revise the content of the regulations while remembering not to cause a lowering of the standards of safety and health in responding to changes in the economy and advances in technology.
g. Considerations for international trends
    It is necessary to pay attention to international trends in proceeding with safety and health measures with the advent of globalization of the economy.
    International travel has also become very frequent. Foreign workers and trainees are expected to increase in the future as well and there is a need for appropriate responses to assure safety and health with taking issues such as the language barrier into consideration. Those Japanese firms that have expanded overseas need to consider the safety and health of both their expatriate employees and local workers. The Japanese knowledge and experiences in safety and health should be transferred to developing and other nations.

5. Industrial Accident Prevention Measures in Priority Areas
(1) Industrial accident prevention measures by industry
    The following measures, listed by industry, shall be placed on high priority. Also, forestry, port shipping, and other industries with high accident rates will also be dealt with actively.
a. Construction industry measures
    Push for comprehensive measures for industrial accident prevention centered on master employers. In order to increase the safety and health management leadership toward the specialist subcontractors by especially the regional SME general contractors, comprehensive policies will be implemented that support the education of newly appointed foremen and new entrants into the construction industry.
    Policies should be also promoted that will seek to improve the safety and health management capabilities of the specialist subcontractors themselves.
    To decrease the incidences of accidents caused by falls, measures to prevent unsafe acts, construction methods that do not accompany procedures in high places, and high performance and simple safety belts and nets should be developed and promoted. The use of erecting scaffolding first method in wooden construction and low-rise residential buildings should be promoted to make it standard procedure.
    In order to reduce accidents involving construction machinery, the safety level of construction machinery should be improved by developing and promoting the use of sensors that prevent dangerous contact.
    In other areas, in order to prevent characteristic disasters in specific locations such as landslides in waterworks and road construction and soil avalanches in afforestation and soil erosion prevention, guidelines should be written and promoted for every type of construction along with other safety measures being undertaken.
    Also, comprehensive plans will be developed against hazards due to dust and prevention plans for carbon monoxide and organic solvent poisoning will be strictly enforced.
    In implementing these industrial accident prevention measures, the cooperation of the subcontractee is essential and throughout, active measures should be promoted for industrial accident prevention.
b. Land surface shipping industry measures
    Traffic accident prevention measures will be thoroughly implemented. In order to make prevention measures against falls in loading areas and accidents involving loading machinery complete, safety and health activities should be conducted that will grasp the circumstances at the working site and provide appropriate guidance at the site and the location of direct supervision.
    Safety and health management activities will be promoted in truck terminals where multiple workplaces interact with each other.
    Elsewhere, the use of appropriate conditions by cargo owners will be promoted and safe- working environments will be maintained at loading sites.
c. Tertiary industry measures
    Preventive measures against traffic accidents be made thorough. In order to complete safety and health management activities, comprehensive guidelines that include laws and regulations will be compiled for every type of job which include all safety and health measures and its observance should be made thorough.
    In order to revitalize on a nationwide level industrial accidents prevention activity by industry organizations, these industry organizations will be supported and promotion of comprehensive industrial accidents prevention activities directed at each industry represented by them will be considered.
    At the regional level, safety and health activities will be promoted and safety and health information distributed by providing a forum of communication with industry organizations in these industries.
    Elsewhere, safety and health analysis will be promoted through the use of industrial safety consultants and industrial health consultants in service industry workplaces that have higher problems in safety and health management.
(2) Industrial accident prevention measures for specific accidents
a. Industrial accident prevention measures for machinery
    There are various of types of machinery used in workplaces. Since technological innovations bring in more types of machinery, comprehensive safety standards that apply to all machinery will be implemented.
    The basic point of machinery safety is to assure safety even in the event of failure or wrong operation by the operator. For this purpose, fail-safe and foolproof machinery needs to be promoted. Especially the use of fail-safe machinery will expedite the basic safe nature of machinery by instituting fail-safe technical guidelines based on the accumulation of previous technical expertise.
    In order for the employers that use machinery to precisely proceed with accident prevention measures regarding machinery, not only do they need to know the functions of the item but also need to know information regarding its hazards from the manufacturers of the machinery. For this purpose, the disclosure of information regarding the hazards of machinery should be distributed.
    Industrial accidents caused by press machines and woodworking machines are still commonplace. Because of the usually crippling nature of injuries in these cases, processes that use such machinery will be made safe as well as making the machines themselves safer.
    Since accidents involving cranes are often caused by either toppling cranes or during the slinging work, the prevention of these types of accidents will be a priority.
b. Industrial accident prevention measures in transport
    In order to prevent industrial accidents in transport, employers not only need to require that workers adhere to traffic laws but also need to tackle this in a systematic manner just like any other industrial accident prevention issue. Traffic industrial safety guidelines that were set up from such a viewpoint need to be fully implemented. Individual instructions by traffic industrial accident prevention instructors and case study research committees need to be implemented and model workplace projects will be supported.
    Furthermore, working time and health management for transport drivers and the proper use of cellular phones should be made thorough and more reasonable ordering conditions by cargo owners should be promoted.
c. Accident prevention measures against explosions and fires
    Safety assessments in chemical plants and safety and health management for non-routine work procedures will be beefed up. Comprehensive safety and health management in the chemical industry including the transmission of safety and health management knowledge will be promoted.
    Use of explosion and fire prevention measures for solid waste management business will be also made through.
    Furthermore, dust explosion prevention will be enhanced.

6. Health Management Procedures for Workers
    Health management procedures for workers will be achieved by the following measures while strengthening industrial health organizations and forming their networks.
(1) Prevention of occupational illnesses
    Long range comprehensive plans, which include engineering and health management measures against pneumoconiosis, will be promoted in order to prevent hazards due to dust. The engineering measures will include improving standards on and popularizing push-pull type ventilators, improving the arc welding processes, and improving working environments where there is a high concentration of workers diagnosed as pneumoconiosis.
    Model employer projects concerning prevention of hazards due to dust will be implemented for business sites of SMEs in manufacturing. In order to limit the exposure of workers in tunnel boring to dust, measuring methods for dust and exclusion of such particles from the ventilation systems will be discussed and implemented.
    For those that were diagnosed as pneumoconiosis, appropriate health management measures will be taken and health management education will be conducted.
    In order to improve the performance of respiratory protection equipment further, purchase and testing of such equipment will be conducted.
    Prevention measures based on backache prevention guidelines for backaches will be implemented through the education on industrial health to the relevant workers.
    Preventing health hazards from ionizing radiation will take into account recommendations from the ICRP (International Committee on Radiological Protection) and policies will be reviewed and implemented.
    Based on recent knowledge, guideline on the prevention of noise hazards will be revised and measures improved. Industrial health measures on video terminals and computer monitors will also be promoted.
(2) Preventing the health hazards of chemicals
    Measures against anoxia, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide and organic solvent poisoning will be improved based on past case examples. Guidelines will be disseminated especially with carbon monoxide and organic solvent poisoning in the construction industry.
    Based on discussions among specialists, health hazard prevention measures will be promoted for occupational cancer and illnesses arising out of proven carcinogenic substances, substances that cause reproductive harm, and other toxins. The national government will proceed with research on occupational environment measuring methods and health checkup methods.
    In order to prevent health hazards created by chemicals, employers need to understand the toxicity of the chemicals they are handling and implement measures based on it.
    To assists these undertakings by employers, material safety data sheets (MSDS) should be prepared and distributed based upon the guidelines on the disclosure of the hazard and toxicity of chemicals. A system that provides education to the writers of these reports will also be set up.
    By utilizing the Safety and Health Information Center (provisional name), a system where needed information such as the toxicity of chemicals, accident cases, and health hazard prevention measures will be provided.
    Research on the exposure level to dioxin in the waste processing industry will be conducted. Information will be provided and measures set up on the prevention of illnesses caused by unregulated chemicals in each job type such as considering limiting exposure to such chemicals.
    For chemicals whose toxicity is not clear, carcinogenicity and mutagenisity will be tested in coordination with the Japan Bioassay Research Center and Safety and Health Information Center (provisional name). Based on their results, appropriate management methods will be recommended to relevant employers.
    In order to effectively conduct research on these chemicals, a system of testing chemicals, utilizing the efforts of the Japan Bioassay Research Center, will be set up.
(3) Assuring good health at the workplace
    In order to assure good mental and physical health of the workers and prevent occupational illnesses, conducting occupational health activities at the workplace are essential. For this purpose, industrial physicians and health officer will be carefully selected and their professional ability improved. Health checkups will be implemented, their resulting occupational recommendations carried out, and occupational physicians and health officer will inspect workplaces. These measures will revitalize occupational health activities and assure the good health of the workers. Even in smaller businesses, worker's health will be assured by utilizing the Small Business Site Industrial Health Activity Support Promotion Project.
    In order to put the recommendations of the industrial physicians into practice appropriately, the coordination between the industrial health staff and the labor management and production divisions will be made stronger.
    Furthermore, the industrial health service functions of the industrial health promotion centers that support industrial physicians and other industrial health staff, the regional industrial health centers that provide industrial health services to small businesses, and industrial accident hospitals will be linked up in networks to provide better industrial health service functions. Industrial health promotion centers will be systematically planned all over the nation and the functions of the regional industrial health centers that respond to the various industrial health needs will be strengthened.
    Knowledge on the prevention of industrial illnesses will be disseminated.
    In promoting these industrial health measures, the private nature of these health data will always be kept in mine and due care will be taken to protect such private information.
    Based on the 40-hour working week system fully implemented in April 1997, shortening of the workweek will be promoted. In doing so, using up the annual paid leave days will promoted through the use of multiple day vacations from the viewpoint of maintaining workers' both mental and physical health. Long overtimes that cause fatigue and stress will be reduced.
(4) Stress management.
    In combating increasing psychological stress, comprehensive research will be conducted to prevent health hazards created by stress, aimed at among others, the white-collar workers. Stress management at the workplace will be promoted through training the management on the issue, disseminating information that will enable the workers to control their own stress levels, and stress management clinic systems.
(5) Staying healthy
    Staying healthy at the workplace will very depending on the size and management of the workplace and the awareness of the employer. The steps taken will depend on the level of effort taken.
    In order to promote the individual health management of workers in staying healthy, their current efforts will be measured and various contributing factors analyzed. The ideal individual health maintenance of workers, such concrete methods, and the support offered by the employers and the government for such individual management will be discussed in order to promote individual health management.
(6) Creating a pleasant work environment
    With the advent of increasing elderly workers, women joining the work force in more industries, and the diversifying forms of employment, workplaces that are pleasant for all workers are needed. In order to create them, workplace conditions should be grasped, worker opinions should be taken, plans to create pleasant workplaces should be drawn up and implemented, and based on their results, management setup for further undertakings will be implemented and promoted.
    Smoking guidelines for workplaces and job specific steps for pleasant workplaces will be distributed. Information that will assist in creating pleasant workplaces for the elderly and women will be provided.

7. Strengthening Safety and Health Management Measures
(1) Measures for SME sites.
    Compliance of industrial accident prevention measures by SMEs will be monitored. In order to promote self-compliance, industrial accident prevention organizations will active within these workplaces. In addition, safety and health information will be disseminated through labor insurance unions and SME organizations.
    Furthering of comprehensive safety and health management activities, with internal and external cooperation, centered upon parent companies will be attempted.
    In order to assure continual and effective safety and health activities by SMEs, support will be provided. For specific SME sites, the use of safety and health diagnosis projects and financing systems to improve working environments will be recommended to promote individual safety and health activities.
    Elsewhere, a system of comprehensive assistance for the safety and health activities for SMEs will be set up.
(2) Strengthening safety and health management methods
    Under the management's leadership on basic safety and health guidelines, safety and health management activities that are in unison with production activities will be done. For example, safety and health annual plans will be drawn up, safety and health management systems beefed up, and authority and responsibility of production line managers on safety and health activities clarified. Prior assessment will be improved by introducing machinery and including relevant safety and health professionals at the planning stage of construction projects.
    The reality of safety and health knowledge transmission and its example cases will be studied and guidelines set up to facilitate the transmission of such knowledge.
    In order to reduce the potential danger from accidents and raise the level of safety and health in workplaces, safety and health management systems that conduct on a continual basis, the clarified chain of events "Plan-implementation-evaluation-improvement," is needed. New safety and health management methods that will ensure strict compliance of such will be implemented after sufficient discussion between management and labor.
    Furthermore, although implementing safety and health management should be the responsibility of employer, some workplaces do not have the organization to implement them. Therefore, the use of industrial safety consultants and industrial health consultants will be promoted and the use of industrial injury prevention instructors furthered from the standpoint of promoting accident prevention by both management and labor. Elsewhere, organizations outside of the workplace that have expertise and experience on safety and health management will be utilized and methods used to comprehensively push for each safety and health policy will be discussed and implemented.
(3) Promoting individual safety and health activities by management and labor
    In order to support the active work of safety and health committees by management and labor, concrete operating methods and methods on running inquiry commissions will be discussed. Guidelines for the actions of safety and health committees with the understanding of the above will be developed.
    By publicly honoring foremen who have certain levels of technical skill and experience and whose workplaces have good safety records as excellent safety workers, their social recognition will be improved and incentives for foremen and others toward safety management will be increased. Their activities as the center of safety and health within the firm will be promoted.
    Furthermore, safety and health activities will be revitalized by hazard forecast activities.
(4) Strengthening human resources
    The increase in the number of people who have the qualifications as industrial health consultants, industrial safety consultants, working environment measurement expert, and health officer will directly contribute to preventing industrial accidents. It will also contribute to the wide dissemination of knowledge of safety and health and the rise in the level of safety and health. Therefore, efforts will be made to increase the number of qualified personnel, including women who are expected to work in an increasing number of industries.
    Since licensing for license-based occupations will also have the effect of educating technicians, on the job training and technical courses will be promoted.
    Training and education at every job level including at hiring special training, foreman training, and technical training to improve the level of safety and health staff will be implemented.
    New education technologies such as simulation will be utilized. Training institutions for safety and health education instructors will be improved and local safety and health education service organizations will be strengthened.
    Since it is believed that primary and secondary school education is effective in educating workers with a high sense of safety and health, education on industrial safety and health will be promoted from the level of formal schooling.
    In order to prevent industrial accidents, the understanding of the general population, including immediate families, is needed so the importance of industrial accident prevention will be disseminated and cooperation sought at every opportunity.
(5) Industrial accident prevention for elderly workers
    In order to respond to increasing industrial accidents caused by the aging workforce, guidelines will be set up and strengthened for workplaces where elderly and young workers side by side. Support will also be given to SMEs that are conducting improvements in machinery, working environments, and work procedures.
    In order to make certain that elderly workers receive sufficient knowledge and technical skill on safety and health, their efforts to obtain qualifications should be supported.
    Research will be conducted to consider reviewing safety and health standards to take into account the aging of the workforce.
(6) Measures for foreign workers
    Based on the guidelines on the employment and working conditions of foreign workers, their safety and health training at the time of employment will be made complete. At the same time, industrial health consultants and industrial safety consultants will inspect safety and health in workplaces that hire foreign workers. Technical training opportunities for foreign workers will be expanded and the International Safety and Health Center (provisional name) will provide information on various safety and health in foreign languages.

8. Developing Government Policies on Safety and Health
(1) Developing new policies
a. Building an information dissemination system
    In order to prevent industrial accidents, it is basic procedure for the employers and workers to fully understand not only past cases of accidents but also the potential danger with a given process at a given workplace. When bringing in new technologies, machinery, and chemicals, with which there is no experience, it is desirable to obtain relevant information and proceed with the agreement of the employer and worker based on such information. In order for the designer, manufacturer, and importer of products to participate in their own capacities, relevant information should be made available easily. The national government should also collect, process, and distribute information through the Safety and Health Information Center (provisional name) in order to assist such efforts.
    By providing the experience and expertise in preventing industrial accidents, it will contribute to the general safety of the general population.
b. Strengthening R&D systems
    Due to the increasing size and higher technology of machinery and the use of new technologies and materials, investigations of accident causes frequently require high levels of professionalism. So the R&D of such research organizations as the National Industrial Safety Institute and the National Institute of Industrial Health will be strengthened and in case of accidents, accident investigation in unison with research organs will be implemented.
    In order to realize these goals, information networks including relevant organizations and organs will be strengthened.
    At the National Institute of Industrial Safety and the National Institute of Industrial Health, many of the issues are multi disciplinary and change as a result of the developments in industrial technology. Therefore, in order to proceed with research in close cooperation with specialists in other fields, future research topics, research strategy, and improving the research environment will be discussed. To accurately grasp the problems occurring at workplaces and to take select policies that are appropriate for each workplace, information will be exchanged frequently with industrial physicians, industrial safety consultants, and industrial health consultants with first hand experience. Research that meets the needs of the workplace will be conducted.
c. Setting up administrative systems
    Relevant laws and regulations will be drawn up and strengthened in response to changes in industrial society such as the structural changes in industry and forms of employment.
    Administrative and collective guidance, in preventing industrial accidents, to workplaces that belong in industries with high rates of accident occurrence and workplaces that have the potential for severe industrial illnesses will be implemented. Appropriate support in guidance will also be given. The system of administrative and collective guidance, for the purpose of achieving administrative goals, will be strengthened. By beefing up staff training to precisely correspond to the advancements in technology, effective and efficient regulatory system can be built.
d. Strengthening the activities of industrial accident prevention organizations
    Strengthen the activities of industrial accident prevention organizations. While promoting the voluntary industrial accident prevention activities of employers through the relevant organizations, research on necessary policies will be improved.
e. Contributing to the safety of the people
    The experience and organizations that were used in preventing industrial accidents, ranging from physical items such as machinery and facilities to intangibles such as management and education, can also be used for maintaining industrial facilities, public safety, and household safety. Therefore, there will be active contributions in these fields as well.
(2) Promoting R&D
    Looking at recent trends in industrial accidents, there is an increase in the ratio of tertiary sector accidents. Since this and other new developments cannot fully be accounted for by existing methods of industrial accident analyses, new analysis methods will be investigated.
    Because many of the accidents are caused by unsafe acts by workers, technology to prevent accidents caused by work procedures, including those of the elderly, will be researched and developed.
    R&D will be promoted for safety control systems and hazard evaluation technologies for new technologies such as automated production systems and automated assembly systems and new materials such as super fine particles. Technological research will be done on the human factor in PC operations that use FPDs (flat panel displays), engineering measures to eliminate combined exposure to hazardous factors in welding processes, and the risk analysis and management technology for chemicals.
    In order to prevent industrial accidents in a effective and efficient manner, economic factors such as the correlation between safety and health measures and productivity also need to be evaluated. So analysis techniques that take these factors into account will also be researched.
    In the future, forms of employment are expected to diversify, the liquidity in the labor market expected to increase, and corporate outsourcing efforts such as creating subsidiaries are expected to proceed. Proper safety and health in such an environment will be studied and discussed.
    Recently, there are accident victims who are also victims of crimes so measures against such cases will also be discussed.
(3) Administration from an international perspective
    Japan's safety and health standards will take international standards into consideration as necessary. Japan will be actively be involved in the creation of international standards and offer our expertise.
    In order to assure the safety and health of expatriate Japanese and the local employees who work in Japanese overseas subsidiaries, safety and health specialists such as industrial health consultants and industrial safety consultants will be sent abroad and a system of touring overseas health consultation implemented. By active participation of the International Safety and Health Center (provisional name) in its projects, technological support for developing countries in safety and health fields can be promoted.