JICOSH was closed in 2008. For further information, please contact JISHA.
JICOSH Home > OSH Japan > Commendation Systems for Achieving Zero-Accident Records in Japan
OSH Japan

Commendation Systems for Achieving Zero-Accident Records in Japan

A large number of industrial accidents, including fatal ones, are still occurring in Japan. At the same time, however, a number of worksites continue to maintain their zero-accident records for many years as a result of cooperation between management and labour.

Various awards, including zero-accident certificates, are provided to these worksites that have achieved an excellent safety and health performance. As outlined below, these commendations are awarded under several public and private systems on the basis of applications submitted by these worksites.

(1)Zero-accident record certificates issued by the director of the Labour Standards Bureau of the Ministry of Labour

a. Target industries: Nearly all industrial sectors, including forestry, construction, transportation, manufacturing, wholesaling/retailing, and food service sectors.

b. Type of certificates
  • Type-I through Type-V zero-accident record
  • For Type-I certificates, the standard length of time during which zero-accident records should be maintained (total working man/hours for a worksite) is predetermined depending on the type of industry and the scale of business (whether the number of workers of less than 100 or 100 or more). Any worksites that successfully qualify under such standards will be awarded a Type-I zero-accident certificate. (In the textile industry, for example, the standard length of time for zero-accidents is 2.5 million man/hours for worksites employing less than 100 workers, and 5 million man/hours for those employing 100 or more workers).
  • Type-II record certificates are awarded to worksites that qualify under the Type-I standard described above multiplied by 1.5, and Type-III record certificates require a zero-accident record for a period that is 50% longer than that for Type-II certificate. The same calculation method applies to other higher ranking certificates.
c. Examples of the longest zero-accident records (as of December 1999)

Type of Industry Longest zero-accident record Type of certificate Length
Food manufacturing 9,661,411 4 20 years
Textiles 5,229,942 1 13 years
Casting 7,790,800 4 2 years
General lumber processing 1,400,000 3 4 years
Metal processing machine manufacturing 18,820,000 4 9 years
Plastics manufacturing 13,035,209 2 4 years
Synthetic fiber manufacturing 28,848,835 3 10 years
Cement and cement product manufacturing 10,328,603 4 9 years
Switchboard and electrical control equipment manufacturing 121,866,710 5 23 years
Communications equipment manufacturing 116,707,228 5 21 years
Private railways 11,083,601 3 35 years
Road cargo transportation 6,299,278 1 12 years
Port transportation 12,985,191 5 14 years
Hydroelectric power generation 29,270,440 5 39 years
Gas supply 11,666,913 2 21 years
Tunnel construction 2,361,655 4 1 year
Electrical engineering 19,846,308 5 19 years

(2)Construction work zero-accident commendations issued by the director of Labour Standards Bureau of the Ministry of Labour

a. Target industries: Building construction, civil engineering and other construction projects completed without any accidents throughout the work period. (Projects for which a workmen's compensation insurance contract was concluded with insurance benefits of \1 million or more per incident)

b. Type of commendation: Zero-accident commendation for the construction industry

c. Number of awards: Some 5,000 cases annually in recent years

(3)Zero-accident record certificates for SMEs issued by the chairman of the Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association (JISHA)

a. Target worksites: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) capitalized at \100 million or less, or individual worksites employing 10 to fewer than 300 workers, which are part of enterprises employing fewer than 1,000 workers.

b. Type of record: Type-I through Type-V zero-accident records

Zero-accident records are calculated by the number of accident-free days. Standard numbers are pre-determined depending on the type of industry and worksite scale (workers of 10-29, 30-49, or 50-99).

Example: Electrical machinery and equipment sales (Number of accident-free days)

Scale: Persons Type-I Type-II Type-III Type-IV Type-V
10~29 1,400 2,800 4,200 6,300 9,450
30~49 1,050 2,100 3,150 4,750 7,100
50~99 800 1,600 2,400 3,600 5,400

c Number of cases: Some 20 worksites per industrial sector have received the gold award annually in recent years.

(Note) In calculating these records, "zero-accident" means no fatal accidents, accidents requiring work absences or accidents involving physical injuries have occurred in the course of carrying out worksite business, excluding accidents that occur while utilizing public transportation systems during business trips.

Here is the List of Workplaces Establishing Zero-Accident Record by Industrial Category in 2000.