April 22, 2012 an incident occurred at the resorcinol plant at Mitsui Chemical’s Iwakuni-Ohtake Works. An explosion occurred at 2:15 am claiming the life of one of their employees, along with injuring many employees and community members. Mitsui Chemicals Group has declared April 22 as “Safety Day” to make sure the explosion and fire that happened that day will never be forgotten and to pledge to conduct business activities with safety as a top priority.
“But we must never allow our memory of losing Shouta Sunakawa, one of our own, to ever fade. I also want everyone to always keep in mind that our company lost the trust of society because of this accident, and that even four years later, we continue to be in the position where if we were to cause another accident like this, it would affect our survival as a company.
Since becoming President of this company, I have continuously spoken about the fact that “safety is our highest priority” and that we must cultivate a safety culture in order to securely realize this.
There are no easy tricks to cultivating a safety culture. It is also not something that can be done overnight. The entire company must return to the basics and steadfastly continue their safety activities in order to cultivate a safety culture. However, with safety, the results are everything. Once an accident occurs, all our efforts come to nothing. Last year, I used the analogy of mountain climbing to say that “We must have the resolution of someone attempting to climb a mountain to reach the highest peak, in our efforts to achieve the best results. I myself am committed to further promoting safety activities as the leader of this organization and I need the entire company to stay the course, work together and continue their steadfast efforts in safety.”
-Tsutomu Tannowa, President & CEO
Since the day of this incident, Mitsui Chemicals has implemented a wide range of safety activities and expanded the fundamental safety measures throughout the company. Tsutomu Tannowa has asked not only Mitsui Chemicals, but their subsidiaries and affiliates to think carefully about what you must do to ensure safety– as safety is for yourself, for your family, for your colleagues and for society.
Whether you are at home, driving your car, or at work, always keep safety as a top priority. Engraining safety into your daily habits will not only help protect yourself, but your family, friends, coworkers and community. While April 22 is declared “Safety Day” as a reminder of the worst possibly situation that can happen, let’s declare every day a safety day so that and incident like this will never occur again.