Company and workplace initiatives

"Each and every employee aims to create an organization in which everyone can think and act for themselves in order to prevent heatstroke"
Toyota Motor East Japan Inc.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical,
Operations Department,
Morioka Branch Office,

Naoya Hori

Toyota Motor East Japan Inc.,
Miyagi Ohira Plant,
Engineering Department

Maki Hagiwara

Otsuka Pharmaceutical supports initiatives to combat heatstroke at Toyota Motor East Japan Inc.'s Miyagi Ohira Plant.
Since 2012 at the Ohira Plant, we have prepared guidelines and have been actively engaged in activities that raise awareness of the dangers of heatstroke using the four pillars of awareness, education, health management, and goods management." Due to factors such as many tasks at the plant requiring constant movement and buildings that are well insulated and sealed due to the cold climate, but tend to trap heat in the summer, we have placed thermometers that measure WBGT*1 in various locations throughout the plant and have ensured that team leaders in particular are properly trained in physical condition management and rehydration. In addition, to ensure that every employee is fully aware of the dangers of heatstroke and how to prevent it, we have implemented measures that help us anticipate the heat. These include posting weekly WBGT forecasts and information on heatstroke prevention in the cafeterias, and distributing rehydration drinks the day before temperatures are set to be high.
"I want to properly maintain a safe working environment and manage my health, not only for my coworkers but also for my family," says Mr. Hagiwara from the Engineering Department. When the summer ends in September, we analyze the WBGT results and other information, and decide on what can be done better the following year. In this way, we are continuously making incremental improvements.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical's Morioka Branch Office holds regular seminars on topics such as the heat index (WBGT) and thermal acclimation*2 aimed at deepening participants' knowledge of heatstroke and getting them to rehydrate appropriately. Furthermore, we also carry out activities such as guideline creation support that integrates plant operations and worksites. Our goal is to be able to make further contributions to the health management and maintenance of employees through heightened awareness by providing the latest information and data based on scientific evidence, whenever we are consulted on health management issues such as heatstroke.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical is committed to aligning its goals with those of its customers, carefully identifying the unique needs of each worksite, and engaging in continuous heatstroke awareness/prevention activities.

  1. *1Heat index (WBGT: wet bulb globe temperature): An index that comprehensively takes into account temperature, humidity, radiant heat, and airflow, which are the primary factors responsible for heatstroke.
  2. *2Thermal acclimation (acclimation to heat): If someone were to suddenly engage in work that requires intense physical exertion in a warm place, they would be at a high risk of heatstroke since their body is unaccustomed to the heat. Therefore, it is believed that a thermal acclimation period (a period for growing accustomed to heat) is required before engaging in physically demanding tasks.

Implement activities that correspond to diverse construction site environments (unprotected worksites, high-rise buildings, etc.)

Nutraceuticals Division
Osaka Branch, Osaka Sales Office, Section Chief

Sadayoshi Ogawa

The Osaka Sales Office of Otsuka Pharmaceutical's Osaka Branch provides comprehensive support that includes proposals for rehydration methods and briefing sessions on heatstroke prevention at work sites in the Takenaka Corporation's Osaka region. For briefing sessions on heatstroke prevention, applications are received directly from those in charge of worksites from spring to summer each year, and we then send staff to provide the sessions. As there are large-scale projects such as commercial facilities, unprotected sites where workers are exposed to direct sunlight, and high-rise buildings that house thousands of workers, work environments can vary significantly. Therefore, we carry out briefing sessions that cater to the specific needs of each site. We receive a lot of feedback from clients expressing their gratitude, telling us they have all but eliminated the incidence of heatstroke, which is very satisfying to hear. With the goal of eliminating the incidence of heatstroke completely, we hope to continue to carry out activities that respond flexibly to the needs of each worksite, cultivate a network of personal connections, and take full advantage of these connections in our future activities. In addition, we also aim to expand operations to include support that promotes and maintains the health of office workers.

Takenaka Corporation, Main Office,

Kazuya Matsutani

A poster that helps workers quickly understand WBGTs and other information. In 2014, Otsuka participated in the Osaka Labor Bureau's "Accident-Free Osaka: Safety Visualization Campaign" and "Safety Visualization Panel Exhibit" and was awarded first prize by the director of the Osaka Labor Bureau.

Within the Takenaka Corporation's Osaka region, full-scale heatstroke prevention initiatives were initiated in response to a spike in cases of heatstroke in 2008. First, the conditions in which cases of heatstroke took place (dates, times, temperatures, etc.) were carefully analyzed, then changes were made to work conditions based on the results. Construction work requires the cooperation of many workers possessing a variety of skills and know-how, and there are roughly 10,000 people working daily at work sites within just the territory of the Osaka main office.

For this reason, not only our company's internal departments but also partner companies' management, workplace staff, and foremen have come together to devise ways to get everyone at these worksites to become fully aware of the dangers of heatstroke and how to prevent it. To give a specific example, in addition to creating our "Heatstroke Prevention Measures (12 Requirements)" and conducting heatstroke patrols that look out for signs of heatstroke, and distributing drinks, we also take steps such as installing water coolers and ensuring that emergency cooling packs and oral rehydration fluids are always readily available.

Heatstroke Busters

At construction sites, certain types of work (such as asphalt waterproofing) are prone to extremely high WBGTs. Therefore, posters were created to help workers quickly understand the day's WBGT and information on recommended water and salt intakes. In addition, staff members known as "Heatstroke Busters" from foreman associations organized by employees and partner companies carry tanks of Pocari Sweat on their backs throughout worksites and compel workers to rehydrate regularly. By compelling workers to rehydrate at set times, even employees who used to forget to rehydrate are now actively doing so.

We are very thankful to Otsuka Pharmaceutical for providing support to each worksite on everything from rehydration to the training of employees and foreman association staff. We feel that, even at worksites, workers are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that heatstroke can be prevented completely by taking it seriously, and we would like to continue working alongside Otsuka Pharmaceutical to tackle heatstroke.

Nationwide live broadcasts of specialist lectures - Heatstroke countermeasures "Live On Seminar"

A Live On Seminar

Since 2012, Otsuka Pharmaceutical has held an annual online seminar called "Live On Seminar" that targets sports coaches; corporate health and safety personnel; public health nurses, nurses, and nutritionists working at business establishments; and industrial physicians nationwide. The "Live On Seminar" is a series of specialist lectures on topics tailored to the needs of the audience, that is broadcast live across the country via the internet. As it is broadcast online, the seminar can be attended from just about anywhere. Moreover, the lectures are interactive, so participants are free to not only listen but also ask questions.