Relations with Customers
To ensure safe and stable supplies of industrial gases, we have established systems for process safety management, as well as for quality management and assurance, and strive to appropriately manage information.
Systems for Process Safety and Quality and Product Safety Management
In line with our Rules for Process Safety Management and Rules for Quality and Product Safety Management, we hold an annual Technological Risk Management Conference, which is chaired by the president. This conference is responsible for making decisions on important process safety- and quality-related matters based on the Presidential Policy Directive on Technology Risk Management. Group companies in Japan and overseas conduct regional conferences to incorporate the decisions of the Technological Risk Management Conference into their respective annual action plans and promote the decisive implementation of related measures.
Process Safety and Quality and Product Safety Management Framework
* Specified sites are mixed-purpose sites—primarily production and research facilities—that are under direct divisional supervision and for which integrated process safety management is necessary.
Process Safety Management
In line with our belief that selling gases is commensurate with selling safety, we continue working to strengthen independent systems for ensuring process safety and have created a Group process safety management system headed by the president, which underpins a meticulous approach to this key challenge.
In Japan, to ensure our ability to respond promptly and effectively in the event of leaks or other emergencies during the transport or use by customers of specialty gases, we have specified 55 sites across the country as emergency response depots, equipping each with materials and equipment crucial to mitigating damage from such an incident, thereby ensuring a high level of preparedness at all times. Training and drills for emergency response personnel are conducted at least once annually. At present, we have approximately 330 registered emergency response personnel.
To ensure the safe use of our industrial gases, we offer customers safety seminars that provide information on the properties, dangers and safe handling of various products. In addition, we have created a commendation system for parent company and affiliated company production sites to recognize the results of independent safety initiatives.
Overseas, we endeavor to provide safe, stable supplies to customers by providing periodic training aimed at improving employees’ technical skills, as well by conducting and improving safety patrols at production sites, thereby ensuring consistent process safety. We also bring together process safety officers from overseas Group companies for annual safety conferences. The fiscal year 2019 conference was held in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and focused on enhancing technical skills and awareness of safety.
As a common global initiative, in June 2018 we established the TNSC Technical Academy at our Kawasaki–Mizue site in the city of Kawasaki. Designed with the goal of reducing mishaps and industrial accidents, the facility provides hands-on hazard training using equipment that makes it possible to simulate the properties of pressurized gases and key causes of industrial accidents such as falling, stumbling or being caught up in machinery. The academy also displays cutaway models of various gas-related equipment and offers seminars focused on accident case studies and developing a safety-oriented corporate culture. Looking ahead, we will step up efforts to provide hands-on training with the aim of eradicating mishaps and industrial accidents from the workplace. We are also working to create unified technical standards for the entire Nippon Sanso Group with the aim of ensuring stringent process safety management worldwide.
Management Inspections and Safety and Environmental Audits
We conduct management inspections and safety and environmental audits at our own sites, as well as at sites operated by affiliated companies to manage technological risks related to, among others, safety, the environment and quality. Management inspections, which are conducted by the general manager of the pertinent Taiyo Nippon Sanso division or branch, are designed to assess the status of safety and environmental initiatives from a management perspective.
Safety and environmental audits, the main goals of which include reinforcing compliance and preventing accidents, are conducted by the Technical Audit Office, in principle every five years, at all Group companies in Japan and overseas. In fiscal year 2019, safety and environmental audits were conducted at 24 sites belonging to 15 companies in Japan and five sites belonging to two companies in two countries overseas (Asia). Internal audits also were conducted in the United States and Europe and information was shared with the Technical Audit Office.
Quality Management and Assurance
In line with the President’s Policy Directive on Technology Risk Management, we strive to grasp increasingly sophisticated and diverse customer needs and social imperatives and to respond by providing optimum product quality. To this end, we promote extensive quality management and assurance initiatives aimed at ensuring a high level of quality for our products and services.
In light of recent increases in expectations regarding both quality management and quality assurance, we sought to reconfirm the effectiveness of initiatives implemented to date, as well as to ensure effective compliance, by once again inspecting related systems at affiliated companies in Japan and subsequently expanding this effort to include affiliated companies overseas.
Quality Management System
We have established a quality management system based on ISO 9001, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)’s standard for quality management systems, which we continue to leverage with the aim of steadily increasing customer satisfaction. Departments and affiliates involved in production—including those involved in the production of industrial gases (oxygen, nitrogen and argon) and the air separation units and supply equipment used in their production and storage, the production and installation of semiconductor fabrication equipment, the production of medical gases and medical gas supply systems, and all areas of our helium and hydrogen businesses—have acquired ISO 9001 certification. Departments handling sales and logistics for liquid oxygen, liquid nitrogen, liquid argon and specialty gases have also earned certification, reflecting our goal of creating a system that ensures not only the quality of our products but also the provision of stable supplies and effective support.
As of April 1, 2019, a total of three divisions and 55 affiliates in Japan and overseas are currently certified under ISO 9001, reaching our target for achieving ISO 9001:2015 compliance. Going forward, we will remain committed to promoting the effective use of our quality management system with the goal of achieving continuous improvements in customer satisfaction.
Site Analytical Management Certification System
Reliable analytical management is seen as critical to the quality of industrial gases. To ensure our ability to provide optimum product quality, we have established a system for certifying production facility analytical management performance and continue to take steps aimed at bolstering the analytical management capabilities of gas production sites.
As outlined in the President’s Policy Directive on Technology Risk Management, we work to offer safer and more reliable products by minimizing safety risks over the entire life cycle of our products, thereby ensuring customers can use our products with peace of mind.
For many products, we explore ways to reduce risks from the design stage and consider safety not only during use but at all stages of a product’s life cycle, including production, transport, maintenance and scrapping. Product safety assessments are subsequently conducted by individuals who have earned internal qualifications, after which a declaration of conformity with product safety standards is made by representatives of the pertinent division or affiliated company, thereby ensuring the safety of the products we provide.
With corporate information leaks an increasingly critical issue, companies face an ever-greater responsibility to manage and protect confidential customer information they accumulate through their business activities.
To create a framework for systematic management, our Information Management Committee, established in fiscal year 2018, set forth Rules for Information Security Management to guide our handling of our own and our customers’ information.
To maintain this system, we continue to promote initiatives across the Taiyo Nippon Sanso Group to strengthen management practices, including holding periodic seminars to enhance management-level employees’ awareness of changes to pertinent laws and regulations and providing guidance to affiliated companies.
Approach to Information Management
- In line with the Rules for Information Security Management, the individual responsible for information security oversees information security Groupwide and appoints information security officers and promotional staff for each division and information security managers for each department.
- Department information security managers are charged with identifying confidential information and classifying such information as either “highly confidential” or “proprietary.”
- Appropriate measures are taken to limit access to confidential information.
- Confidential information disclosed by customers will be managed at a level equivalent to or higher than our own confidential information.
Information Security Management Framework