The Tsukuba plant of Japan Fine Coatings Co., Ltd. (JFC), a Covestro group company, recently received the Safety Award Grand Prize from the Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA). JFC, which has a long history as a joint venture between European and Japanese companies, is a supplier of optical fiber coatings.

The Tsukuba plant focuses on the manufacture of UV-curable resins supporting the optical fiber market through safe and stable operations. This year, JCIA reportedly awarded the Tsukuba plant with the Safety Award Grand Prize in recognition of its excellent safety track record of more than 20 years without a recordable incident.

“We have steadily carried out in-depth safety activities such as safety morning meetings and on-the-job training based on Japanese safety culture to pass on and to deepen our knowledge, skills and culture on safety,” said Takahiko Kurosawa, site manager of the Tsukuba plant. “On top of that, we succeeded in integrating European-Japanese safety cultures by introducing global safety tools such as the ‘Safe Start Program,’ which analyzes mental conditions in the event of an accident and near miss.

“In terms of equipment, we are implementing safety upgrades including the introduction of safety instrumented systems (SIS), which takes automated action in case of abnormalities, and a bar code system to prevent the erroneous handling of raw materials. We are very honored that our daily efforts have resulted in achieving more than 20 years without a recordable incident, and that our efforts have been recognized with this award.”

JCIA’s Safety Award recognizes businesses that engage in outstanding safety activities on their own initiative that promote security, safety, and health in the chemical industry. The safety award has a history of nearly half a century since its inception in 1977. Past award winners have included leading Japanese chemical companies, but this is the first time that a foreign-affiliated company has received the Safety Award Grand Prize.

“We are very honored that this is the second award for the Covestro Group after the ‘Safety Award Special Prize’ for the Niihama Plant of Sumika Covestro Urethane Co., Ltd. in 2017,” said Kimiyasu Yonemaru, president of Covestro Japan. “Covestro’s global motto towards safety, ‘Nothing we do is worth getting hurt for,’ clearly shows that safety is the highest priority. We will engage in continued operational safety based on our current corporate safety culture.”

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