Updated on August 29, 2019

Occupational Health and Safety Initiatives in North America

Sony operations in North America consist of a diverse group of companies across many of the fields in which the Sony Group does business. There is a limited amount of manufacturing. Site headcounts range from operations with over 1,000 people to sites with less than 10. The Sony Group Global Policy on Occupational Health and Safety serves as the underlying guidance document for each of these locations. Larger sites are beginning the implementation of ISO45001. Operations strive for a well-balanced program of safety, health and wellness initiatives, in keeping with the type of operation and its size.

Safety

Employee safety and regulatory compliance at all locations is a primary focus on a daily basis. Training is provided as needed, on subjects ranging from ergonomics to chemical safety. Site-directed policies and procedures are in place.

Sony Pictures Studios and other sites have an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) in place. This program assigns responsibilities for various aspects of injury and illness prevention to management, the safety program coordinator, supervisors, and employees. Individual programs/procedures and work instructions (e.g., Confined Space Entry) include a list of specific responsibilities within that procedure.

At Sony DADC Bolingbrook, any potential hazards identified through inspections or incident reviews are generally eliminated or controlled through a combination of engineering, mechanical controls and/or job redesign; training of employees in terms of their job responsibilities related to safety; administrative controls (such as procedures and job rotation); and personal protective equipment (PPE). Job safety assessments are performed periodically. Frequent performance reviews and trend analysis are done. Policies and procedures have been strengthened and documentation is extensive and well maintained. Safety personnel are on the floor a large percentage of the time and interact with operators on a regular basis.

Other aspects of safety include risk control audits and recommendations; site-based safety teams and chemical safety.

Risk Control Audits and Recommendations

Corporate Environmental, Safety & Health (ESH) and Fire & Life Safety audits are conducted on an ongoing basis at nearly all Sony sites in North America. Site-based internal inspections are also conducted, as are audits by insurance companies and agents. The objective of the internal inspections is to assess facility areas overall from an ESH and housekeeping standpoint. This ensures that potential risks are identified and any other items needing attention are addressed in a timely fashion. The internal inspections are generally conducted by trained employees serving on on-site safety committees or work teams. The frequency of internal audits varies among sites, from monthly to semi-annually. The audits performed by the outside insurance companies or agents are generally classified into one of the following three categories:

  1. Identifying and addressing fire safety risks within a location;
  2. Thermographic analysis of a site's electrical systems; and
  3. Ergonomic assessment of workstations in both production and office areas.

For each category, recommendations for improving the status of the site are provided, as needed.

In addition, in compliance with Sony corporate standards, job risk assessments are reviewed to ensure that they are all up-to-date and still reflect the job being performed. Both routine and non-routine jobs are included in this review.

Site-Based Safety Teams

Sony DADC Terre Haute has implemented a plant safety team. The team is led by a quality specialist, and team members consist of operators from each manufacturing area. Implementation of this team began with training in Kaizen and safety as well as auditing requirements. The team meets monthly and performs Kaizen and safety audits within an area of the facility. The following month the team follows up on findings from the previous month and audits a new area. The team is also responsible for safety posters at employee exits as well as new topics for safety toolbox talks.

Sony DADC also has a Kaizen/Security/Safety audit of the perimeter of the campus. Members from Facilities, Engineering, Security, and Quality participate in the audit. This audit occurs twice a year at a minimum.

Chemical Safety Information

Sony is working on an overall, ongoing campaign to reduce the use of specified chemical materials at Sony sites and within Sony manufacturing operations. Each Sony site in the U.S. has a written Hazard Communication Program for chemicals in place, including information on safety data sheets (SDS), labelling and training. Chemical purchases are reviewed by the ESH group as part of the approval process. Operations in Canada have instituted the new national Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS 2015) standard. In addition, all applicable sites are following procedures for controlling and eliminating specified chemical substances from the product supply chain, as defined by Sony's environmental rules.

Wellness

For fiscal 2019, as one of the SNA Fast Forward initiatives, special focus will be on the Work-Life Balance “Ways of Working” Program. This will be an employee driven task force with an executive-level champion. In addition, there is now an onsite Work/Life Concierge available to Sony employees on a walk-in basis at some locations. The Concierge can help facilitate access to a wide variety of employee areas of interest. There is also an increased level of emphasis on the wellness services, with webinars provided to employees on the services provided. There are also a variety of spaces and methods on site at some locations to reduce the stress level of busy employees. Lastly, a mobile site offering mammograms will be available as part of the annual Benefits Fair this year at some locations.

Sony has continued the wellness program that covers employees and, in most cases, their spouses/domestic partners who are eligible for the Sony Healthcare Program. The objective of this program is to help employees and their spouses/domestic partners live healthy, active lives. Within some companies, participants have access to health risk assessments, on-site biometric screening, telephone counseling with a healthcare advisor, and other online or telephone-based programs and resources. Among these are programs on quitting smoking, weight loss, stress management, blood pressure, diabetes, nutrition and physical activity (including programs using exercise/activity trackers). Employees can receive incentives for participation in such health-promoting programs.

The Sony DADC Terre Haute facility continues to manage an onsite Fitness Center for employees to have access to exercise equipment. The SEL San Diego and SIE San Mateo locations also have on-site fitness centers that offer exercise equipment and various classes led by fitness trainers. Various gym discounts are also available to employees throughout the US. In addition, the San Mateo and San Diego locations offers personal training and onsite massage.

Other wellness activities are in place as well. Sony San Diego and SIE San Mateo have instituted a weekly farmers' market onsite that sells fruits, vegetables and other local produce. The San Diego site cafeteria also has nutritional choices available and makes nutritional information and calorie information available to employees.

Employees may receive flu vaccinations at either site-based clinics or a national pharmacy chain using a vaccination voucher. These are provided over a six-month period, beginning in October.

At manufacturing sites, based on job requirements, employees receive regular medical exams and, where appropriate, industrial hygiene surveys are conducted. SIE San Mateo and Sony Pictures Studios have dentists available who provides services to employees on site.

Emergency Preparedness

Each Sony location has an emergency preparedness plan in place, tailored to meet the potential emergencies that may occur at that site. This includes the site response to fire, medical emergencies, earthquakes and utility failures. Evacuation drills are conducted annually.

AED Program

Many Sony sites in North America have installed automated external defibrillators (AEDs) that can be used in the event of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Sony Electronics Inc. has placed AEDs in each facility with 100 or more employees. Sony Corporation of America (SCA) implemented a program to place at least one AED Unit at every site that comes under the SCA umbrella. Employees at each site with an AED are trained and certified in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), in addition to their training in the operation of the AED. Monthly inspections of AEDs are conducted to ensure that they will be ready for use in case of emergencies.

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