Human Rights and LaborOccupational Safety and Health Support

We pursue initiatives aimed at improving occupational safety and health so employees can feel safe and secure in their work environment.

Policy and Structure

At Canon, the safety and health of employees form the foundation of our business activities. Adhering to the principle of “management without safety is not management,” labor and management work hand in hand to pursue initiatives aimed at improving occupational safety and health so employees can feel safe and secure in their work environment. In line with this principle, we have established detailed rules and regulations regarding occupational safety and health (OSH), which are also reflected in agreements with labor unions.

Canon has established the Central Safety and Health Committee as its highest body overseeing safety and health activities. Chaired by the Executive Vice President of Canon Inc., the committee establishes its central activity policies and plans for safety and health, while labor and management also work together to promote the elimination of occupational accidents, the maintenance and improvement of health, traffic safety, fire and disaster prevention, and the creation of pleasant workplaces.

Canon Inc. and Group companies in Japan have established safety and health teams at each operational site, and set targets based on the situation at each site in line with the policies of the Central Safety and Health Committee, in an effort to build healthy and safe work environments for all workers, including those of contractors. We also hold health and safety conferences with contractors and cooperate together to maintain and improve health and safety on site.

Overseas, at production bases in Asia, we are implementing unified initiatives with Canon Inc., while giving consideration to specific circumstances in each region and at each company.

Occupational Safety

Canon strives to create workplaces that are safe and secure. Canon Inc. and Group companies in Japan have worked on the following priority targets and initiatives.

Priority Targets for 2020

  1. Eliminate occupational accidents caused by machinery (0 cases)
  2. Eliminate serious accidents caused by highly hazardous chemical substances (0 cases)


  1. Further develop the Canon Group Occupational Safety and Health Management System
  2. Implement risk assessments to eliminate occupational accidents and ensure their use by workers
  3. Improve health and safety awareness by enhancing education and training

In 2020, in terms of serious occupational accidents requiring time off work, there were no accidents caused by getting pinched by or caught in machinery, but there was one accident involving chemical substances. We are taking steps to prevent similar accidents from recurring, in terms of both education and equipment, such as investigating the underlying cause of the accident on site, retraining workplace personnel, and improving the operability of machinery. We are also carrying out a comprehensive safety inspection and risk assessment to determine if similar risks exist at the site where the accident occurred. In addition, information about the accident was promptly shared with Group companies, particularly production bases, to prevent similar occurrences elsewhere.

Furthering Development of the Canon Group Occupational Safety and Health Management System

We are expanding the Canon Group Occupational Safety and Health Management System in an effort to promote autonomous safety and health activities at each of our operational sites. System requirements are based on the Occupational Safety and Health Management System of the Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association and reflect Canon Inc.’s standards and rules. We are also working to cultivate best practices across all sites based on reciprocal supervision as well as develop measures to tackle a variety of issues.

Additionally, we are progressively transitioning from OHSAS18001 to the new international standard ISO 45001. As of the end of 2020, approximately 14% of Canon Inc. and Group manufacturing companies in Japan and overseas had acquired ISO 45001 certification.

Implementing Risk Assessments to Eliminate Occupational Accidents and Ensuring Use by Workers

Canon conducts wide-ranging risk assessments to identify all operations that have a high risk of injury, illness, or accident. We take appropriate measures to mitigate risks and manage residual risks. Recognizing accidents caused by machinery as a serious risk, we conduct regular reviews of existing businesses more than once per year. We also identify and evaluate risks in new businesses from the R&D stage onward and implement safety measures based on the evaluation results.

In 2019, we formulated a new risk assessment and management standard for all companies in the Canon Group. To ensure that the new standard is implemented properly, we are conducting training programs for health and safety staff and developing e-learning content for workplace managers and people in charge of operations to deepen their understanding of risk assessment methodology. Moreover, when a specific risk is identified, all applicable workers are notified of the risk and given needed training, and a follow-up is carried out to confirm their understanding and mastery of new work processes.

Improving Health and Safety Awareness by Enhancing Education and Training

Whenever an occupational accident occurs at Canon, we immediately brief all operational sites in Japan and overseas production sites, as well as publish the causes and countermeasures on our intranet in an effort to prevent a similar accident from occurring elsewhere. Additionally, with the aim of eliminating occupational hazards, we provide comprehensive training to all managers in workplaces where risk assessments are conducted. In 2020, we established a new e-Learning program for employees involved in risk assessment to promote understanding of assessment objectives and procedures, and 832 employees completed the course.

In addition, we are also taking steps to foster a workplace culture that is constantly aware of health and safety. For example, at Canon Inc. and Group companies in Japan, we provide health and safety training and use original awareness-raising posters and leaflets to educate employees about checking and enforcing basic safety behaviors in their work.

Canon is working to implement an occupational safety and health management system overseas, mainly at its production bases, on the same level as in Japan. For example, so that employees can process information in their native languages, we make effective use of work manuals, health and safety training materials, posters, leaflets, and other materials prepared by Canon Inc. in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Vietnamese to suit the situation of each site. At Canon Vietnam we are making a focused effort to promote activities for early prevention of hazards by raising employees’ health and safety awareness. These include an experiential training facility called the Safety Experience Ring that enables trainees to experience the importance of safety through simulated hazard experiences, as well as risk assessment activities and a program for sharing improvement proposals based on on-site experience.

Health Support

Health Support Based on the “Health First” Principle

Canon promotes proactive health management with the belief that initiatives based on the “health first” principle of its guiding principles are a driving force for generating positive results, helping employees reach their full potential.

Canon Inc. and Group companies in Japan have declared their commitment to addressing the following priority targets and initiatives through the Central Safety and Health Committee. Health care initiatives carried out in collaboration with the health insurance union include long-term health targets and measures formulated in line with health care plans based on an analysis of medical cost and diagnostic data.

The Central Safety and Health Committee Medium-Term Plan (2019-2021)


  1. Mental health-related measures
  2. Measures to prevent lifestyle diseases
  3. Ongoing awareness activities for all employees
  4. COVID-19 response

Priority Targets

  • Reduce the number of lost work days
  • Reduce presenteeism
  • Reduce the number of people in high risk situations
  • Reduce the number of people with metabolic syndrome
  • Establish the practice of taking cancer screening tests

Mental Health-Related Measures

Canon conducts a variety of programs to promote comprehensive mental health at Group companies in Japan. These incorporate four types of care: self-care, care from workplace supervisors, care from occupational health staff, and care from external organizations. There are also programs to promote primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. We are focusing in particular on creating a standard response across Group companies, such as developing support programs for employees with mental health issues, and carrying out training to improve the ability of human resources and health support staff to handle such cases. The participation rate for stress checks is 95.0%, and we have seen a proportionate decline in the number of highly stressed employees through the introduction of health consultations in addition to interviews with a physician for such individuals. Based on group analysis of these outcomes, we are carrying out organizational support activities and training in collaboration with various divisions. Employees on overseas assignments are given the same stress checks and follow-up procedures as in Japan, and have their mental health cared for in coordination with local human resource managers.

Measures to Prevent Lifestyle Diseases

Based on analysis of employee data, we determine which health-related areas require attention and what measures should be a priority. For example, an analysis of 10 years of physical exam data revealed the effects of short sleep duration, smoking, and exercise habits on the onset of metabolic syndrome, leading us to make these priority areas. With sleep in particular, in addition to activities to raise awareness, we introduced individual guidance using sleep monitors. The result was not only an improvement in sleep, but also in physical exam outcomes and presenteeism (working even while sick). All Group sites in Japan have been designated no smoking areas, and through ongoing measures such as seminars and online programs to encourage employees to quit smoking, the smoking rate has decreased by 17 points in the 16 years since the initiative began in 2004. For physical exams, Canon Inc. and Group companies in Japan have adopted unified follow-up standards to ensure that health issues do not worsen. We encourage employees at high risk for metabolic syndrome to undergo physical exams and give due consideration to job assignments, and, in cooperation with the health insurance union, offer specific health guidance by specialists to eligible employees. As a result, roughly 65% of employees who completed such guidance showed lifestyle improvements. As for cancer detection and prevention, we are focusing on using the cancer screening system of the Canon Health Insurance Union and on supporting the balance between treatment and work for employees living with cancer.

Ongoing Awareness Activities for All Employees

Canon Inc. is promoting health self-management in various ways: ongoing training tailored to different job levels; campaigns on the themes of sleep, nutrition, and exercise; regular dissemination of information to raise awareness via the intranet; and, management of healthy activity goals and in-house events using ICT tools. Moreover, Canon Inc. and Group companies in Japan conduct an e-learning program every year for employees just turning 30, 40, 50, or 60 years old, in which they can learn about the health issues and self-management points specific to each age bracket. About 85% of employees avail themselves of this training.

In 2020, we focused on campaign activities connected with the response to COVID-19. In collaboration with the health insurance union, labor union, in-house stores, staff cafeterias and other partners, we undertook projects related to nutrition planning under the theme of boosting the immune system. For the annual walking competition using ICT tools, we promoted in-home exercises. In addition, Canon Health Call, an initiative of the health insurance union, has a system in place that can handle a variety of consultations 24 hours a day for employees not only in Japan but worldwide.

Group companies outside Japan also conduct their own initiatives suited to the characteristics and needs of their region. Canon Vietnam provides its female staff with education on pregnancy and maternal health issues and offers health information through on-site bulletin boards. Canon Business Machines Philippines is working to raise awareness of dental health and the benefits of quitting smoking.

Measures in Response to COVID-19

The response of Canon Inc. to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has centered on infection prevention, consultation access, support for high-risk staff, and information sharing. We have drawn up guidelines and manuals, acquired equipment and materials to prevent infection, and offered health consultations with occupational physicians and nurses as well as via a 24-hour telephone hotline. We have also been providing support for employees with underlying illnesses and those dealing with mental health issues, to enable them to continue to receive needed treatment and work safely. Furthermore, we are providing accurate information on a timely basis in Japan and overseas through various means, such as sending out regular bulletins and holding seminars featuring occupational physicians.

Infectious Disease Prevention

As part of its efforts to prevent infectious diseases, Canon Inc. provides training to staff traveling or being assigned overseas related to HIV, malaria, and other infectious diseases, based on information put out by the Quarantine Information Office of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. In addition, the company also recommends various vaccinations depending on the destination country, based on information from both the Quarantine Information Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and covers the cost of such vaccinations.

Health Training for Contract Workers

With increasing rates of heat stroke occurring in both indoor and outdoor worksites throughout Japan, we provide ongoing training to prevent heat stroke to contract workers. We also take preventative measures in the workplace environment.