Human Rights and LaborOccupational Safety and Health Management

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, to build healthy and safe work environments for all workers, including those of contractors. We also hold health and safety conferences with contractors to maintain and improve health and safety on site.

We are applying an integrated approach across the Group’s overseas production sites, while taking into consideration the specific circumstances of each region and Group company.

Occupational Safety and Health

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.

In 2021, there were no serious occupational accidents relating to the use of machinery (getting pinched or caught) or contact with hazardous chemical substances that required time off work. We are taking steps to prevent accidents from reoccurring, in terms of both education and equipment, such as investigating the underlying cause of any accident, retraining workplace personnel, and improving the operability of machinery. We conduct a thorough safety inspection and risk assessment to determine if similar risks exist at the site where any accident occurs. In addition, information about accidents is promptly shared with Group companies, particularly production sites, to prevent similar occurrences elsewhere.

Priority Targets for 2021

  1. Eliminate all types of machinery-related accidents (0 cases)
  2. Eliminate 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

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 our operational sites across countries and regions. 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.

Canon sites are currently transitioning from the international OHS management system standard OHSAS 18001 to the new ISO 45001 standard. As of the end of December 2021, approximately 16% of Canon Inc. and Canon Group sites around the world had acquired ISO 45001 certification.

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

Canon conducts wide-ranging assessments of occupational accident and safety risks 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 in particular the serious risks posed by machinery-related accidents, we review existing equipment at least once a year. In addition, for new businesses, we identify and evaluate risks from the R&D stage and implement OHS measures based on risk assessment outcomes.

In 2019, we formulated a common risk assessment and management standard for the Canon Group. To ensure the new standard is implemented properly, we are conducting training programs for health and safety staff to deepen their understanding of risk assessment methodology as well as providing e-learning courses for workplace managers and people in charge of operations. 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 to prevent a similar accident from occurring elsewhere.

As part of efforts to eliminate workplace accidents, we provide specialized training to all managers involved in on-site workplace risk assessment. We also carry out an e-learning course to help employees engaged in risk assessments gain a better understanding of assessment objectives and procedures. In 2021, 3,323 people took this 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 sites, on the same level as in Japan. For example, to help employees understand health and safety matters in their native language, 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 Management

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 initiatives and priority targets 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)

Priority Targets

  1. Reduce number of lost work days
  2. Reduce presenteeism
  3. Reduce number of people at high risk
  4. Reduce number of people with metabolic syndrome
  5. Establish practice of taking cancer screening tests


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

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. Showing steady increase since being introduced in 2016, the participation rate for stress checks reached 96.6% in 2021. We have also seen a proportionate decline in the number of highly stressed employees through the introduction of health consultations in addition to regular checkups with an occupational physician for such individuals. Based on group analysis of these outcomes and cooperation with each division, we distribute a “Health Report” detailing the health status of each division and organize related worksite meetings. We also provide managers with mental health training to bolster workplace support capabilities. 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

As part of efforts to combat lifestyle diseases, we identify health-related areas requiring attention and rank their priority based on an analysis of employee data. 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). Canon Inc. and all Group companies 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 17.4 points in the 17 years since the initiative began in 2004, falling to 15.0% in 2021.

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, there has been a downtrend in both employees at high risk and those subject to specific health guidance. 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, including women’s health issues. In 2021, a total of 5,328 employees completed this program.

In collaboration with the health insurance union, labor union, in-house stores, staff cafeterias and other partners, we conduct health-related activities to promote health through nutrition and exercise. The campaign in 2021 focused on eating breakfast daily and responsible consumption of alcohol. The number of participants in our annual walking competition, which features the use of ICT tools, hit a five-year high of 9,372 people. In addition, Canon Health Call is an initiative of the health insurance union that offers personal health consultations over the phone 24 hours a day for employees not only in Japan but also worldwide.

Group companies outside Japan also conduct their own initiatives. Canon Prachinburi (Thailand) created video materials to help educate female employees on pregnancy and maternal health issues, as well as COVID-19, while Canon Business Machines Philippines organized mental health seminars by occupational physicians as part of efforts to raise awareness of various health issues.

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. Our workplace COVID vaccination program for Canon Inc. and Group employees, including family members and contractors, inoculated around 60,000 people in 2021.

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 or region, 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 contract workers on heat stroke prevention. We also take preventative measures in the workplace environment.