Approach & Purpose

Basic Principle (On Land)

The “K” LINE Group has established Groupwide guidelines, the Charter of Conduct. Under these guidelines, we respect the human rights of all employees, regardless of whether they are in Japan or overseas, consider the personality, individuality, and diversity of our corporate members, and improve work safety and conditions to offer them comfort and affluence.

 

Basic Principle (At Sea)

Eradication of occupational accidents is fundamental to safe and economical operations. In order to raise each member’s safety awareness and ensure safety on board, the Company has introduced safety experience training and/or hazard prediction training. The Company also gathers examples of incidents, through near-miss reports, etc., that have not been tangible but have posed potential risks. Such information is shared internally to help enhance safety in navigation and cargo operations.
In the meantime, the “K” LINE Group strives not to violate the fundamental rights of seafarers on board by complying with the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). The convention was adopted in February 2006 by the International Labour Organization (ILO), as a comprehensive international employment convention containing seafarers’ fundamental rights, as set out below:

 

1. Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
2. the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour;
3. the effective abolition of child labour; and
4. the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

 

We shall comply with this convention across our entire fleet so as not to infringe on the fundamental rights of our crew members

Health Declaration

Our corporate principle is to help enrich the lives of people as a logistics company rooted in the shipping industry, and we conduct our business activities accordingly. Crucial to realizing this principle is providing safe and optimized services which calls for us to constantly maintain the physical and mental health of the individuals involved in our business and to help them fully demonstrate their potential abilities. We believe that health is the source of individual happiness and is indispensable for realizing the Group’s principle. As the health of each and every Group employee is of paramount importance, we will work hard to maintain and enhance the health of employees in cooperation with health insurance associations, labor unions, and clinics (occupational health physicians).

System

Management System (On Land)

We strive to continuously improve health and safety at onshore offices and bases and the mental and physical health of our employees. The Company established the Health Enhancement Committee, chaired by an executive officer in charge of human resources (overall health controller), which functions as a health committee, as required by the Industrial Safety and Health Act. We share information by regularly communicating the matters discussed and reported at these committee meetings to the Board of Directors and Executive Officers’ Meeting.

Management System (At Sea)

Based on legal standards, we have set up a seafarers’ health and safety system, with the Seafarers’ Health and Safety Committee onshore and the Onboard Health and Safety Committee on our vessels. We promote operational health and safety in cooperation with ship management companies and relevant departments. The Seafarers’ Health and Safety Committee studies and deliberates how to best maintain seafarers’ living and working conditions onboard and prevent occurrences or recurrences that may affect seafarers’ health, as well as providing proper training in health and safety. We were certified as a good company for seafarers’ industrial accident prevention in 2008.

Initiatives

Work–Life Balance (On Land)

Ensuring that employees can maintain a good work–life balance is integral to encouraging employee skill development and to spurring the sustainable growth of the “K” LINE Group. We are actively adopting flexible workstyles as a measure to allow employees to continue working amid the changes that accompany different life stages. For example, the Company had a teleworking system in place even before the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we offer robust systems for supporting employees, including maternity, childcare, and long-term care systems that surpass legal requirements.

Our Actions for Enabling Work–Life Balance

We have been very successful in establishing an excellent relationship with our labor union, and we are jointly seeking opportunities to realize a better work environment and implement measures to enable work–life balance. These include the implementation of a teleworking system, infertility treatment leave, maternity leave, and childcare leave. In addition to childcare leave for mothers, we have introduced childcare leave for fathers, enabling them to take leave of up to 10 consecutive working days to care for their children. Furthermore, we have established various systems, such as shorter working hours and flextime, to promote our employees’ work–life balance.

Overview of Systems That Support Work–Life Balance

Primary systems

Outline of our systems

Legal standards

Number of users in fiscal 2022

Men

Women

Total

Health care during pregnancy

Maternity leave

Reduced hours granted during pregnancy

Same as our system

-

0

0

Hospital visits granted during work hours

Same as our system

-

1

1

Maternity leave

Childcare leave

Granted from 8 weeks before the due date

Granted from 6 weeks before the due date

-

16

16

Maternity allowance granted during the period of 6 to 8 weeks prior to birth

No established standards

-

15

15

Childcare leave

Granted until the child turns 3 years old

Granted until the child turns 2 years old

13

11

24

Childcare leave for fathers

Granted for 5 to 10 working days

No established standards

11

-

11

Leave for advanced infertility treatment

Granted for up to 18 months

No established standards

0

1

1

Nursing care leave

Granted for up to 2 years

Granted for up to 93 days

0

0

0

Support programs during childcare or nursing care

Loan program

Available for an employee who has a preschool child or a person requiring nursing care in their family (up to ¥2,000,000)

No established standards

0

0

0

Reduced working-hour program

Granted until a child completes the third grade of elementary school

Granted before a child enters elementary school

0

28

28

Flexible working hours

Introduced by various divisions, with core hours of 11 A.M. to 3 P.M.

Depends on the labor-management agreement

-

-

-

Refreshment leave

Available in the 11th year at the company

(7 consecutive days)

No established standards

9

9

18

Available in the 21st year at the company

(10 consecutive days)

No established standards

10

5

15

Administrative leave for accompanying a spouse on an overseas or domestic assignment

Granted for 2 years for an overseas assignment or 1 year for a domestic assignment

No established standards

0

4

4

Kurumin: The Accreditation Mark Granted to Companies That Support the Raising of the Next Generation of Children

“K” LINE was evaluated for its proactive measures to support the balance between work and raising children and received Kurumin 2022 certification (for its efforts from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2022), as a childcare support company by the Tokyo Labor Bureau of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. We also received Kurumin certification in 2016 and 2020.
In addition, KMDS CO., Ltd., one of our consolidated subsidiaries, achieved Kurumin 2021 certification, for its efforts from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2020. Women comprise 90% of employees at this company, which is engaged in trade administration including documentation for ocean freight transportation, outsourced contracting, and worker dispatching services. We are striving to improve the working environment and diversify workstyles so that both women and men can play an active role.

Work–Life Balance (At Sea)

Creating Opportunities to Contact Families

To help our seafarers work with peace of mind despite being far away from their families, we established onboard internet access enabling individuals to use smartphones and computers to contact their families and friends via email, social media, and other apps. We also help cover travel and accommodation expenses so that the families of workers can come to our vessels when they berth at ports in Japan and overseas.
In addition, we have established a system allowing families to board our vessels during certain periods, which gives peace of mind both to our personnel and their families. In these ways, we strive to ensure that our maritime technical personnel can do high-quality work.

Living Conditions on Vessels

Since ship-based living quarters and working environments are so close together, seafarers need to be able to adjust between being on duty and off duty. We endeavor to help seafarers take proper rest in various ways. This includes giving them opportunities to exercise, read books, and watch DVDs in their free time. Our vessels include onboard gymnasiums, to help seafarers keep fit, and recreation rooms, the cost of which we subsidize by purchasing recreational equipment.
Daily meals play an important role in ship-based living, and for this reason we employ non-Japanese cooks to prepare onboard meals. Our cooks are trained at the “K” Line Maritime Academy (KLMA) in Manila, the Philippines, underscoring our efforts to provide well-balanced, highly nutritious meals for our seafarers on our vessels.
We also provide crew members on each vessel with a recipe book of their national cuisine so that they can eat a wide variety of meals. In order to create a bright and pleasant working environment for our seafarers, from time to time we organize recreational events and parties for all crew members to participate in, regardless of their nationality.

Health and Safety Considerations (On Land)

Physical Health

Our employees must receive a physical examination once a year, and we assist with the costs for those who wish to receive a second examination. We have a medical clinic at our head office in Tokyo that provides medical examinations, and employees can visit a doctor when they are feeling unwell. In addition, we have a “health keeper” who provides massages for employees to relieve them and help them recover from fatigue. Thus, we proactively support our employees’ health management.

Mental Health

To assist with mental health issues, we have adopted an internet-based stress check program that employees can use to manage their mental health and improve their stress tolerance. In addition, we hold annual seminars on mental health for executives and employees at the Tokyo head office. Furthermore, we have put in place a range of support systems including mental health consultations with a medical specialist and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides external counselors to tend to employees’ physical and mental health conditions.

Prevention of Overwork

To reduce overlong working hours, we are implementing training for managers on the relationship between overwork and health and reinforcing measures to prevent employees from becoming overworked. In terms of managing working hours, when an employee does any work outside of regular working hours, an email is automatically sent to their superior after a fixed amount of time has elapsed. This system enables managers to understand the working hours of their employees in a timely manner and respond quickly, such as by reducing their workload. Additionally, we endeavor to reduce overlong working hours by managing the overtime work results for each employee on a daily basis. We will carry out interviews with employees, when necessary, who have the most overtime work Groupwide, as well as with their managers. Furthermore, reporting the average overtime working hours for each department to the Executive Officers’ Meeting on a monthly basis enables us to work together with management and make even more effective improvements.

Health Support for Overseas Assignees

We support medical examinations and vaccinations for employees who are transferring overseas, as well as for their family members. Once they have been posted overseas, employees can also receive support from our partner emergency medical assistance companies.

Formulating a Pandemic Influenza Response Operation Plan

Our company is a designated public institution specified in the Act on Special Measures for Preparedness and Response against Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases (Act No.31 of 2012). The Act requests designated public institutions to take appropriate measures to prevent disruption to the operation of the business, and to continue the business even in an event of pandemic influenza outbreak to minimize its effect on the people’s living and national economy.
The Act also requests designated public institutions to formulate a pandemic influenza preparedness and response operation plan for their business, to report the plan to the Prime Minister of Japan, and to publish the outline of the plan.
In accordance with this provision of the Act our company has formulated a “Pandemic Influenza Response Operation Plan”. The outline is shown below.

Health and Safety Considerations (At Sea)

Initiatives to Prevent Occupational Accidents

While at sea, we conduct pre-work/tool-box meetings every morning to help prevent occupational accidents. We also hold monthly working management committee meetings to ensure that we are thoroughly prepared in the event of an emergency and dangerous situations on board. In addition, we regularly distribute letters from our marine safety supervisors to all vessels to keep our seafarers mindful and aware of issues related to occupational accidents, health, and safety. We also distribute radio calisthenics CDs to encourage employees to do pre-work warm-up exercises to prevent injuries.
In addition, our seafarers are required to attend health- and safety-related training.

Prevention of Overwork

To prevent overwork at sea, we have introduced a labor management and reporting system to consider appropriate distribution of tasks so that our seafarers do not take on excessive workloads. We also arrange ship operational schedules and increase the number of personnel on board as necessary to prevent unreasonable working situations.

Physical Examinations

Since it is not possible to visit onshore medical facilities while at sea, it is extremely important that our maritime technical personnel are both physically and mentally healthy. They are required to undertake a medical examination prior to embarkation, as well as annual examinations covering items beyond those mandated legally. We keep secure records of medical examination data at the Company in order to refer to and understand the health status of our various maritime technical personnel.
Regarding the mental health of maritime technical personnel, in addition to training courses conducted by externally qualified people, the superintendent regularly announces safety-related information in collaboration with our own industrial physicians.

Initiative to Prevent Passive Smoking

In our new containerships, each with a capacity of 14,000 containers, we are modifying the specifications to facilitate the trialed separation of smoking and non-smoking areas. We will also set up smoking rooms to prevent passive smoking. Our aim is to offer pleasant environments where both smokers and nonsmokers can spend their time comfortably while on board.

Health and Safety Management Guidance through Ship Visits

Seeking to improve the overall health and safety of our seafarers, we have assigned marine safety supervisors to our Maritime Strategy Group. The marine safety supervisors visit the ships when at port and provide guidance related to health and safety management. During such visits, we also conduct individual interviews to ensure our seafarers are in good mental health. In addition, we encourage our seafarers to engage in radio calisthenics before starting work each day to keep fit and prevent injuries.

Enhancement of Interviews Conducted by HR Personnel

Unlike regular workplaces, our maritime technical personnel experience closed living conditions while working at sea. Once on board, moreover, they are normally at sea for six-month periods. For this reason, we always have HR personnel conduct telephone interviews with our seafarers to gain feedback focusing on life at sea and, after disembarkation, personal relationships, and anything else they feel is worth mentioning. When deemed necessary, moreover, we conduct face-to-face interviews. Through these actions, we strive to alleviate the concerns of our maritime technical personnel while monitoring the condition of Company workplaces.

Onboard Workstyle Reforms

Maintaining safety in navigation and cargo operations is the most important duty for maritime technical personnel on board our vessels. However, they also take responsibility for numerous administrative tasks, including procedures that accompany entering and exiting ports. We are working on the IT development and digitalization of our vessels, installing high-spec computers, which already support IT development, and promoting the introduction of a communications infrastructure capable of handling large amounts of data to reduce workloads.
On CENTURY HIGHWAY GREEN, which was delivered in March 2021, we introduced a Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network that uses IP/MPLS (IP/multiprotocol label switching) solutions, in addition to the traditional satellite communication system. By realizing a balance of sufficient communication speed and highly encrypted communication through a Field Area Network (FAN) environment between onshore and offshore points, we can utilize a range of digital technologies at ports of call, both domestic and overseas, to make onboard work more efficient.

Related Data

Health Management Data

Priority Health-Related Initiatives

• Establishing the Health Enhancement Committee and holding regular meetings (the minutes of which are disclosed to employees)
• Offering stress check consultations and follow-ups
• Holding in-house walking events
• Holding seminars about sleep (e-learning)

【Stress Check Examination Rate】

FY2018

FY2019

FY2020

FY2021

FY2022

85.1% 

82.6% 

84.3% 

90.1% 

88.0% 

【Work engagement and percentage of employees with high levels of stress】

Items

FY2019

FY2020

FY2021

FY2022

Comprehensive health risk*1

88 

87 

87 

84 

Percentage of employees with high levels of stress*2

9.6% 

10.8% 

8.9% 

9.4% 

Work engagement*3

2.5points

2.5points

2.5points

2.6points

Presenteeism*4

-

-

-

4.1points

Note: Scores taken from The Brief Job Stress Questionnaire is scored

 

*1 Comprehensive health risk is derived from the scores of the following four factors: work burden (quantity), discretion over work, support from superiors, and support from coworkers. It is a quantification of the degree of health risk that occurs due to the work environment. The national average is 100, and the lower the number, the lower the risk.

*2 Employees with high levels of stress were evaluated based on the average score of mental and physical stress response, work stress factors, and support from colleagues and superiors, converted into a five-point evaluation. The national average is 10%.

*3 Work engagement is an indicator of how energized, proud of, and enthusiastic about their work employees are. The scores given to each response to the following statements are as follows: “I feel full of vitality when I work” and “I feel proud of my work”: Yes = 4 points, Most of the time = 3 points, Sometimes = 2 points, and No = 1 point. The score shown above is calculated based on the average score of all examinees. The national average is 2.5 points.

*4 Presenteeism means working while suffering from some form of health issue, resulting in low productivity. (Japan has an average of 3.9 out of 5.0 points. A low number equals low productivity.)

 

Ensuring Employees Take at Least Five Days of Annual Paid Leave

【Average days of annual paid leave taken】

FY2020

FY2021

FY2022

8.3days

8.9days

9.9days

【Average of seven days’ vacation* taken】

* In a fiscal year, up to seven days of non-statutory leave are available.

FY2020

FY2021

FY2022

5.3days

5.0days

4.8days

Managing Overtime Working Hours

【Overtime working hours (monthly average)*】

FY2020

FY2021

FY2022

7.9hours

8.9hours

6.8hours

* Full-time employees only; excludes transferees and those on reduced working hours


As a result of the above initiatives, we have been recognized under the Certified Health and Productivity Management Organization Recognition Program, designed and promoted by the Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) and the Nippon Kenko Kaigi, to honor companies that practice good health management. Recognition as a 2023 certified Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organization marks the fourth year in a row and the fifth time overall that we have won in the large enterprise category.

 

Data Related to Occupational Accidents

Item

Unit

FY

FY2020

FY2021

FY2022

Onshore

Seafarer

Onshore

Seafarer

Onshore

Seafarer

Number of occupational accidents (*1)

Cases

0

0

0

0

0

1

Number of fatal occupational accidents

Cases

0

0

0

0

0

0

Number of accidents requiring leave(*2)

Cases

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lost time incident rate (LTIR) (*3)

0

0

0

0

0

0

*1 Excludes accidents while commuting
*2 Number of injuries/illnesses caused by occupational accidents and requiring one or more days of leave
*3 Accidents that result in time off work beyond the day or shift that the injuries or illnesses occurred / 1 million total working hour ratio