Anzen means “safety” in Japanese, and the Japanese have been valuing it ever since, making it a part of their daily lives.
This value of safety is also seen inside Hino Motors Philippines’ (HMP) Calamba plant, where safety inside its halls were not merely prioritized, but rather, a culture embedded into the minds and hearts of its workers.
“At Hino, we treat each other like family members, not just fellow colleagues. We don’t treat safety as something to be improvised strictly, but an art. We believe that safety is one step to improve efficiency and quality,” Hino Motors Philippines Production Director Hirokazu Kono told Fast Times.
Each station has a family photo board posted near the station entrance, reminding workers of the impact anzen does for themselves and their families.
“We implemented them last year, and since the last three months, no reports of injuries of our workers were found three months later,” Kono added.
All workers in the production lines wear complete protective equipment [PPE], as the rule for that is strictly enforced within the premises. “There was one time that I saw someone working without the complete PPE. Instead of scolding, which I really don’t like, I took him to the family board to know the impact of safety not only in work, but in the family as well,” Kono said.
Safety protocols are also applied in handling heavy machinery, such as revolving lamps that alert workers of an incoming machinery. Employees working two meters or higher are required to use harnesses, and handling load is limited to just 20 kilograms. A daily safety patrol is done every day to ensure plant safety protocols.
Some stations include small recreation areas to allow workers to unwind during their short break before going back to work again.
A 5S system was also implemented – seiton (sorting), seiri (arranging items properly), seiso (keeping everything clean and tidy), seiketsu (standardized work procedures) and shitsuke (sustaining safe practices) – to ensure build quality as a unit leaves the production line.
“As Hino continues to innovate and improve on our vehicles, so does our plant. We’re in the market now for 40 years and we enjoyed much success, even with stricter emissions regulations implemented here in the country. ” HMP Chairman Vicente Mills Jr. told Fast Times.
After the plant tour, Hino arranged a test drive of its newly launched Euro-4 compliant 300, 500, and 700 series trucks, along with the new Cerito and Grandeza Buses late last week. The media were given a hands-on experience with the trucks and buses as participants were allowed to drive units around a controlled area of the Honda Performance Driving Center in Paranaque. Hino also presented during the test drive portion of the event their version of the Jeepney, in accordance with the government’s jeepney modernization program.
Hino will soon open more dealerships in Isabela and General Santos, and plans are afoot for more dealerships in Bohol and Dumaguete.
PHOTOS BY ALAIN LOUISE C. GERONIMO