The world is full of environment, health and safety regulations, with new ones being added every day. Most of these requirements focus on manufacturing operations, but a surprising number of regulations apply to offices and other non-manufacturing, lower-risk operations! Check in with us once a month for our new blog series: EHS Global Moments, where we highlight a country-specific EHS regulation applicable to non-manufacturing operations, organized by place, topic, or theme.
Have you ever heard of an industrial physician being mandated in the workplace? In Japan, they have a regulation (Industrial Safety and Health Law, Section 4, Article 13) that states all employers with more than 1,000 regular employees are required to have an “industrial physician” on site. One bonus fun fact: Appointing a health officer (for any company with more than 50 employees) is also mandated in the same regulation. Section 3, Article 7 describes the requirements for industries that need health officers and how many are needed on-site depending on the number of employees.
Back to industrial physicians—Our health and safety practitioners who have visited workplaces in Japan with industrial physicians say that employees were relieved to have a doctor nearby in case of any health and safety issues. Here is an overview of Japan’s regulations around workplace industrial physicians:
- Industrial physicians must have a license from the Director of the Prefectural Labor Bureau or be in possession of the qualification provided by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
- The industrial physician must carry out health care for workers
- The industrial physician may make recommendations for workers and employers regarding health care when it is necessary to maintain and protect the health of the workers
- Workplaces that have more than 3,000 regularly employed workers must appoint two or more industrial physicians
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