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Home / case studies / Case study: How Hankook Tire protects employees’ health

Case study: How Hankook Tire protects employees’ health

Hankook Tire is the world’s 7th largest tire maker delivering the best-possible driving experience to customers in more than 180 countries, through widespread business networks in Korea, China, Europe, the Americas, the Middle East & Africa, and Asia-Pacific regions. Employee health and safety is at the heart of Hankook Tire’s business philosophy  Tweet This!, and, at the same time, the key driver of its sustainable growth.

This case study is based on the 2017/18 CSR Report by Hankook Tire published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Hankook Tire seeks to make sure all employees enjoy a safe and pleasant working environment and is, accordingly, implementing safety trainings by position and role along with musculoskeletal rehabilitation and antismoking programmes, making every effort to protect the health of employees from potential risk factors. In order to protect employees’ health Hankook Tire took action to:

  • improve equipment that put strain on the musculoskeletal system
  • manage employees’ stress
  • operate antismoking programmes
  • improve the working environment

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2017/18 CSR Report Hankook Tire identified a range of material issues, such as achieving excellent operating performance and expanding employment, protecting human rights and raising awareness, strengthening anti-corruption activities, supporting the growth of employees. Among these, protecting employees’ health stands out as a key material issue for Hankook Tire.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Hankook Tire engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Shareholders & Investors

 

·      BOD meeting

·      General shareholders’ meeting

·      Overseas conference

·      IR activities

Customers (Individuals & dealers, car makers)

 

·      Technology exchange

·      Exhibition

·      Expo

·      Sustainability assessment

·      Meeting with agencies

·      CS Centre

·      Customer satisfaction survey

Employees

 

·      Labour-management council

·      Grievance handling system

·      Survey on organisational immersion

·      company intranet (Arena)

·      In-house idea proposal system

·      Quarterly Proactive Concert

Local Communities

 

 

·      Sustainability

·      Meeting with local residents, governments, and NGOs

·      Collection of complaints from local communities

Environment

 

·      Meeting with officials from governments and regulatory authorities

·      Listening to complaints from local communities

Suppliers

 

 

·      Regular supplier assessment, quality and CSR training

·      Hankook Partner’s Day

·      Procurement portal (HePS)

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Hankook Tire carried out surveys among customers, shareholders, investors and analysts, business partners, CSR institutions and CSR staff of companies, government, media, academia, NGOs and Hankook Tire employees, to check the level of stakeholder interest in various sustainability topics.

What actions were taken by Hankook Tire to protect employees’ health?

In its 2017/18 CSR Report Hankook Tire reports that it took the following actions for protecting employees’ health:

  • Improving equipment that put strain on the musculoskeletal system
  • With the aim of preventing employees from musculoskeletal diseases that may occur from repetitive works in the field or extension of service years, Hankook Tire has been improving its shop-floor equipment and working environment. Hankook Tire’s work conditions are regularly monitored for checking any possible musculoskeletal risk factors, and the outcomes are used in improving equipment and offering trainings. In 2017, Hankook Tire provided 192 employees suffering from musculoskeletal symptoms with a wide array of medical supports such as herbal therapy, physical therapy, exercise therapy, psychological counselling, and rehabilitation hospital treatment.
  • Managing employees’ stress
  • Hankook Tire offers medical services for employees such as check-up, auxiliary clinic, Oriental Medical Clinics, and health promotion centre for their physical health. For mental health, Hankook Tire operates Donggeurami Mental Rest Area where professional psychological consultants reside in local plants including Daejeon Plant and Geumsan Plant. History on employees’ psychological consultation at Donggeurami Mental Rest Area is kept confidential, with personality type test, depression test, and behaviour test offered by means of many different psychology consultation methods. Psychology consultation services at Donggeurami Mental Rest Area are open to employees and their family members, while psychology treatment is also provided to help employees gain emotional stability in case of safety accidents. To encourage employees’ participation, Hankook Tire identified process workers who were vulnerable to stress exposure, recommending stress evaluation and psychology consultation. In 2017, professional psychology consultants provided a total of 707 workers with consultation and education sessions on understanding of stress cause and management and in the wake of an accident at Geumsan Plant, 117 workers from the affected department received psychology evaluation, consultation, and post-traumatic stress prevention education.
  • Operating antismoking programmes
  • Hankook Tire has intensively been promoting antismoking activities for the improvement of employee health. Antismoking mentoring and antismoking fund received positive response from employees, and the three strike-out systems against violating designated smoking areas were further tightened. At Daejeon Plant and Geumsan Plant, external professionals were invited to give a total of 111 employees three-hour antismoking trainings four times and, in 2017, Hankook Tire operated an antismoking clinic in conjunction with community health centres. This programme provided employees who wanted to stop smoking with a monthly nicotine test, consultation services, drugs used in nicotine dependence, and acupuncture to stop smoking. As a result of these efforts, the smoking rate at the domestic plants decreased by 7.9%.
  • Improving the working environment
  • To create a pleasant workplace and remove the fundamental causes of occupational diseases Hankook Tire continues to install local ventilation equipment in plants, while upgrading ventilation systems. For the mixing process, the existing open-type upward local ventilation system was replaced with enveloping hood, thus improving the ventilation efficiency. Hankook Tire also replaced diesel forklifts in the mixing process with electric forklifts to cut fume release and improved working conditions for indoor environment by installing enclosure-type local ventilation equipment on the charging stations for electric forklifts. In order to create a clean working environment for the extruding and trimming process Hankook Tire modified and installed a new local ventilation system and, in addition to those efforts, carries out a working environment evaluation twice a year to monitor air quality, noise, lighting, temperature, and humidity.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 403-6 Promotion of worker health

Disclosure 403-6 Promotion of worker health does not correspond to any SDG.

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



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References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Hankook Tire, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Hankook Tire: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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