Supporting the Prevention of Store Accidents
At Tokio Marine & Nichido, we encounter a variety of accidents every day for which we confirm and analyze the status and cause as part of business activities for non-life insurance.
We provide an Accident Prevention Service (Loss Prevention Service) for stores and facilities that makes use of this know-how. The service has been utilized by over 150 companies and 800 stores to date, including retail stores such as supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies, as well as restaurants.
- QWould you explain about the Loss Prevention Service?
Yamakawa: In terms of the key feature of this service, four people, namely a local sales representative like me, a claims service representative like Mr. Noritake, a loss prevention service team member from the Claims Service Department of the Head Office and a person from a corporate function (Claims Management Department), form a team that transcends organizational walls to maximize respective strengths.
Noritake: We encounter many cases of accidents in the course of our work. This service makes effective use of analyses based on our advanced expertise as an insurance company and our know-how in accident prevention in order to predict accidents that are likely to occur and propose concrete preventive measures. Through this service, we hope to contribute to safe and secure living for local communities.
- QCan you give us a concrete example of an initiative that has been implemented?
Yamakawa: As one example, Consumers Cooperative Co-op Sapporo, a sales agency as well as our customer, has actually used the service.
The co-op is centered on retail operations and has 1.5 million union members throughout Hokkaido. Although store safety measures were already being implemented and safety awareness was high, it was deemed necessary to input external know-how in order to make customers feel even more secure. We recommended the Accident Prevention Service since it was in line with the philosophy of the co-op in placing importance on the safety and security of union members.
With the Loss Prevention Service, first we ask the customer to provide information on previous accidents in stores so we can analyze them and confirm any trends. Following that, we conduct on-site research. We visited six stores of Consumers Cooperative Co-op Sapporo with the four people mentioned earlier to observe facilities inside and outside each store as well as the movements of the employees before determining whether or not any risks exist that could possibly lead to an accident. We then prepared a report, led by the loss prevention service team from the Claims Service Department of the Head Office, that integrated Tokio Marine & Nichido’s expertise in light of the results of the accident analysis and on-site research.
Noritake: I provided examples of accidents that are likely to occur in Hokkaido based on my experience in everyday work. As an example, the number of accidents where people slip due to heavy snow is increasing. However, it is possible to reduce the number of these accidents simply by making a smart change to the way mats are laid at the entrance to each store. In addition, other simple, clever ways of using equipment also lead to fewer accidents, such as employing a wheel-stopper and protection bar in the car park, shopping baskets and a signs informing shoppers of any dangers in stores. We then compiled a report that not only outlined the perspective unique to each store but also added the experience that loss prevention teams and the Claims Management Department have amassed in research and analysis conducted nationwide as well as data from an ergonomics standpoint.
- QWhat was the reaction of Consumers Cooperative Co-op Sapporo?
Yamakawa: We proposed specific accident prevention measures and first response measures in case of an accident at a meeting with some 109 store managers. Everyone was happy when we conveyed the fact that the preventive measures could be executed without the need for excessive cost outlays.
Noritake: At the store managers meeting, we had each person fill out a questionnaire and I was impressed at all the reactions from the store managers. In particular, there was extremely high interest in first response in case of an accident. In an initiative like this, in addition to merely indicating problem areas, it is important to get everyone to understand the circumstances and realize that they can implement the measures themselves as well as to gain a sense that taking the measures will reduce the negative impact on business.
- QWhat did you feel and what did you gain from actually implementing this initiative?
Noritake: Although typically our work involves response after an accident, actually visiting the stores enabled us to get a good feel for the various risks and talk to the customer from the perspective of accident prevention on a routine basis.
Yamakawa: By forming a team of four and working together we were able to get things done as a collective effort that an individual may not have been able to do. I believe we succeeded in increasing trust and strengthening our relationship by being there as a company that is of benefit at critical times through providing Tokio Marine & Nichido’s unique solutions.
- QHow are you planning to make use of this experience in the future?
Yamakawa: Consumers Cooperative Co-op Sapporo is trying to make continuous improvements based on the results of the diagnosis and we aim to provide support in whatever way we can. Further, since the co-op uses approximately 800 trucks for its delivery business, we will analyze vehicle-related risk as one means to further enhance safety and security.
Noritake: Once an accident occurs at a customer site, in addition to compensation for the accident itself, business may be affected in a number of other ways. We are of the firm belief that one of our roles as an insurance company is to prevent accidents and deepen ties with the customer by understanding their business in day-to-day terms.
Next, we hear from Yusuke Takahashi, a member of the claims loss prevention team at the Head Office, about the significance and actual initiatives of the Loss Prevention Service.
- QIn what capacity were you involved in the Consumers Cooperative Co-op Sapporo case?
I observed the six co-op stores together with sales representative Yamakawa and claims service representative Noritake. My main job was to make a report after confirming the risk of slipping and running into one another in stores as well as automobile collisions in the car park. In the report, I proposed measures for improvement relative to the content of each risk factor that I perceived during my observations. Information from our side didn’t finish with details of the proposals but also included an introduction to best practices for each store in an effort to heighten interest from the customer. As an example, we introduced cases to ensure the safety of union members who came to the store, notably a way to lay down the long mat and attach non-slip tape on the floor near the entrance, where there is a high risk of slipping.
- QWhat kind of benefits can you provide through the Loss Prevention Service?
As an insurance company, we can deliver safety and security at all times through the provision of our Loss Prevention Service in addition to being of assistance at critical times for customers and local communities. Tokio Marine & Nichido’s Loss Prevention Service is handled jointly by the sales and claims service departments. The involvement of sales representatives and claims service representatives who comprehend in detail the accident trends of a customer enables the provision of preventive measures appropriate to the risk conditions of that customer.
- QIn what way would you like to use the experience gained in the Loss Prevention Service?
Personally, I think I have become more acutely aware of potential risks facing society through this work. I am now also able to consider from a more multifaceted perspective measures to prevent recurrence when a problem occurs in the course of daily work. Going forward, I would like to devote my efforts toward contributing to safe and secure business activities by customers and in local communities through proposals to prevent accidents that are backed by the customer.