Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

10 August 2012
Office for Radiation Protection of Worker
Industrial Health Division
Occupational Safety and Health Department
Labour Standards Bureau

Press Release

Instruction in regard to measures for safety and health management will be enhanced in preparation for emergency work at nuclear facilities.

- A circular notice was provided to directors of relevant labour bureaus with respect to safety and health management of radiation works -

On 10 August 2012, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare issued a circular notice (*2) to the directors of relevant prefectural labour bureaus with a directive to enhance instruction to the employers with respect to safety and health measures in preparation for emergency work at nuclear facilities(*1).

*1: Nuclear power plant, reprocessing facilities and fuel fabrication facilities
*2: “Enhancement of safety and health management measures of radiation works and emergency work at nuclear facilities”, Labour Standards Bureau Notification No. 0810-1, issued on 10 August 2012

We have provided instructions via circular notices since 2000 regarding safety and health management of radiation works in nuclear facilities, including radiation dose control. In consideration of the lessons learned from the accident in the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant associated with the Great East Japan Earthquake, measures in preparation for emergency work to be taken by the employers are also considered important. Accordingly, we have decided to enhance the instructions thoroughly.

Points where instructions are enhanced:

  1. Provisions in preparation for emergency work should be taken not only at nuclear facilities, but also at head offices and primary contractors,
  2. In making prior preparations for emergency work, nuclear facility operators, etc. are required to conduct the voluntary inspections listed below. We will instruct the facilities to schematically implement those issues that are difficult to implement immediately.
    (1)    Radiation dose control
    Enhancement of the framework of dose management divisions, securing availability and management of leased dosimeters, notification of doses and measurement of internal exposure, etc.
    (2)    Protective equipment and clothing
    Availability and correct wearing of respiratory protective equipment and measurement of airborne concentration at the waiting stations and other places
    (3)    Safety and health education
    Preparation of a textbook and spaces for educating new workers
    (4)    Health care and medical care system
    Establishing medical care system, measures against heat stroke, conducting special medical examination, and establishing a patient transportation system
    (5)    Work plan and others
    Establishing a work-planning system, preparation of proper work plans, assessing the actual status of contracted work, securing proper accommodation and meals, etc.
  3. We will clarify the items for the relevant prefectural labour bureaus to ensure that nuclear facilities are properly instructed in case of emergency work.

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