12 Apr “Well-being” and “Anshin” at the centre of the Vision Zero Summit
Importantly, the Vision Zero concept adds ‘well-being’ to the two traditional dimensions of safety and health. Well-being at work is not surprisingly one of the focus areas of this Summit and will be addressed both in relation to human factors, to the UN’s SDGs, to the construction industry, to manufacturing, to standardization and to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have asked Dr. Toshihiro Fujita, Director for the Institute of Global Safety Promotion and Chair of the Japan Organizing Committee 1 (JOC1), how ‘well-being’ is understood in Japan:
“We do not have an exact Japanese word that matches the meaning of well-being, so we are using it as a loan word without any changes, and it is getting into everyday Japanese vocabulary. In recent years, well-being has become a subject of attention in various fields and industries – health, food, business/management, construction, manufacturing, to name a few, a part reflecting the growing attention to the UN’s SDGs in Japan.
Regarding well-being at work, Japan has long been committed to secure ‘anzen-anshin’ (to be and to feel safe) at workplaces, which would best correspond to the concept of well-being. Being ‘anzen’ (being safe) is objective, and ‘anshin’ (feeling safe) is subjective. Securing these two aspects at workplaces must be given the highest priority, and has traditionally been promoted by workers themselves in the bottom-up style. In recent years, however, after the launch of Vision Zero campaign by ISSA in 2017, the Japanese business world is starting to recognize the importance of the top management taking strong initiatives to promote well-being of workers.”