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  5. Systems Involving Regulations over Industrial Safety Revised

Systems Involving Regulations over Industrial Safety Revised

- As part of the efforts for preventing expansion of the novel coronavirus disease -

April 10, 2020

As part of the efforts for preventing expansion of the novel coronavirus disease, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) considers it important to allow companies to take flexible actions for meeting some regulations over industrial safety, e.g., regular security inspections, while securing safety in such actions as a premise and, to this end, METI revised some systems so that companies are permitted to extend the deadlines for inspections and checkups under the related laws and regulations over industrial safety.

1. Overview

In light of the Basic Policies for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control, which was decided on by the Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters on April 7, 2020, METI has been advancing efforts for preventing nationwide and quick spread of the novel coronavirus disease and developing environments to help companies take sufficient measures for preventing the expansion of the disease. As part of these efforts, METI considers it important to allow companies to take flexible actions for meeting some regulations over industrial safety, e.g., regular security inspections, while securing safety in such actions as a premise and, to this end, METI revised some systems so that companies are permitted to extend the deadlines for inspections and checkups shown in Item 2 below under the related laws and regulations over industrial safety.

2. Details of the revised systems

(1) System related to the High Pressure Gas Safety Act

Concerning facilities for manufacturing a large capacity of high pressure gas, e.g., those in petrochemical complexes. The revised system is to permit companies operating such facilities to extend the deadlines for safety inspections, which the companies are required to complete within a predetermined period of time stipulated for each facility. That is, if such companies reach the deadlines during the period from April 10 to September 30, 2020, the deadlines are extended for 4 months. Other regulations are to be stipulated also.

(2) System related to the Act on the Securing of Safety and the Optimization of Transaction of Liquefied Petroleum Gas

Concerning facilities for supplying tanks of liquefied petroleum gas for general households and other equipment, the revised system is to permit companies and other entities as sellers of such gas to extend the deadlines for inspections that companies are required to conduct for each facility. That is, if such companies reach the deadlines during the period from April 10 to September 30, 2020, the deadlines are extended for 4 months. Other regulations are to be stipulated also.

(3) System related to the Gas Business Act

The revised system is to develop regulations that permit city gas companies to extend the deadlines for inspections of pipelines and inner pipelines buried under roads to find any leakage of gas. Such companies are required to conduct these inspections within a predetermined period of time stipulated for each type of pipeline and other such equipment. If such companies receive an approval for extension from the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry or the Director of a Regional Industrial Safety and Inspection Department, the deadlines can be extended. Other regulations may also be stipulated.

(4) System related to the Electricity Business Act

The revised system is to permit companies installing electrical facilities, e.g., electricity generation facilities, to extend the deadlines for safety management examinations conducted by the government or registered examination bodies over the companies’ systems for executing their own inspections.  That is, if such companies reach the expiration of the deadlines during the period from April 10 to September 30, 2020, the deadlines are extended for 4 months. Other regulations are also to be stipulated.

(5) System related to the Mine Safety Act

The revised system is to permit holders of mining rights, e.g., mining companies, to extend the deadline for submitting a copy of a safety plan, which the companies are required to submit to the Director of a Regional Industrial Safety and Inspection Department or other personnel by the end of August every year.

(6) System related to the Explosives Control Act

The revised system is to develop regulations under which METI and prefectures are permitted to cancel the implementation of safety management examinations that they organize.

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