13.1 Policy

Through an array of orientation programs including safety matters, research- and job-specific safety and education and training courses, and health and wellness programs, OIST Graduate University (“the University”) promotes the safety and health of its students, employees, and others within the University Community. The University also strives to carry out the activities that comprise and support its education and research mission in a manner that will preserve and protect the distinctive natural environment in which the campus is located. This includes conscientious recycling and appropriate handling and disposal of hazardous waste and other waste materials, as well as utilization of energy efficient practices and modalities. Additionally, because Okinawa is located in a unique geological region subject to earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, and other natural disasters (and associated fires), the University has in place rigorous Disaster and Emergency Preparedness protocols and training for students and employees.

It is University policy to meet or exceed all legal and regulatory requirements regarding Safety, Health & Environmental Protection (“SHEP”) and may impose additional requirements as appropriate. Each member of the University community is expected to comply with the University’s policies, rules, and procedures regarding safety (including disaster preparedness), health, and environmental protection in addition to complying with all relevant Japanese legal requirements. The dedication and active commitment of every individual regarding SHEP is critical to the success of the University’s safety, health, environmental protection, and disaster preparedness programs.

13.1.1  General Safety Policy

General workplace safety training is important for everyone at the University, even those who believe that they have a non-hazardous desk job. Safety training is one of the most basic and important functions of the University. Safety training provides insight into potential hazards in the workplace, how to spot them, and what to do once a hazard is recognized. Several forms of training are available, such as group instruction, WEB-based training, or one-on-one sessions. The University requires that all those who operate in the University take safety training programs, including the Basics of Health and Safety program which extensively covers workplace safety matters [link: 13.3.1], and renew program certifications as necessary.

13.1.1.1  Job-Specific Safety Policy. Numerous hazards are job-specific. Operation of machine tools, electrical work, construction, plumbing, and just about any effort involving machinery will expose those doing that work to dangers. Work involving these dangers is subject to stringent occupational safety regulation and training, and those who are engaged in those occupations (or those otherwise carrying-out such activities) at the University must take the relevant safety training [link: 13.3.2].

13.1.1.2  Research Safety Policy. Different experiments pose different potential risks. Individuals involved in conducting experiments must familiarize themselves with all potential risks before starting the experiment so that they can anticipate possible incidents, ensure to follow safe experimental procedures and take safety measures to prevent incidents. Additionally, Faculty members and Lead Investigators must instruct research personnel about appropriate safety measures, and research personnel must follow their instructions and advice. If an accident occurs, OIST personnel must implement appropriate first-aid responses, giving priority to rescuing activities and attending to injured people, and to preventing the spread of damage.

13.1.2 Health & Wellness Policy

The University offers training, programs and medical services to promote the physical and mental health and well being of employees and students and to support a healthy and productive work environment. Employees and students are expected to engage in the University’s Health & Wellness programs, to be conscious of their health, to undergo periodic general and specific medical examinations[link: 41.3.1], to pay attention to diet and nutrition, to exercise daily, to get enough sleep each night, and to take time for relaxation and recreation.

13.1.3  Environmental Protection Policy

The University is committed to the continuous development of technologies related to renewable energy, to research in the environmental and associated sciences, and to minimization of energy consumption in its activities. All employees and students are expected to behave in conformance with the University’s policy of reducing environmental impact, reducing waste, managing and handling of hazardous waste, and maximizing energy efficiency.

13.1.4  Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Response Policy

In order to minimize the adverse impact of the unpredictable natural and other disasters that may strike, the University has developed and deployed preparedness and emergency response plans. It has also established evacuation areas, evacuation routes, and emergency contacts. University employees and students are expected to familiarize themselves with these preparations, plans and precautions. All members of the University community are expected to also have personal plans for dealing with disasters and emergencies away from the University. For details, see “OIST Graduate University Emergency, Safety and Health Procedures and Guidelines” [link: https://groups.oist.jp/rs].