13.2 General Considerations
13.2.1 Industrial Safety & Health Act and Other Significant Laws
With regard to occupational safety and health, the University’s activities are subject to Japan’s Industrial Safety and Health Act. In addition, the University has its own Safety and Health Management Rules, Rules for Safety Management System and a University Safety and Health Committee. Also, additional laws applicable to the University’s various research and academic activities are set out where relevant elsewhere in this Chapter.
13.2.2 Export and Import Compliance
Japan, like most nations, imposes controls, requirements, and duties on the export and import of virtually all goods, including materials and equipment used in basic research of the type conducted at the University. The government also controls, and may require licenses for, the importing of a variety of items, devices, substances, information, and specimens, including living organisms. Genetically modified organisms are a particular concern in Japan. Goods approved for importation may also be subject to fees/taxes (sometimes referred to as “duties”), although items used in university-based research may be eligible for an exemption from duties. When exporting goods or providing technologies, it would be necessary to follow the control of Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act (Foreign Exchange Act). Please also refer to the PRP Chapter 22 “Avoiding Conflicts of Interest & Security Export Control.
13.2.3 Transporting Biological Agents, Chemical Materials, and Other Regulated Material
Transportation of many research materials, devices, and substances is subject to strict regulations, under the provisions of the Postal Act, Terms and Conditions of Domestic Postal Services, Universal Postal Convention, and IATA Dangerous Goods Rules, among others. Additionally, containers and packaging for transport within Japan and overseas must comply with specific requirements.
Relevant laws affecting import/export of biological agents and chemical materials include:
- Act on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity through Rules on the Use of Living Modified Organisms (Cartagena Act)
- Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control
- Rabies Prevention Act
- Act Concerning the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Medical Care for Patients with Infectious Diseases
- Plant Protection Act
- Invasive Alien Species Act
- Act on the Protection of Fishery Resources
- Import and export of chemical materials is regulated by the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc. (Chemicals Evaluation Act)
13.2.4 Acquisition of Genetic Resources
If genetic resources are acquired abroad or are brought into Japan for research purposes, the University shall review providing country’s laws and regulations in advance based on the Convention on Biological Diversity and complete Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) procedures. Researchers shall contact Office of Provost in case of acquiring from or jointly acquiring from academic institution of providing country, or Technology Licensing Section in case of acquiring from or jointly acquiring from organization of providing country other than academic institution, and complete necessary procedures. Genetic resources subject to ABS include animals, plants, microorganism (including viruses), DNA/RNA extract, and traditional knowledge about use of genetic resources.
13.2.5 Safety-Related Signage
”Safety Signs” warning of hazards and the need for caution are posted at various locations around the campus. Some are temporary warnings, such as used during construction or roadwork. Those placed on laboratory doors are generally permanent and must be taken seriously. Employees, students, and visitors are expected to notice, read, and obey all safety signs. Safety signs are fabricated and maintained in accordance with University Safety Signs Guidance.
13.2.6 Incident and Accident Response & Reporting
Everyone in the University has a responsibility to respond to and report health or safety incidents and accidents in accordance with the “OIST Graduate University Emergency, Safety, Health Procedures & Guidelines”, "OIST Incident and Accident Reporting Guideline" and other relevant rules. If in the case of minor incidents or accidents or the victim or witness is able to identify the section that should respond, then he/she may directly contact that section without following the procedure above. However, a report shall be submitted to the Safety and health via WEB form or other means to a University Safety and Health Committee at a later date. The reports are used only for accident prevention activities, and the reporters will not be sanctioned for reporting the cases.