With the increasing exchange of human resources in university research sites, environment and safety education is required to respond to university globalization.This study report on efforts at a graduate school from the viewpoint that environment and safety education for international students must be devised in consideration of the diverse backgrounds of international students and with awareness of differences in safety education and customs in their home countries. The three main points of discussion were "how to deal with language problems," "how to devise content," and "how to enhance educational effectiveness. As for innovations to language issues, the importance of lowering the linguistic hurdle through the use of multilingual and nonlinguistic teaching materials was discussed. In addition, as a way to address content issues, the necessity of learning the cultural background of the target culture by learning the behaviors that unconsciously exist in each culture, which is a prerequisite for environment and safety education, was discussed. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the teacher's own education was discussed in terms of how to enhance the effectiveness of education by shifting the position of the teacher from one who receives education to one who gives it. In the future, it is also important to consider how safety education should be provided in anticipation of increased human traffic at universities.
Although it is important to implement prevention of infection for COVID-19, there is rarely information on the current ventilation conditions at the actual research and education sites. The purpose of this study is to investigate the actual ventilation conditions in lecture rooms, meeting rooms, and faculty or student rooms in the graduate school where the authors are, and discuss necessary measures to continue education and research activities based on the results. According to the survey of ventilation, there were some rooms which need to increase the volume of ventilation, on the other hand, it was difficult to adopt natural ventilation for the rooms. As a case study, CFD calculation was performed to elucidate the effect of installing an air purifier in a meeting room to improve to ventilation conditions. From these survey and analysis, problems of ventilation in research activities place were specified, potential risks and infection prevention method in ventilation were discussed in this study.
Recently, as part of efforts to create a circular economy for plastics, reducing the use of single-use plastics has become an important issue in Japan. In Kyoto City, the local government has set the goal of reducing the annual disposal of PET bottles by half by 2030 compared with that in 2019. Here, we examined the motivation of students and staff at Kyoto University to begin habitually using a reusable water bottle. A questionnaire was provided to 72 participants, 15 of which were selected to undergo a semi-structured interview. Outcomes were examined by using the Steps for Coding and Theorization approach (SCAT). The most common motivation for using a reusable water bottle was to reduce costs, followed by the abilities to choose the bottle volume, choose the bottle content, and maintain the bottle contents warm or cool. Only half of the respondents reported that they used a reusable water bottle for environmental reasons, meaning half of the respondents may be unwilling to refrain from using PET bottles. Some participants were found to use both PET bottles and reusable water bottles. The interviews revealed that the reasons for starting to use a reusable water bottle were different before entering university and during university. Before entering university, parents often prepared a reusable water bottle to use during lunch or after-school activities. After entering university, students often began to use reusable water bottles to reduce costs. Thus, to promote the use of reusable water bottles among Japanese university students, it may be important to highlight not only the impact on the environment but also benefits such as reducing costs.
The complex operating conditions of experiments and the diverse backgrounds of users make laboratories special, so it is important to ensure that experiments are conducted in a safe manner. In that case, understanding how people perceive the laboratory environment and objects is necessary. It is well known that vision is the most important means for humans receive information about their environment, and in many cases, it is also a reliable method for noticing dangers. In this study, virtual reality (VR) and eye tracking technology were combined to explore the characteristics of visual information distribution in the laboratory for different conditions and users with different backgrounds, with the aim of clarifying the impact of the environment and objects in the laboratory on human vision, improving laboratory design, reducing laboratory hazards, and accumulating basic knowledge of the laboratory.
Most accidents have preliminary signs, and detecting deviations from the usual state can be an effective methodology to prevent accidents from occurring. However, since the actual conditions in laboratories are so diverse, it is difficult to uniformly define "usual states". In this study, we focus on the sound in the laboratory, and propose a method to model the continuously monitored acoustic data of the laboratory by a Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) to define the usual state of the laboratory. Using this model, the unusual state as deviations from the usual state in the laboratory can be detected by extracting sounds with low log-likelihood.
Accidents during research and educational activities are reported to universities in order to improve the safety management and training. This study reveals hidden risk elements involved in laboratory accidents. A handbook for safety at Nagoya University “Safety Lessons Learned from Accidents - 85 Selected Cases in Nagoya University” is a summary of over 1,500 reports of general and laboratory accidents from FY2004 to FY2017, and 66 various cases of the laboratory accidents in the handbook are subjected to the analysis. Description of each case illustrates the causes of laboratory accidents, such as inappropriate handling of hazardous materials, poor laboratory conditions, high-risk operations, and ignorance of rules. In our analysis, the causes of each laboratory accident were classified into the three risk factors: hardware, human, and software, then we rationalized the causes with the risk elements as subcategories of the risk factors. Some of the elements were frequently observed in the 66 cases, which highlight important points when improving laboratory safety. The results of our analysis also show that multiple risk elements are involved in all the cases of laboratory accidents. Increasing the number of risk elements in the laboratory also tends to result in a serious laboratory accident. In addition, the risk elements were further categorized into the three roles: inducer, initiator, and promotor. Multiple risk elements as inducers are present under the normal laboratory conditions. Involvement of initiator risk elements is considered to set unsafe conditions, and the promotor risk element amplifies the severity of accident. We suggest that the risk elements concerning especially to education and communication are important when considering of safety activities in the laboratory, such as safety training, sharing hazard information, risk assessment, laboratory inspection, and selection of personal protective equipment.