In early 2014, explosions followed by fires took place in engineering buildings in Hongo campus of The University of Tokyo. The January accident was minor, however, the one in February injured a student and the firemen took over 2 hours to put the fire out. While fighting, the firemen requested headcounts in the vicinity so they could properly evacuate the area. The school had no way of tracking personnel and did not have the information.
The fire department later instructed the school to implement a way of tracking who is where at late hours and on holidays and weekends.
The Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Office of the School of Engineering decided to extend its on-line Environment, Health and Safety Administration System (EHSAS) and add a function to perform such tracking.
The first application required user log in, scheduled overtime filing, and noting departures upon leaving the campus. Although the system met the need, users did not like the cumbersome interface. The second application simulated the physical presence display panel that had already been in use. It has a double-sided plate for each lab member to indicate his or her presence in the building. The simple interface on touchpad is now in use at a number of labs.
Colleagues involved in the formulation of relevant Biorisk Management Standards, in Europe and the United States of America,together with the International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) worldwide, seek to spread biosafety and biorisk management competence as widely as possible across the globe. These endeavours place particular emphasis on making high quality biorisk management training available in both the developed and developing worlds, at affordable costs and utilising readily accessible models of delivery, of which e-training online is a key element. This benefits the competence of individual practitioners, and the performance of their employers, and so contributes to biorisk management awareness and competence in their areas of the world.
The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, has set up a Biosafety Training Institute (BTI), which provides continuing professional development courses, validated by the University and accredited by the UK Institute for Safety in Technology and Research (ISTR) to facilitate successful candidates attaining Biosafety Practitioner Level One status, in line with the European CEN Workshop Agreement 15793.Online course provision for international candidates in biorisk management is a key feature of the BTI’s work.
The effects of photoirradiation on changes in the fluorescence intensities, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, and molecular weights of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in Lake Biwa and its surrounding rivers were evaluated and compared with the results of humic substances and algal DOM. During the completely stratified period (summer), the fluorescence intensities of fulvic-like fluorophores in the surface water in the northern basin of Lake Biwa decreased and were lower than those in other months and in bottom water. The fluorescence quenching and degradation of high-molecular substances by further solar irradiation were hardly observed in the surface water samples but were significantly observed in bottom water samples. On the other hand, changes in the DOC concentrations in all samples were relatively small with solar irradiation. These results suggest that in the northern basin of Lake Biwa, the susceptibility of fulvic-like fluorophores to degradation by further solar irradiation is dependent on the water depth collected during the stratified period (summer), but the rest of fulvic-like fluorophores might be resistant to further photochemical degradation regardless of the water depth.
Furthermore, the effects of the wavelength region on the characteristics of DOM and fluorophores in Lake Biwa and its surrounding rivers were examined by Xe lamp irradiation using two kinds of wavelength cut filters. From these results, it is considered that wavelengths between 290 and 495 nm and below 290 nm might largely affect the characteristics of fulvic-like fluorophores and protein-like fluorophores, respectively.