Dartmouth Reacts To Yale Machine Accident: Thayer Ramps Up Safety Measures

NewsChannel 5 - WPTZ

April 21, 2011

By Jackie Bender

Yale student Michele Dufault was killed last week when her hair was pulled into a piece of machine shop equipment while she was working alone during the night.

Kevin Baron is the manager of the machine shop at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. After the Yale accident, the staff at Dartmouth increased supervision so no one would ever be working alone in the shop.

"There are always two teaching assistants who aren't permitted to do any work. They're required instead to patrol the floor and look for safety hazards," Baron said.

The Yale accident hit close to home at Thayer. In 2008, they had a close call with one of the machines.

"We had a horrifying incident. Similar but not with such a tragic result as what took place at Yale, when a girl had gotten her hair entangled in a drill press. ... She pulled it out, and it was bloody. It was horrifying. Anybody who witnessed that event will not forget it," said Baron.

After that accident, students were required to wear hats and goggles with their hair pulled back at all times.