Thayer evaluates machine safety

The Dartmouth

April 19, 2011

By Claire Groden

The recent death of Yale University senior Michele Dufault in a university machine shop has prompted Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering machine shop to re-examine its own safety policies, according to shop manager and instructor Kevin Baron. Due to a similar but much less severe incident two years ago in which a student’s hair became tangled in equipment, the Dartmouth shop already has safety policies in place that guard against such accidents in the future, Baron said.

While working at the Yale machine shop sometime before 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Dufault’s hair was caught in a metal lathe, a large machine that rotates a piece around a stationary tool, according to the Yale Daily News.

Although Dartmouth’s shop temporarily suspended evening hours immediately following the Yale incident, the staff decided to instead increase the number of teaching assistants present from one to two during evening hours, Baron said.

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