A Yale Student, Michele Dufault, was killed in the student machine shop in the Sterling Chemistry Lab. The senior from Scituate, MA was working on a project when her hair got stuck in a lathe. A lathe is a rotating machine tool where the axis is used to perform cuts, sanding, drilling and much more.
After the official examination it was found that ANSI signs were missing and there were other safety flaws in the shop, stated OSHA. The Connecticut medical examiner did find that the death was accidental from asphyxia from neck compression.
In a letter sent to Yale from OSHA, they determined that the lathe being used required safeguards and that the schools policies and practices were unsafe. There was a lack of safety labels present at the time of the accident.
Other safety precautions weren’t taken, like emergency signs for shutting off the switch for the lathe. OSHA claims that having the proper safety signage, and a guard or shield to protect the operator.
The machine did meet some of ANSI standard, which incorporate training and personal protective equipment. Yale also suggested that a buddy be present when working the machines.
Dufault had a double major in astronomy and physics and intended to pursue a career in oceanography.