Yale University Senior Killed in Lab Accident

04/15/2011 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

New Haven, CT — A Yale University student was killed inside a school chemistry lab, when her hair was sucked into a piece of machine-shop equipment. The student’s body was found by students who had been working inside the Sterling Chemistry Laboratory shortly before 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 13, 2011, reported Boston.com and the Hartford Courant.

Michele Dufault, a physics and astronomy senior at Yale, was using a lathe, which is a rotating machine used to cut wood and metal, for her senior project when the accident occurred. Apparently her long hair was pulled into the machine.

All students who use the machine shop are required to take a course first that instructs students to tie back long hair, among other safety precautions, said Tom Conroy, Yale University spokesman.

Investigators with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are launching an investigation into the death and whether the school lab complied with safety standards.

Yale is also looking into their safety policies and practices of laboratories, machine shops, and other facilities where students have access to power equipment.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Connecticut personal injury lawyers.

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