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Yale student killed in lab had taken safety course

Michele Dufault of Scituate was a Yale senior who died when her hair was pulled into a lathe. Michele Dufault of Scituate was a Yale senior who died when her hair was pulled into a lathe.
Associated Press / April 15, 2011

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NEW HAVEN — A Yale University student who was killed inside a school lab when her hair was pulled into a piece of machine shop equipment had taken a safety course that included instructions to tie back long hair, the school said yesterday.

Students who use the machine shop are required to take the safety course, University spokesman Tom Conroy said. Michele Dufault took the course, he said.

Dufault, a senior from Scituate who was majoring in physics and astronomy, died Tuesday night after her hair became caught in a fast-spinning lathe.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is looking into the accident and whether the lab complied with safety standards.

Yale said it is reviewing safety policies and practices of laboratories, machine shops, and other facilities where undergraduates have access to power equipment.