The Laboratory for Laser Energetics will return to normal operations this week following a three-week hiatus. The temporary shut-down was initiated to perform safety checks on laboratory equipment following an incident in which a laboratory employee was injured.

On Aug. 6, Senior Lab Engineer Sam Roberts was struck by a piece of equipment when its mounting bracket broke loose and it fell from above him. It was the most serious injury experienced by an employee in the 38 years of the laboratory’s operation.

The following day, Laboratory Director Robert McCrory called for a ‘safety stand down,” during which time an inspection of all laboratory equipment took place utilizing approximately 35,000 staff hours and employees were able to review safety policies.

After three weeks, McCrory made a recommendation to UR President Joel Seligman to resume operations, saying that the equipment in question had been removed and the safety of all other equipment with respect to that type of failure had been confirmed. This decision was supported by the University’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety, which separately audited the inspections, as well as former Acting Associate Director for Engineering at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Jeffrey Williams.

Cutshall is a member of the class of 2009.



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