A number of our students engage in "hands-on" learning experiences as part of their education at the University of Virginia. In fact this trend is on the increase at the University. Introducing technological advances and robust powered equipment to the marginally "hands-on" experienced student can present some challenges.
University faculty and staff who create and oversee these experiences have a responsible role to recognize risks inherent in the tasks, processes and environment and to prepare accordingly to prevent injuries as a result of these risks. Injuries can be very significant when powerful equipment is used (such as amputations if equipment is not properly guarded or the operator is insufficiently trained). A fatality can even occur because of the extent of injuries or from an electrocution if protective covers are removed exposing live conductors or equipment wiring is damaged. Here are just a few of the many hands-on learning experiences our students pursue.