Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Blog Posts by: Aron Olson

Author Jeff Warren


Expertise Includes:

  • Machine Design and Safeguarding
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Risk Assessment
  • Safety
Figure 2: A view of some of the undersize anchors used to secure the capstan winch. The anchors at the upper right failed by pulling out of the concrete slab. The one at the lower left failed by bending and pulling out.

Injury Involving a Capstan Winch

Co-Authored with Jeff Warren, PE   

A capstan winch uses a mechanically powered rotating cylinder, called a capstan, to apply pulling force through a rope. When the rope is looped around the rotating capstan and tightened, friction between the rope and capstan allows the winch to apply force to pull a load. A typical capstan winch is shown in Figure 1 below. Read More

Warren Forensics Team members and their guests celebrating Warren's 20th Anniversary, in Charleston, SC, January 27, 2017.

Warren Forensics Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary

It makes me proud as the founder of Warren Forensics to announce that we have crossed another milestone in the history of our company. On February 1, 2017, we will have been in business for twenty years. I am particularly proud of our team of professional engineers and consultants who have worked on your forensic engineering cases and communicated, with authority, fact-based opinions you could trust. Read More

Figure 2.  A view looking into the mixer. The grate and ribbon are visible. The grate openings are large enough to admit a worker's leg.

Case Study of an Injury Involving a Soil Mixer

Co-Authored with Aron Olson, P.E.

In May, 2014, a plant farm worker was seriously injured when he fell into the hopper of an electrically powered soil mixer.  The mixer in question used a rotating steel ribbon powered by a 7-1/2 hp electric motor to mix batches of materials such as sand, mulch, wood shavings, fertilizers and other landscaping materials to create potting soil. At the top of the hopper sidewalls, within 6 inches of the ribbon, was a steel grate. Read More

Dr. Jeff Warren congratulates Aron Olson on receiving his SC PE License on May 20, 2016

Congratulations to Aron Olson on receiving Professional Engineer’s License

Warren is thrilled to announce that Aron Olson passed the Principles and Practice of Engineering Mechanical Systems and Materials exam and received his South Carolina Professional Engineer’s License on May 20, 2016. Read More

Figure 2: A self-propelled roof bolter similar to the one described in this post. The canopy is on the extreme left of the image.

A Case Study in a Coal Mine: What are a Machine Rebuilder’s Responsibilities?

Co-Authored with Aron Olson, P.E.

In November of 2010, a miner was injured by a roof bolting machine (roof bolter) in an Alabama underground coal mine. The roof bolter in question had undergone a complete rebuild intended to return the machine to the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM’s) specifications. Warren was hired to analyze both the design of the roof bolter and the actions of the rebuilder to determine if either contributed to the unfortunate coal miner’s serious injury. Background information on coal mining and roof bolters, as well as an analysis of the roof bolter and the actions of the rebuilder are included. Read More


Warren to Attend SCDTAA 49th Annual Summer Meeting in Asheville, NC

Warren is excited to announce that Senior Consulting Engineers, Roger Davis, John Phillips, and Business Development Coordinator, Laura DePasquale will be attending the 49th Annual Summer Meeting for the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association (SCDTAA). This year’s meeting takes place at the Renaissance Hotel in Asheville, NC, from July 28 to      July 30, 2016.

The SCDTAA summer committee has put together an impressive itinerary, including a wide variety of educational seminars, networking opportunities, and social gatherings.



Warren welcomes guests to visit our booth in the exhibit hall Friday and Saturday between seminar sessions. We will also be participating in the Welcome Reception & Silent Auction and the Bluegrass, Blue Jeans and BBQ on the Blue Ridge event, which provides amazing mountain views with live music on a private farm north of Asheville.

Roger, John, and Laura are excited to reconnect with the defense trial attorneys from across the beautiful Palmetto State, South Carolina!



Manufacturer Settles with Operator Injured by a Flying Tool Fragment from Milling Machine

In my June 2015 blog, I discussed a personal injury case where the jury decided that the lack of interlocks on the covers of a swamp cooler did not render it defective, even though it was technologically feasible to do so and their existence would have prevented the amputation.  Conversely, in another interesting personal injury case involving a computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling machine, a large settlement was made by the manufacturer with the injured operator because the machine did not have adequate interlocks on its enclosure doors. Read More


Jury Claims Swamp Cooler is Not Defective; Interlocked Guards are Not Required

An evaporative cooler, also known as a “swamp cooler”, is an air conditioner that works by evaporating water.   A float valve keeps several inches of water in the bottom of the unit. A pump takes water from the pan to the top of a series of vertical pads made of absorbent materials like wood fibers. The water flows by gravity through the fiber pads. A fan pulls hot air from outside the house through the soaked pads. Water in the pads evaporates, cooling the air and increasing its humidity. The cooled and humidified air is blown back into the house. Evaporative coolers need to be cleaned periodically. Read More

The top belt in the nip severely burned the top of the worker’s hand when she got caught.

Desk Reviews Answer Subrogation Questions

An important question concerning a workers’ compensation claim involving machinery and equipment is whether or not the loss can be subrogated to a responsible third party. In order to properly analyze this question, it is often helpful to have an engineer determine if the machine contains a condition of defect that caused the incident. One effective way to move ahead with confidence  — and without investing travel time and money into a full investigation — is a Warren desk review. Read More

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