Eating and drinking establishments see an average of 7,410 structure fires per year based on a 2017 report published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The report analyzed available data from the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the NFPA’s annual fire department survey for the years 2010-2014.
An unfortunate and tragic case that we investigated involved a commercial “rollback” recovery truck that was being used to transport a four-wheel drive diesel pickup. The diesel pickup was not in running order with its’ engine in the bed of the truck. Consequently, a commercial towing company was hired by the truck owner to transport the truck. In the process of loading the truck onto the rollback, the truck came uncoupled from the winch and cable system. The truck then rolled down the inclined bed of the rollback, running over and killing a bystander. Read More
One of my more interesting calls and subsequent forensic investigations was regarding water accumulating inside of 2X4 fluorescent light fixtures in a suspended ceiling of a secondary school in South Carolina.
The client called and indicated that the metal chassis of the lights were sweating and generating enough water to accumulate on the diffuser lens of the lights. Obviously, an on-site investigation was in order! Read More
Hail property damage is frequently reported after an HVAC service call. Building owners are often unaware there is damage until the power bill starts trending higher and the HVAC system is simply not cooling effectively. Take look at the fins! The National Weather Service reported over $722 million in property damage from hail in 2018. Based on NWS data, hail caused more property damage than tornadoes or thunderstorms. Only Tropical Storms/Hurricanes at $12 billion, coastal storms at $1 billion and flooding at $1 billion were more costly than hail to property.
One of the items very susceptible to damage is the HVAC system. The heat that is removed from the interior of a building must be rejected to the environment. As such the HVAC system is placed where it can have unhindered access to outdoor air in order to function properly. This often results in the unit being placed in a large open space such as a rooftop, making it susceptible to damage such as hail. Read More
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) “Top 10 for 2018” violations once again have Machine Safeguarding earning a position on the list. Machine safeguarding was the 9th most cited standard as noted in the list below:
- Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
- Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
- Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
- Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
- Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
- Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)]
- Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
- Fall Protection–Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503
- Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212)
- Eye and Face Protection (29 CFR 1926.102)