Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Tag Archive: forensic engineering

  1. Everybody Has A Part to Play – What’s Your Role?

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    Across industry and construction sites, there are times when employees of different employers are working side by side, or at least on the same site at the same time.  Some industry examples are when chemical plants have contractors on-site for routine maintenance or during process shutdowns for major overhauls or repairs. OSHA refers to these as multi-employer worksites.  In December of 1999, they revised their citation policy which allows for more than one employer at a worksite to be cited for conditions that violate OSHA standards. (more…)

  2. When a DRY Fire Sprinkler System Leaves You Soaked

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    In my previous blog , I discussed the most basic and most common fire system type: wet sprinkler systems. The possible failure areas discussed with wet systems will also apply to dry sprinkler systems (control valves closed, obstructions, issues in the system, installation, or deficiencies with inspection, testing, and maintenance). Dry systems are even more prone to obstructions than wet systems, so close attention should be paid to that possibility. (more…)

  3. HEY…Cover Up Please!

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    Machine guards can be compared to the clothes we wear every day.  Indeed, they serve a very important purpose.  Imagine someone leaving their home on a fine, sunny morning wearing nothing but a smile.  Wonder how far they will get through the day before things start going poorly for this individual?

     

     

     

     

     

    There will be more than a few raised eyebrows and blushes when he stops into the local Starbucks for his usual morning double-dipped and whipped, chocolaty chip with a touch of pumpkin spice cappuccino fix.  Good luck with that!  Probably going to leave disappointed, empty-handed, and likely wearing handcuffs.  This will be the beginning of a very long, very bad day for that individual.  Had he recognized the risks associated with this type of behavior, and then put forth a little effort to cover up, he would have prevented many unfavorable and possibly life-changing personal and legal problems from ever occurring!

    And so it is with properly guarding a machine.  Machine safeguarding helps to protect workers from preventable injuries. (more…)

  4. One Small Step…

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    Ladders…not a particularly exciting topic I’ll admit.  But hey, we need ladders to help us accomplish all kinds of tasks.  Most people have used at least one of the many types of ladders that are available today.  And the odds are probably pretty good that many of those users strayed outside the limits of safety a time or two while on a ladder.  It is amazing the risks some people will take to save some time or avoid the inconvenience of getting down to move the ladder into a safer position.  I wonder how many of those risks would be taken on a ladder if the users knew they were on camera.

    Think about astronaut Neil Armstrong.  He travelled by rocket almost 239,000 miles through space and (more…)

  5. Financial Injury.…From a Machine?!?!

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    Forensic engineers may be called upon to investigate a broad array of problems concerning a machine.  Cases involving physical injuries and even death are a large part of what we investigate in order to determine what caused the accident to happen and who may be at fault.  Occasionally, problems with a recently designed custom machine do not cause a physical injury, but instead cause a “financial” injury.  This type of “injury” can negatively impact the machine designer, the machine purchaser, or possibly both.  Financial injuries can be quite substantial, just as physical injuries can be, and may severely impact a company’s cash flow which can make or break a company.  A refusal to pay a designer/builder of a machine or paying for a machine that ends up not meeting the agreed upon performance specifications can have catastrophic consequences for many businesses, especially for small ones. (more…)

  6. When a Fire Sprinkler System Fails to Deliver

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    After a major fire, it is necessary to investigate the fire sprinkler system to see if and why it malfunctioned. Wet sprinkler systems are the most common and least complex fire sprinkler systems in use. The following are major items addressed in an investigation involving a wet system.

    If available, drawings of the supply piping and sprinkler system are helpful. If these are not available, a sketch of the system will be made. Requests will also be made for inspection, testing, and maintenance documentation as well as fire alarm logs.

    The top reason that fire sprinkler systems do not function correctly during a fire is (more…)

  7. WARREN Welcomes Mechanical Engineer Bob Hickman, P.E.

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    Please join us in welcoming Mechanical Engineer Bob Hickman, P.E., to the WARREN family! Bob has over 30 years of manufacturing and machine design experience in production and quality-driven environments. Bob holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University.

    Bob’s Areas of Expertise Include:
    -Machine Safeguarding
    -Machine Design
    -Equipment Failure
    -Mechanical Engineering
    -Industrial Accident Investigation
    -Codes & Standards
    -Machinery & Equipment Damage Assessment
    -Products Liability (more…)

  8. The Concepts of Hazard, Risk, and Harm in Machine Safeguarding

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    Hazard, risk, and harm are terms that are used in the world of machine safeguarding.   How do these words shape the concept of machine safeguarding? Let’s look a little deeper….

    Hazard, which Merriam-Webster defines as a noun, lists its first meaning as a source of danger.

    1: a source of danger

    2athe effect of unpredictable and unanalyzable forces in determining events CHANCERISK

      b:  a chance event ACCIDENT  (more…)

  9. Heating System Losses: Part Two

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    Previously, Warren posted the first installment of a series on losses associated with heating systems.  The first article looked at central forced air furnaces.  This new article will look at a common form of supplemental or secondary heat, oil filled electric radiant heaters. These heaters are commonly used to provide extra heating in areas that are lacking in central heating capacity. Another rationale for their use arises from manufacturer’s claims that the portable heating units can lower your power bill.  This is based on (more…)

  10. Taking a Practical Approach to Vehicle Fires

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    “On average, U.S. fire departments responded to a highway vehicle fire every 182 seconds,” according to the NFPA’s Fire Loss Facts Sheet.

    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that vehicle fires account for about 20 percent of all reported fires. Before I attempt to examine a vehicle fire loss, I like to check various consumer and government agencies websites to see if I can find any recall or historical data that might be important. This is true for heavy truck fires all the way to automobile and motorcycle fires. (more…)

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