Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Tag Archive: forensic testing

  1. What’s Up Doc? Collision Scene Documentation & Techniques

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    A proper collision scene documentation, lovingly referred to as a scene doc, will make or break the investigation… guaranteed! While not necessarily all inclusive, here are a few evidence collection / documentation techniques that have served me well over the years.

    Some, if not most, collision scene evidence is short lived, and tire marks (more…)

  2. Turkey Fryers- Product Design is Critical to Consumer Safety

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    As the holiday season nears, thoughts turn to wonderful home-cooked meals with family.  Few things in life are more pleasurable than a traditional holiday turkey feast. Yet for an unfortunate few, holiday meal time can turn tragic if a turkey frying accident occurs.   While fried turkeys may be tasty, many fire safety experts feel that the reward is not worth the risk.  (more…)

  3. The 9-Cell Collision Matrix – The Environment

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    “Was a dark stormy night as the train rattled on…” Anybody? 1985? Scarecrow?  Come on… this was when Cougar was still a Mellencamp! Ok… it was called Grandma’s Theme… you’ll have to look that one up… but as I sat down to write this blog on the environment, that song kept running though my head. If you look it up, it will have a similar effect… just a little warning.

    In our last installment of the 9-Cell Collision Matrix let’s travel down the wet, slippery slope of environmental factors that can contribute to car crashes, and maybe take a closer look at the things around us, at or near our crash scene that may reveal some important clues. (more…)

  4. The Collision Reconstruction Matrix – The Human

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    Murder, suicide, deceit, and intrigue… car crashes? You bet! In our next installment of the 9-Cell Collision Matrix let us dive a little deeper into the glue that binds all this together, the human element.

    Photo by Mark Turner

    Let’s begin with the most basic human element at the root cause of car wrecks, our old friend inattention. Inattention… a vast word that encompasses many lackadaisical conditions. The daydreaming 16-year-old in math class, the radio knob turner, the back seat talker, the quarter pounder with cheese eater, and perhaps the most offensive, the cell phone user. All very dangerous behind the wheel, and one very dangerous to your future… as it turns out, you will always need good math skills… ask me how I know? Driving is of course a divided attention endeavor, (more…)

  5. Danger Within Reach

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    How far away from a hazard should you stay?  Your parents or grandparents would probably have told you to stay far away, but what are you to do when a hazard is present, and you must work around or near the hazard?  And what exactly is a hazard?  ISO 12100 Safety of machinery – General principles for design – Risk assessment and risk reduction defines a hazard as a “potential source of harm.

    Where would a designer of a machine or product start if they wished to protect the user from a known hazard?  Consensus standards are a great place to begin the quest for safety. (more…)

  6. The Vehicle (EDR)

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    In a previous blog post, we began to delve a little deeper into the vehicle aspect of the 9-Cell Collision Matrix by taking a look at tires. Let’s now take a closer look at the very diverse and interesting topic of Event Data Recorder (EDR) data. (more…)

  7. Scared of Water, or Prefer to Get Drenched? Fire Suppression with Preaction and Deluge Systems

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    In my two previous blogs, we first discussed wet sprinkler systems (Wet), the most basic and most common fire system type followed by dry sprinkler systems (Dry), which are a bit more complicated.  Ratcheting up another level, in this last edition on sprinkler systems, let’s take a look together at preaction and deluge systems.  These can be complex and variable, so we’ll operate at the 30,000 ft level. (more…)

  8. The Vehicle – Tires

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    In a previous blog post, I gave an overall introduction to the 9-Cell Collision Matrix as an investigative tool used in collision reconstruction. Now let’s focus in a little at each element.

    They are called car wrecks, after all…so let’s start with a more comprehensive look at the vehicle component of the matrix.  This review of the vehicle before, during, and after the collision will highlight a few important factors but is not meant to be all-inclusive.  So, let’s get started! (more…)

  9. 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…)

  10. 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…)

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