Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Tag Archive: mechanical hazards

  1. Case Study of an Injury Involving a Soil Mixer

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    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. (more…)

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

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    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. (more…)

  3. Harmless Appearing, Smooth Rotating Mixer Shaft Causes Serious Finger Amputation Injuries

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    I recently finished working on a case where an operator received a right hand injury when an unguarded, rotating mixer shaft caught his gloved hand between the right index finger and middle finger, twisting it around the shaft causing the index finger to separate from the hand and the middle and ring finger to be dislocated.  The mixer contained an unguarded rotating shaft, which created an uncontrolled motion hazard when rotating at speeds up to 450 RPM. (more…)

  4. Injury on Power Buggy

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    When an operator is thrown from a ride-on vehicle when it tips over, such as a mud buggy, serious injury or death can result. In one such case we investigated, the issue centered on the maintenance of the vehicle, specifically whether a maladjusted hydrostatic drive caused the braking mechanism to malfunction. (more…)

  5. Wind Turbine Rotor Overspeed at Wind Energy Park

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    A wind turbine was being erected as part of a small wind energy park.  The wind turbine tower and the nacelle housing the generator were successfully installed.  The three-bladed rotor assembly was installed and connected to the nacelle as the last major component of the wind turbine. (more…)

  6. Forklift Falls off Loading Dock

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    A forklift fell off the loading dock of a warehouse as it was in the process of entering a semi-trailer that was being loaded.  The forklift fell because the semi-trailer and the connected truck rolled away from the edge of the loading dock as the forklift passed over the dock leveler into the trailer.  The repeated braking forces of the forklift as it carried loads onto the trailer caused the trailer to move away from the loading dock. The semi-trailer wheels were not chocked to prevent movement away from the loading dock. (more…)

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