Accidents : Example Cases
in manufacturing plant
A contractor was hired to perform a series of jobs at a manufacturing
plant. The foreman was responsible for ensuring safe work practices
by his team. While helping an associate attach a pipe to one of the
machines, the foreman stretched across the machine's conveyor belt,
which interrupted an infrared beam and caused two probes to descend.
The probes pinned the foreman to the conveyor belt, causing substantial
of the machine controls and displays indicated proper functioning. Depositions
indicated the foreman was unfamiliar with the machine, was in a hurry
to complete this task, and did nothing to determine whether the machine
The defense attorney retained the human factors expert. After the expert
read the accident and OSHA reports, reviewed the operation manual and
depositions, conducted a site inspection, and interviewed witnesses,
he provided deposition testimony on design of instrument panels, visual
perception, human information processing,
and safety practices. The case settled during trial.
in retail store
A customer entered a home improvement store seeking gutters. He located
the gutters on a shelf positioned six feet above the floor. While attempting
to pull one from the shelf, another gutter fell on his head and caused
store had posted signs asking customers to request help with items.
plaintiff's attorney retained the human factors expert. After the expert
read the accident report and conducted a site inspection, he provided
a verbal report on human factors design principles, visual perception,
anthropometrics and biomechanics of reach, warnings,
and safety practices. The case was settled before depositions.
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