Recreation, sports, and gym equipment are subjected to large dynamic forces and must be designed to support these loads and protect users from unintentional hazards. Adequate instructions and warnings may be required if their assembly and proper use are not obvious. There are also issues associated with safety, adequate supervision and maintenance of gyms, swimming pools and playgrounds to assure that they are used properly and do not become dangerous due to either misuse or normal wear and tear. Issues associated with such accidents require an understanding of biomechanics, human factors, safety, dynamics and structural engineering.
We have extensive safety experience in many aspects of playground, recreational and gym equipment including:
Developing instructions and warnings for gym equipment set-up and use
Design of exercise equipment
An extensive library concerning playground and gymnastic safety
Public Playground Accident:
A 5-year old girl was swinging from the monkey bars at a town park when she lost her grip and fell, severely injuring her pelvis. We inspected the play equipment and researched playground accident statistics throughout the US. This led us to determine that the subject equipment contained a number of accident related safety violations such as: an inadequate equipment "use zone", dangerous protrusions and no slip-resistant rungs. Our report convinced the park authorities to rapidly settle this matter.
Dr. Irving Ojalvo is Chairman of Technology Associates (www.technology-assoc.com), a forensic engineering firm with offices in New York City and Connecticut. The firm's technical personnel, all of whom have advanced degrees, perform accident reconstruction involving issues of biomechanics, mechanical, traffic, and human factors engineering.
There are roughly 9,000 golf cart related accidents requiring emergency room treatment in the United States each year. The majority of these accidents are related to either braking, cart rollover or passenger ejection. These problems are common to golf carts due to their open design, lack of seatbelts, poor braking capabilities and the uneven terrains they are driven on.
Codes and standards specify criteria necessary to ensure that a product, material or process will consistently and safely perform its intended function. Although standards provide minimum design requirements, conforming to a standard is not always sufficient in preventing an accident.
For those readers who remember Jayne Mansfield, or even know who she was, this is not a story about her Hollywood exploits or bedroom acrobatics. It is a story about a common type of accident - a rear-ender involving an automobile striking a truck or bus - often referred to, in accident reconstruction circles, as "the Jayne Mansfield syndrome."