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
Dr. Irving Ojalvo was, at the time of this article's publication, the 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.
The primary function of all guarding is to prevent an operator or bystander from being injured by a potentially dangerous portion of a machine. Often the hazard involves moving parts with the potential to cut, crush or draw-in body parts, although barrier guards may also be necessary when electrical, thermal or chemical dangers are present.
When an understanding of complex motions associated with various accidents is required, computer simulation is an invaluable tool, which allows the modeling and visualization of rollovers and collisions. In addition to vehicle accidents, computer simulation can also be used to create many other systems of masses and contacting surfaces, such as a toppling light pole after it has been struck.
Doors and gates, whether automated or manual, can pose a serious hazard to users if not designed, manufactured, installed and maintained properly. The different types include automatic doors, overhead garage doors, elevator doors, sliding doors, swinging doors, and automatic gates.