Structural failure can often produce catastrophic results. In many cases, the damage seen after the accident is not indicative of the cause of the initial failure. Fortunately, based on physical evidence, an investigator can frequently determine how and why a structure failed. The most common reasons for a failure include defective materials, defective design, improper assembly, excessive or improper loading or a combination of these. Through testing and structural analysis, it is possible to determine the root cause of the failure and propose solutions to prevent such failures from reoccurring.
We have some 50 years of varied experience in many aspects of structural analysis including:
Structural and mechanical properties testing
Bending, fracture and fatigue analysis
Finite element computer modeling
Teaching structural dynamics at Columbia University, NYU & NASA
Farming is a dangerous occupation. Tractor rollover accidents have been killing people since the 1920's. In 1990, the National Safety Council estimated 460 people were killed while operating tractors. Tractor rollover caused 239 of these fatalities. Another estimate suggests a more conservative number of annual fatalities - 132, that are the result of tractor rollover accidents. In a four-year period in Pennsylvania alone, 72 people died as a result of tractor rollover accidents.
This is the first blog in a series on integrating new technologies into the process of forensic investigations. Documenting the scene of an incident accurately, efficiently, and safely is a key step in every investigation. Busy roadways and unstable structures present hazards to the investigator during the investigation process. The use of remote sensors can reduce these risks and provide data that otherwise could not safely be obtained.
Animations are useful visual tools that can help jurors understand how an incident could, or could not, have occurred. Simply describing an event in court, or showing still pictures, may be insufficient to explain a complex sequence of events.