Accident Investigation

Accident Investigation Qualifications

My education includes a Master's Degree in Safety from the University of Southern California (USC) with specific coursework in accident investigations.  I also have been trained by the American Society of Safety Engineers to perform field investigations of accidents.  Added to that, I have over thirty years of experience investigating construction, demolition, industrial, and heavy equipment accidents.  During three of those years, I gained experience presenting my findings, explaining the key issues, and eventually leading Navy Mishap Review Boards to determine how and why serious accidents happened involving cranes, forklifts, heavy equipment, falls, demolition, underground utilities, scaffolds, etc.

Analysis of Multi-employer Worksite Responsibilities

Construction and demolition accidents frequently involve multiple companies either through direct physical contact or through their responsibilities to prevent the accident. OSHA is often the first source litigants refer to when evaluating multi-employer worksite responsibilities. However, the direct wording of OSHA regulations can be misleading. Yet project owners, designers, construction managers, general contractors, contractors, and subcontractors all have responsibilities specified by OSHA or ANSI to prevent accidents on multi-employer worksites. Additional responsibilities are sometimes found in the project specifications and contracts. An expert must know the in-depth issues involved in applicable standards and regulations in order to provide sustainable expert opinions. Anything less will not survive the rigorous challenges of a courtroom. Here is a summary of my qualifications.
  • Knowledge of the precedent setting decisions made by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) and our court system as they have interpreted OSHA regulations.
  • Membership on the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A10 Committee that regularly updates the national consensus standard for multi-employer worksite safety responsibilities for construction and demolition projects.
  • Extensive field experience managing safety and applying OSHA and ANSI standards on large, multi-employer worksites. These construction and demolition projects ranged from highways, to buildings, bridges, rapid transit systems, and the $1.3 billion overhaul of the Bethesda Naval Hospital campus.
  • Substantial experience producing expert reports that explain multi-employer worksite safety responsibilities, as they pertain to personal injury cases. Several of these responsibilities have distinct performance requirements, limitations, and exclusions that are not obvious by simply reading the regulations. My reports for plaintiffs and defendants sort out which responsibilities apply to particular parties and explain why they do or do not apply in each particular case.
These qualifications allow me to provide defensible expert opinions on multi-employer worksite issues. Some experts know the technical issues involved in a crane, scaffold or other accident, however, that does not prepare them to explain the complexities of multi-employer worksite responsibilities.

Major accident investigation samples

1. A rough terrain forklift with a hoisting attachment tipped and fell               into the basement of a building.
Key issues
Equipment manufacturer safety warnings
Aftermarket hoisting equipment and warnings
OSHA and US Army Corp of Engineers regulations
Forklift regulations
Crane and multi-purpose lifting machine regulations
Complex lift planning
Free rigging (load swinging below the forks)

2. A hydraulic excavator with a demolition hammer attachment                     tipped over while placing blasting mats.
Key issues
Manufacturer safety warnings
Aftermarket demolition hammer equipment
OSHA and US Army Corp of Engineers regulations
Multi-employer worksite safety responsibilities
Crane and multi-purpose lifting machine regulations
Complex lift planning
Walking with a hoisted load

3. A truck crane boom fell and crashed through an office trailer.
Key issues
OSHA and US Army Corp of Engineers regulations
Crane operator responsibilities
Crane inspection and maintenance

4. There have been multiple cases where underground utilities were            struck and damaged.
Key Issues
OSHA excavation and trenching regulations
Underground utility marking laws
“Miss Utility” and Common Ground Alliance requirements
Soft dig techniques to locate utilities

Expert Testimony - sample cases

1. A skid steer loader attempting to drive into a crane hoisted box
        fell to the ground from a demolition project in a multi-story building.
Key issues
OSHA multi-employer worksite responsibilities
Crane operation planning and supervision

2. A crane rental company was sued when a load rigged and supervised          by others fell and caused injuries.
Key issues
OSHA and Navy crane regulations for contractors
Crane operation supervision
Complex lift planning

3. A structural designer was sued when a huge block of stone, supported           by shoring, fell and caused disabling injuries on a demolition site.
Key issues
Large multi-party lawsuit
Multi-employer worksite responsibilities
OSHA demolition standards
Shoring requirements
Poor prior incident investigations
Contract specified safety responsibilities

4. An unmarked underground high-voltage cable was struck.
Key issues
OSHA excavation and trenching regulations
Shoring installation precautions
Miss Utility and Common Ground Alliance standards

1. A crane boom fell on a worker while the crane was being assembled.
Key issues
Crane assembly requirements
Crane inspection and maintenance

2. A support cable for a long mast attached to a hydraulic excavator            pinned a man to a barge.
Key issues
OSHA and US Army Corp of Engineers safety regulations
Marine construction work
Lockout Tagout
Multi-employer worksite safety responsibilities
Planning through job hazard analysis
Operator training

3. A high powered land clearing machine used beside a highway threw a log through a motorist’s windshield.
Key issues
Equipment manufacturer’s warnings
Temporary traffic control
ANSI requirements for public protection
Operator and supervisor training

Comments from Clients

Your report slammed the door on this case.

The explanation of multi-employer worksite standards provided in your report clearly established the responsibilities each party had to prevent the accident.

The report was excellent and allowed us to negotiate a strong                  settlement.

Your handling of the other expert was superb. The case was quickly resolved when you determined that he cited the wrong crane standard.

It was a bold statement to describe the other expert’s opinion as               baseless and unresponsive to the case. It also proved to be true.

It was a pleasure working with you. Your knowledge of OSHA and ANSI safety standards was thorough and convincing.

I look forward to working other cases with you in the future.  It is my         sincere hope that we remain on the same side of the V.

High-Risk Operation Planning and Evaluation
Crane lifts and rigging
Multipurpose lifting machines
Excavation and Trenching
Confined space entry
Underground Utility installation and testing
Swing scaffolds
Fall protection
Lockout tag out, etc.

Traffic Control Design
Review and evaluation of plans & field operations

Safety and Risk Management Consulting

Teaching and Training
Cranes and Rigging
Excavation, Trenching, & Shoring
Underground Utilities - locating, installation, protection
Fall Protection
Confined Space Entry
Scaffolds & Shoring
Lockout tag out

Accident Prevention
& Investigation, Inc.