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 •Crane and multi-purpose lifting machine regulations •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 •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 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 •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 •Multi-employer worksite safety responsibilities •Planning through job hazard analysis 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 Forklifts Demolition Excavation and Trenching Shoring 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 Demolition Excavation, Trenching, & Shoring Underground Utilities - locating, installation, protection Fall Protection Confined Space Entry Scaffolds & Shoring Lockout tag out
& Investigation, Inc.