OSHA’s Multi-Employer Citation Policy

Walter M. Wysowaty, PE, CME, Civil Engineering Consultant ::::

Case Facts: The plaintiff was employed by an environmental consultant who was responsible for work related to the removal of underground storage tanks (UST), including the collection of soil to be tested for contamination. A contractor qualified for excavations associated with UST’s performed soil excavation to remove the tank to a depth of somewhere between 7 and 10 feet. The resultant soil wall was generally vertical with some undermining that existed after removal of the tank. Shoring at the excavation was not installed. The plaintiff testified that he did not feel that excavation was safe, yet approached the top elevation of the excavation to collect various data. While standing at the top elevation, the soil wall failed resulting in injuries to the plaintiff. The plaintiff had received OSHA training prior to the subject incident.

Expert Analysis: The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) specifically states that it is the employer’s responsibility to initiate and maintain a safety program and that the program shall provide for frequent and regular inspections of the jobsite by a competent person. The employer is also responsible for the training and supervision of their employees. Furthermore, at least two Standard Interpretations have been issued by OSHA indicating the following:

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Bicycle GPS: What Stop Sign?

Robert S. Kinder, Jr., BSME, Mechanical Engineer ::::

Global positioning system (GPS) technology has found its way into every aspect of travel. Whether it’s a plane, car, or boat, the need for GPS devices has been present for several years with no foreseeable end of life. Cyclists often search for ways to track their progress and benchmark performance. From the average cyclist to the competitive professional, GPS units and software have changed the way performance is tracked. GPS units now record a variety of data. This data includes parameters such as speed, elevation, coordinates, cadence, heart rate, and even temperature.

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Bunk Beds And Kid’s Play

John R. Yannaccone, PE, Mechanical Engineer ::::

Case Synopsis: An 8-year-old boy, and his friend, climbed to the top of a bunk bed to play a game. Shortly after checking on the boys, the homeowner reported hearing a loud noise, followed by a child’s scream. Upon entering the room, she found her son climbing down from the top bunk, the friend on the floor, unresponsive, lying on top of the guard rail of the bunk bed.

Expert Analysis: Examination of the bunk beds revealed that the guardrails consisted of single pieces of 1 x 4 inch wood. They sat into a pocket with approximately 1 ½ inch engagement on each end of the guard rail. The guardrails were sufficient in length to fully engage the pocket. There was no damage to the guardrails, nor was there any indication that the guard rails had been bent and forced between the head and foot boards of the bunk bed. The guardrails sat loosely in the pocket and were not fastened or attached to the end structure of the bed.

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Preparing for the next generation (AR/VR)

Jon W. Adams, is the Director of Architectural and Heritage Services ::::

DJS Associates strives to stay on the forefront of technology, both in how we collect our data, and how we present the results to our clients.

DJS Associates continues to research various new and exciting ways in which we can demonstrate the results of engineering analysis and documentation efforts. As we look to the future, we observe that technology continues to develop rapidly, with each generation possessing increased knowledge on how to interact with complex gadgets. Of particular interest are gadgets that allow for interactions with data, within our “reality”. Below are two of the “reality” technologies DJS Associates is exploring.

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology in which real-world environments/objects are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.1 With this technology, users can point their “smart “ electronic devices at real-world objects, and interact with virtual data in the real-world.

AR can possibly be used by engineers in the field, overlaying information captured on the day of an incident. AR has the potential to aid in understanding the events which led up to the incident.

In the AEC world, AR can be utilized to help stakeholders envision a new design over existing features/structures.

Historical objects/structures can be seen alongside current day conditions, adding to the interactivity of visitor tours.

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Watch For Motorcycles… And Riders Watch The Road

Robert T. Lynch, PE, Sr. Collision Reconstruction Engineer ::::

This spring we have experienced some unseasonably warm weather, already breaking 80 degrees a couple days during the month of April here in the Philadelphia area. If you’re anything like me, owner of a motorcycle and a pulse, you’ve been itching for warmer weather for the past 4 months in order to reacquaint your bike to the curves of your favorite back roads.

But before you grab your gear, kick the tires, and saddle up, just take a moment to recall how different, and mentally taxing, it can be to ride a motorcycle, specifically how to handle turns on a motorcycle as opposed to a vehicle. A motorcycle is leaned left or right to turn and not steered, which reduces traction potentially creating a slippery situation. Traveling around a curve with loose gravel in the roadway is one of the biggest hazards that a rider will face over the next month or so as the remnants of salt, sand and loose gravel deposited on the roadway during the winter season still remain.

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It’s 2017: Do You Know Where Your Tire Pressure is? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Would Like To Know, As Well

Leslie E. Lovre, Technical Assistant ::::

Ten years after its full implementation, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) in passenger vehicles and light trucks require a federally-mandated review of efficacy at achieving its stated goals. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 138 defines the performance standards for the system that alerts drivers when a tire reaches dangerously low pressures. In practice, most vehicles employ pressure sensors installed within each tire that transmits pressure signals to an on-board computer which, in turn, controls an in-dash warning lamp. To many of us, this lamp has become a trusted indicator of the need to add air and, in some cases, seek tire service. But during a required efficacy review in 2011, the NHTSA discovered that as vehicles age, they were substantially less effective in preventing severe under-inflation than when they were new. Initial theories suggest a relationship between performance and maintenance. NHTSA is ramping up efforts to investigate by seeking data from the general public regarding attitudes and practices relating to these systems.

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