forensic engineering

Forensic engineering is the application of accepted engineering, scientific, and safety principles to determine the cause or causes of a component or product failure, an injury or fatality, an economic loss, property damage, or, to reconstruct a sequence of events. A forensic engineering analysis can also be used, for example, to improve the safety, performance, or cost of a product, equipment, a workplace, structures, and facilities.

There are occasions when outside laboratory analysis may be required. Northeast Consulting Engineers, Inc. uses outside laboratories for optical microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), chemical analysis, and mechanical testing. For example, optical microscopy, SEM, and FTIR analysis were used to identify a foreign object that had lodged in a person’s throat after eating a hamburger patty purchased at a supermarket.

Forensic engineering services are typically engaged by insurance companies and the legal profession in litigation matters. Northeast Consulting Engineers, Inc. has applied engineering and safety principles in the investigation of civil and criminal matters such as:

  • Machine guarding
  • Construction accidents
  • Fall Protection
  • Industrial and workplace accidents
  • Product liability
  • Retail and wholesale premises
  • Noise
  • Home appliances
  • Tools
  • Scissor, boom, material lifts
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Premise liability
  • Stairways, ramps, and porch guardrails
  • Force of impact from falling objects
  • Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC)
  • Structural design
  • Mechanical design
  • Safety issues
  • Electrocution
  • Vehicular accidents
  • Scaffolds
  • Ladders (portable, step, fixed, extension)
  • Building design and construction
  • Building damage due to tornadoes, snow, water, blasting, and vehicle impact
  • Plumbing
  • Means of egress
  • Building codes
  • Vehicle design
  • Walking surfaces
  • Parking lots
  • Exercise equipment
  • Failure of a boat sling
  • Patent infringement
  • Breach of contract
  • Industrial ventilation
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Shopping carts
  • Merchandise displays
  • Habitability issues
  • Manual lifting
  • Alpine slides
  • Personal water craft
  • Responsibility of general contractors and subcontractors
  • Powered industrial trucks (forklifts, pallet jacks)
  • Automated guided vehicles (AGV’s)
  • Illumination, lighting
  • Failure of metals, plastics glass, rubber, and wood
  • Crane operation
  • OSHA violations
  • Fleet maintenance
  • Warnings and instructions
  • Playground equipment
  • Vehicular homicides
  • Alleged tampering of a gas meter
  • Automobile accidents
  • Driving to endanger
Northeast Consulting Engineers, Inc. maintains an extensive library of engineering and safety standards and practices including, state and model building codes, state and federal regulations, OSHA regulations, property maintenance codes, NFPA standards, ANSI standards, ASTM standards, and National Safety Council practices dating back to the 1940’s.

Northeast Consulting Engineers, Inc. has prepared engineering reports and affidavits. The company has provided expert testimony at depositions, mediation and arbitration hearings, and in district, state, and federal court trials. These services are provided for both plaintiffs and defendants.