Petrucci Engineering Consultants, LLC

Forensic Engineering Services

Mechanical Engineer - Safety Professional

Selected Project Descriptions

Stepladder Collapse
A worker was using a stepladder in a warehouse. The ladder suddenly became unstable and the worker fell to the ground and was injured. Testimony from the worker was reviewed and the ladder was inspected. A stability analysis of the ladder and stress calculations of the failed component, confirmed by finite element analysis, enabled the determination of whether or not the incident was related to a design defect of the ladder.

Wheelchair Lift Injury
An automatic wheelchair lift was raising the occupant of a wheelchair to the floor level of a transport vehicle. As the lift was nearing the floor level of the transport vehicle, the wheelchair occupant’s foot was crushed in a pinch point between the lift platform and one of its roll stops. The safeguarding hierarchy was used to help determine how the incident pinch point should have been safeguarded to prevent the incident.

Boom Truck Overturn
A boom truck overturned while it was moving a load of construction material. An inspection of the incident scene and boom truck, interview with the boom truck operator, a review of the boom truck loading chart and a stability analysis were performed to determine the cause of the incident.

Ladder Fire Truck – Fireman Injury
The ladder of a ladder fire truck was extending while a fireman was standing on it, resulting in the fireman’s foot being crushed. A safeguarding analysis was performed to determined how the incident could be prevented.

Propane Tank Valve Guard – Fire
A propane tank was dropped in the vicinity of an operational open flame gas heater at a construction site, which resulted in a large fire. Testimony from the workers who were carrying the tank and records from the company that supplied the tank were reviewed. Additionally, the tank, and its valve and valve guard were inspected to determine the cause of the incident and the relevant safety requirements that were not adhered to.

Automatic Garage Door Controls
A homeowner pressed the wall-mounted push button control to close her automatic garage door. Very shortly thereafter, the lowering garage door pressed down on her entrapped arm and injured it. The height of the garage door opening, the location of the push button control, the configuration of the garage door opener controls and the garage door opener installation instructions were all scrutinized to determine the causes of the incident.

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Petrucci Engineering Consultants, LLC • 2366 Golden Mile Highway, #452, Pittsburgh, PA 15239