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Cumulative Trauma Disorders Expert Witness


Expert Witness No.1635

Oregon

Education

Ph.D., Industrial Engineering

MA, Psychology

BS, Electrical Engineering

Areas of Expertise

Ergonomics/Human Factors Engineering
Occupational Health & Safety

Professional Registration

CPE (Certified Professional Ergonomist)

PE, State of Wisconsin

Work Experience

Independent Ergonomics and Human Factors Engineering Consultant.

Ergonomics Consultant, Oregon OSHA. 

Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering, University of Wisconsin.

Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering, Auburn University, Alabama.

Industrial Engineer, US Bureau of Mines, Pennsylvania.

Electronics Engineer, Human Factors Engineering Branch, Pacific Missile Test Center, California.

Summary of Forensic Activities

Since 1995, Expert 1635 has worked as an expert witness for clients in general industry, the service sector, high technology industries, the transportation industry, the maritime and land based fishing industry, longshoring and public organizations. He has been retained in over 80 cases and has represented plaintiffs and defendants in County, State and Federal courts. A case listing is available on request. 

These cases have required that he does extensive interviews and investigations, conduct site visits and inspections, develop simulations or trials of equipment/tools on site, use a variety of biomechanical models and engineering methodologies, be familiar with the ergonomic, epidemiological and medical/scientific literature on cumulative trauma disorders to the upper and lower extremities as well as other occupationally related injuries and illnesses and be familiar with OSHA, FELA, Jones Act and other regulatory and advisory body codes and interpretations.

The general focus of cases in which he has been involved include:

Traumatic and cumulative trauma injuries of the musculoskeletal system (upper and lower body, back, wrists) in railroad, maritime, cruise ship, service, high technology and general industry employees;

Accident (property damage), Injury and fatality investigations from a human factors-ergonomics perspective using fault tree and what if methods as well as traditional methods in general industry, railroad, longshoring and maritime operations;

Environmental ergonomics issues (noise, vibration, heat) and injury, illness, and accidents as well as pedestrian visibility and conspicuity issues in public spaces;

Effects of occupational exposure to vibration in railroad workers from whole body (rough riders) exposure as well as from impact and vibrating tool use;

Injuries from slips and falls;

Issues related to FELA, Jones Act, Workers Compensation and ADA;

Occupational safety and health (i.e., OSHA) issues from basic code compliance to more complicated hazard and accident investigation issues.

Some representative cases include:

Evaluation of work related nature of cumulative trauma injuries experienced by railroad workers during normal work duties;

Evaluation of work related nature of traumatic and acute musculoskeletal injuries experienced by cruise ship employees as well as evaluation of onboard accidents;

Evaluation of duties of (school) bus drivers for exposure to hand vibration, excessive force and posture demands;

Economic review of refinery operations to determine the engineering feasibility of ADA accommodations to allow worker to return to work;

Evaluation of human factors issues involved in a fatality occurring after worker lost  control of a Bobcat loader during longshoring activities;

Accident investigations of heavy industry activities to determine if employer complied with applicable safety rules;

Evaluation of potential for back injury in maritime fishery gaffing work;

Summary of Industrial Work Experience

As an ergonomic consultant with Oregon OSHA, I work with employers and employees to develop safe and productive/profitable workplaces, jobs and work environments. I do this by introducing and applying principles and practices from ergonomics-human factors, industrial engineering, lean and Six-Sigma methods and concepts, economics, management science as well as relevant OSHA, ISO, ANSI, Government and industry codes and standards. Critical to these efforts is hazard identification and quantification using various hazard quantification methods from ergonomics-human factors, occupational safety and system safety; the development of reasonable and cost effective countermeasures to address hazards or management system deficiencies; and development of programs and training to insure floor level, supervisory, management and corporate recognition and accountability for safety, health and ergonomics practices.
I have successfully worked with companies having as few as two employees, and as many as 2000. Clients have come from city, state and federal governments and agencies, public and private organizations, general industry, construction, agriculture, fisheries, medical, high technology and the aviation industry. I regularly work in multinational firms, multicultural work environments and sometimes- uncooperative environments. Typical industries and risk assessment/intervention activities I have carried out include:

Worked with fire departments and ambulance services towards identification of ergonomic hazards in equipment design, development of better methods and equipment for victim handling and training needs;

Evaluated commercial kitchens, restaurants and banquet facilities for ergonomic and cumulative trauma disorder potentials and assisted in countermeasure or (re) design recommendations;

Reviewed ergonomic program and work activities in rail car and shipbuilding facility for potential improvements;

Helped develop more efficient methods, tools, processes and procedures, as well as identifying and reducing ergonomic risk factors in job shops, assembly line operations and with Just-In-Time (JIT) work groups for both traditional manufacturing and service type industries.

Developed improved workstations, work methods, tools, mechanization of material flows and handling in metal forming companies and foundries to lower the potential for repetitive motion injuries and back injury.

In fish processing and red meat industries I have evaluated processing tasks for general ergonomic, workstation, cumulative trauma and materials handling concerns and developed engineering and administrative interventions.

In warehouses and distribution centers I have worked to improve tasks, equipment, training and work methods. 

In commercial aviation, I have worked with carriers and aviation service companies on reducing back and shoulder injuries resulting from manual handling of luggage and cargo in and around the aircraft, at the various terminal staging and sorting areas and while servicing aircraft.

Designed, evaluated and recommended modifications to improve office and VDT workstations for professional, engineering/CAD workers, and for clerical, reception and secretarial workstations.

In electronics fabrication and assembly facilities I have designed, evaluated and improved workstations, work methods and tools to reduce the potential for cumulative trauma injuries, improve workflows and reduce errors.

Summary of Academic Activities

My teaching experience has been in development and teaching of undergraduate and graduate level classes and laboratories in: ergonomics, human factors engineering, work measurement and design, work physiology, safety management, operations research, production systems analysis and system safety -quantitative risk assessment. My research has been in research in manual materials handling, human factors engineering and cumulative trauma disorders; evaluating work design for the older worker, for females, the pregnant worker, the obese as well as workers of non-European descent; and ergonomics, human factors and managerial issues in modern manufacturing systems.  I have published and presented over 60 articles and papers. A listing is available on request.

Professional Membership

Member of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Member of Forensics, Safety and Industrial Ergonomics Technical Groups

Member of Ergonomics Society

Recent Research Publications and Presentations

Available upon request

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