Certified Human Factors Professional Expert Witness

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Certified Human Factors Professional Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Engineering human factors, psychologist, product design label evaluations warnings, label warnings, instructions, anthropology, product safety design, childrens hazards child development, safety labels instructions, consumer product safety commission, appreciation of risk, manufacturer, ASTM, ANSI, consumer safety specifications, toy safety, playground equipment, bunk beds, pool covers, cribs, high chairs, infant bedding, play yards, gates enclosures, toddler beds, strollers, infant walkers, cigarette lighters, appliances, automatic garage door entrapment strangulation, CB base station antenna electrocution, gas hot water heater CO poisoning, portable electric heater fire, furniture, bunk bed head entrapment, strangulations, falls, dresser tip overs, entrapment strangulation, recliner chair head entrapment strangulation, water bed strangulation suffocation, household items, child resistant closures, medicine bottle poisoning, cigarette lighter flare up, clothing burn, drawstring, CO detector control display design, drapery blind cords entanglement strangulation, food choking, gas can flammable, explosion, poison, glue cap choking, kerosene container burn, smoke detector control display design


8/93 – Present    President, Private Company
11/92 – 8/93    Sole Proprietor

Provide Human Factors consulting on product safety.  Human Factors is a multi-disciplinary body of knowledge about human abilities, limitations, and other characteristics relevant to design.  In the context of safety, human factors relates how human characteristics, product characteristics, and the environment can interact to produce hazards.  Services include identifying injury data, technical reports, and safety regulations, and performing the following:

Injury data analysis
– assess hazard probability and severity
– identify hazard patterns

Product design safety evaluation
– determine if hazards can be eliminated via design
– assess whether hazards could be addressed by warnings

Warning label design, test, and evaluation
– determine validity of “failure to warn” claims
– optimize label effectiveness in being seen, read, understood, and followed

Recommendations form the basis for product safety standards, recalls, product design and label specifications, instructions, publications, presentations, and testimony in litigated matters.  Qualified as a Human Factors expert in state and Federal courts across the country.  Expert work is both national and international in scope.  Provide guidance to manufacturers, trade associations, distributors, testing laboratories, and attorneys.  Have 3-1/2 decades of experience in:

– Children’s hazards and child development
– Workings of US Consumer Product Safety Commission
– Appreciation of risk (manufacturer vs. users)
– Workings of standards groups ASTM, ANSI, ISO


CHFP, awarded in 1993 by the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics.

Member and Executive Committee, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Committee on Safety Signs and Colors.
-Chairperson, ANSI Criteria for Safety Symbols Subcommittee, 1994 to 2012.
-Member, ANSI Product Safety Signs and Labels Subcommittee, 1979 to 2012.

Member, US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to International Organization for Standardization, ISO/TC 145 Graphical Symbols, Safety Colours and Safety Signs, 1996 to 2012.  Includes:
– ISO 3864-2, Design Principles for Product Safety Labels
– ISO 9186, Graphical Symbols – Methods for Testing Comprehensibility
– ISO 7010, Safety Signs
Member, ASTM International (Formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials) ASTM Committee F-15 on Consumer Products and Subcommittees, 1993 to present.  Includes Consumer Safety Specifications for:
Toys     Cribs     Bunk beds     Sling carriers     Chest of drawers     Play yards     Bassinets     Five gallon buckets
High chairs    Infant bedding    Drawstrings    Soccer goals    Bed rails    Changing tables    Toddler beds    Infant walkers

Member, National Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and Technical Groups on Safety, Forensics, and Product Design, 1983 to present.
Member, Potomac Chapter, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 1983 to present.

Award, 2013 Recipient of ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products, “Margaret Dana Award” for “substantial contributions to the advancement of safety for consumer products and for her valuable input in support of the development of voluntary standards under ASTM Committee F15.”


9/79-10/92    Engineering Psychologist, Human Factors Division
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

For 13 years, performed Human Factors assessments of consumer products to determine if a hazard exists that warrants action, and to determine how to reduce injuries.  Analyzed accident data to identify hazard patterns, evaluated product designs and safety labels and instructions, developed and adapted technical literature, and recommended product redesigns and warnings.  Presented findings to CPSC Commissioners, manufacturers, trade associations, and standards-writing groups.  Findings formed the basis for recalls, bans, mandatory and voluntary safety standards, public information, and no action determinations.  Authored reports on diverse product hazards.  Received 10 awards for Human Factors technical assessments.

1976        Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and Sociology
University of Mary Washington (formerly known as Mary Washington College), Fredericksburg, Virginia        3 Academic Honor Societies


Analyses are of three types:

–  “Case” – refers to either expert witness or consulting expert work on specific cases.

–  “CPSC” – refers to an analysis performed while at CPSC, usually including analyzing injury data on multiple incidents to identify hazard patterns, evaluating product designs and safety labels, evaluating safety standards, and recommending ways to reduce hazards.

–  “Manufacturer” – refers to guidance provided to manufacturers.

The following product hazards refer to consulting on specific cases, unless otherwise marked ( ).

Automatic garage door – entrapment/strangulation (case, CPSC)
C.B. base station antenna – electrocution (CPSC)
Deep fat fryer – burn
Foot massager – burn
Gas water heater – CO poisoning
Portable electric heater – fire (CPSC)
Range – tip over/burn – (manufacturer, case)
Room air conditioner – fire, fall

Bean bag chair – suffocation
Bunk bed – head entrapment/strangulations, falls (cases, CPSC)
Chest – tip overs, entrapment/strangulation
Day bed – entrapment/strangulation
Hospital bed rail – entrapment
Mattress topper – suffocation
Recliner chair – head entrapment/strangulation
Water bed – strangulation/suffocation (case, CPSC)

Household Items
Bathroom digital scale – button battery ingestion, glass explosion
Battery – overheating, leaking (manufacturer)
Candles – flammability (distributor)
Child resistant closures on medicines/chemicals – poisoning (CPSC, manufacturer, cases)
Cigarette lighter – flare up/burns
Clothing – flammable, drawstring strangulation and blindness (CPSC, manufacturer, cases)
CO detector – control display design ( manufacturer)
Fire pot fuel gel – burn
Five-gallon bucket – drowning
Fondue pot – burn
Food – candy, hot dogs, marshmallows, etc., choking (manufacturers, case)
Food – foreign object – choking (manufacturer)

Food packaging – suffocation, burns, lacerations, microwave cooking instructions (manufacturers)
Food ice gel pack – cold burn
Gas can and caps – flammable, explosion, poisoning, child resistance (manufacturers)
Glass cleaning tool – (manufacturer)
Glue cap – choking
Kerosene container – burn
Kitchen implements (manufacturer)
Lamps and luminaries – miscellaneous hazards (trade association)
Soda can – tab projectile
School supplies and writing instruments – choking, laceration, battery (case, manufacturers)
Smoke detector – control display design (manufacturer)
Sports water bottle cap – choking (manufacturer, distributor)
Vinyl/plastic film – suffocation (CPSC, case)
Window covering cords – entanglement/strangulation (cases, manufacturer)

Industrial/Professional Equipment, Tools, and Miscellaneous
Brick hammer – projectile, blindness
Chemical protective clothing – chemical burn
Dental appliance – choking (manufacturer)
Electric power line – electrocution
Fence slat spacing –  escape, entrapment
Fifty-five gallon drum – explosion
Forklift control – confusion, crushing
Hair color – explosive chemical reaction (manufacturer)
Handicap scooter – tipover
Heat gun – fire
Industrial hand tool – blood-born pathogen (manufacturer)
Linseed oil stain – spontaneous combustion
Railroad train – amputation
Swinging gate – head entrapment/strangulation
Transformer box – electric shock
Vertical file cabinet – tip over
Welding rod – poison (trade association)

Nursery/Juvenile Products
Baby enclosure – entrapment/strangulation (CPSC)
Baby gate – entrapment/strangulation (CPSC)
Baby hammock – suffocation
Baby walker – stair fall, tipover
Bassinet – suffocation
Bed rail – entrapment
Booster car seat – containment failure
Booster and youth feeding chair – fall, strangulation (manufacturers)
Bouncer seat – fall
Convertible child car seat – containment failure
Crib bumper pad – suffocation (manufacturer, case)
Crib – catch point, entrapment, strangulation (cases, CPSC)

Crib mattress wedge – suffocation (manufacturer)
Crib tent – entrapment
Diaper changing table, storage – entrapment (manufacturer, cases)
High chair – strangulation, falls (CPSC, cases)
Infant bean bag cushion – suffocation (CPSC)
Infant bedding – entanglement/strangulation (manufacturer)
Infant carrier seat – fall
Infant car seat – entanglement/strangulation
Infant seat – fall
Infant sling carriers – suffocation
Infant swinging seat – strangulation
Laundry hamper – blindness
Light switch extender – entanglement/strangulation
Nursery decoration – entanglement/strangulation
Outlet safety plug – electrical burns
Pacifier – choking, entanglement, strangulation (CPSC)
Playpen/play yard – catch point, entrapment, strangulation (cases, CPSC)
Sleep positioner – positional asphyxia
Stroller – amputation, entrapment
Toddler bed – limb entrapment
Toy chest – strangulation (CPSC, case)
Tricycle – conspicuousness

Recreational Equipment
Baseball chest protector – impact (CPSC)
Bivy sack – suffocation
Camping propane equipment – carbon monoxide
Exercise equipment – strangulation, amputation, falls
Golf cart – tipover
Ground water slide – laceration, impact
Lawn dart – puncture wound (CPSC)
Paintball gun – blindness
Playground equipment – entrapment, catch point, strangulation, fall, impact (cases, CPSC)
Soccer goal post – tip over/impact
Swimming pools, covers, slides – drowning, impact (cases, CPSC, manufacturer)

Ball – choking (CPSC, cases)
Crib toy, gym, mobile entanglement – catch point, strangulation (CPSC)
Magnets – ingestion/intestinal blockage (manufacturer)
Manipulative toys – age determinations (manufacturer)
Manipulative toys – choking, suffocation (manufacturer)
Miscellaneous infant toys (rattles, squeeze toys, teethers, etc.) – choking (cases, CPSC)
Miscellaneous preschool toys (small figures, etc.) – choking (case, CPSC)
Miscellaneous older children’s toys (baton, etc..) – choking (cases, CPSC, distributor)
Premiums – choking (manufacturer)
Projectile toy – blindness, choking

Stuffed animal – pompon choking
Suction toy – eye injury (testing laboratory)
Tent – suffocation
Toddler gym house – entrapment, strangulation (CPSC)
Toy ATV – finger amputation
Toy strings for neck – entanglement, strangulation, laceration (case, CPSC, distributor)


Gas can – flammable, explosion, poison
Professional hair color – explosive chemical reaction
Industrial hand tool – blood-born pathogen
Propane cylinder – fire, explosion, and carbon monoxide
Air conditioner/extension cord – fire/electric shock
Plastic soda bottle cap – projectile
Ball, balloon, marble, toys for three, four, and five year olds – choking
Safety symbol comprehension testing – batteries, lamps and luminaries, electric shock, personal protection equipment, soccer goal posts, five-gallon buckets
Water bottle caps – choking


Available Upon Request


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