Forensic Engineering Evaluation of an Automated Warehouse Accident
Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers
A worker was injured by fast-moving equipment inside an automated warehouse at a location where workers are supposed to be excluded during automated operations. The facility was designed with barriers, locking gates, lockout/tagout provisions, and a safety training program for operators. Despite the safety training, procedures, and equipment, a worker entered the danger zone and was struck by automated equipment. The worker knew he was in a restricted zone; however, he thought he had ocked
... t he had ocked outthe area where he was performing maintenance.The safety equipment design and operator procedures will be discussed in this paper, along with deviations from operator procedures that caused the accident. The litigation issues involved design of the safety systems, training of operators, and additional safety components that the plaintiff expert opined should have been in place. Conflicting opinions offered by experts engaged by the plaintiff and automation equipment designer/installer will be discussed.