Child Passenger Safety

A Potential Client Calls About A Child Injured in A Crash – What Should You Do?

You just got a call from a parent that they were involved in a collision and, as a result, their young child was injured. What important steps should you take?

  1. Secure the evidence – both the vehicle and the child seat
  2. Get the make, model and date of manufacture of the child seat
  3. Photograph any marks on the child’s body
  4. Get accurate height and weight for the child

One of the most important steps to take is to immediately secure the evidence. In a case involving a child who was riding in a child seat, in addition to the vehicle, it is also very important to secure the child seat. If the child seat is still installed in the vehicle, take photographs to document how it is installed and how the harness is adjusted. If the child seat is no longer installed in the vehicle, it is best to secure the car seat by taking custody of it to prevent it from becoming separated from a vehicle you do not control. If the seat is not with the vehicle, check with the hospital or in other vehicles involved in the crash. In some cases, children are removed from a vehicle and transported to the hospital in the child seat. In these cases, the child seat will likely end up at the hospital and may be delivered to the parent’s or child’s hospital room or, if not secured quickly, discarded. If possible, have the client place the car seat in a safe location so that it remains available to be inspected. It is also very helpful to know the make and model of the child seat at the time of the initial call. This information, as well as the date of manufacture is always found on the car seat label. If possible, photograph the label.

In addition to preserving the child seat, it is also helpful to photograph any marks, i.e. bruising, on the child. The locations of these bruises will help to identify how the harness was positioned on the child at the time of the collision. Continue reading “A Potential Client Calls About A Child Injured in A Crash – What Should You Do?”

lawn-mower-safety

Case Study: The Importance of Lawn Mower Safety

Case Synopsis: A landscaper was operating a commercial riding mower at an industrial plant early one morning. The ground was covered in dew resulting in a slippery terrain. As the worker was cutting the lawn, he proceeded down a hill, was unable to stop, and slid into the side of a building. Due to the wet ground and the incline, he was unable to back the mower up from the building. At that point he dismounted the mower and attempted to pull it away from the wall so he would be able to drive again. While attempting to move the mower, the worker slipped, entangled his foot under the mower deck resulting in a partial amputation.

Expert Analysis: According to the operator’s manual for the mower, there were several interlocks, or safeties, which should have prevented the mower blades from operating after dismounting the mower. The system should turn off the mower’s engine if the blades were still engaged, or the parking brake was not set when the operator removed his weight from the seat. The manufacturer had performance requirements on how quickly the engine was required to stop after weight was removed from the seat. There was also a recommendation that the seat interlock be checked weekly to confirm it operated properly by shutting down the mower if weight was removed from the seat. Continue reading “Case Study: The Importance of Lawn Mower Safety”