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A forensic engineering investigation of slip and fall accidents has its own unique set of problems and trends. The National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) conducted a Slip and Fall Accident Workshop on 27 July 1989 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The function of the Workshop was to bring together experienced speakers and NAFE participants to hear presentations on slip and fall subjects and then to exchange comments and to discuss local forensic investigation and reporting practices.
The Workshop was concerned with presenting an understanding of the mechanics of walking and falling; the techniques of forensic investigations and reporting; the available means of measurement and testing of the accident site; the codes, standards, and reference sources; the law of slip and fall; written and oral discovery procedures; and the trial process. Each participant brought examples of their reports and prepared a listing of the problems and trends in their slip and fall practice.
The purpose of this paper is to review the results of the Workshop discussions by listing the slip and fall forensic problems, trends, and reporting practices. From this discussion came a list of recommendations for the forensic engineer.
slip and fall accidents, forensic engineering, coefficient of friction, expert witness, mechanics of walking and falling
Professor of Engineering, State University of New York, Maritime College, Bronx, NY