Human Factors, Ergonomics and Safety Consulting

Bus Emergency Escape StudyPurswell & Purswell, Engineering and Ergonomics Inc. has served clients for over 30 years.  Our published research has become well known and assignments often originate when a client encounters this research and initiates a contact with the firm.

CASE STUDIES

Performed a usability analysis of hospital beds from various vendors and advised  a hospital chain on which beds were least likely to result in user errors which could cause either patient or caregiver injuries.

Performed a complete hazard analysis and risk assessment for a major piece of equipment used in oil exploration.  Then prepared instruction manual and warnings for this equipment.

Performed a hazard analysis, risk assessment and then developed warnings for specialty hoses used in handling anhydrous ammonia and liquefied petroleum gas.

Performed an investigation of the current safety program for a major road building company, redesigned and implemented the safety program.

Investigated OSHA citations received by client and advised client on responses.  Met with OSHA personnel regarding citations.

Reviewed controls for product line of large manlifts. Performed interface study to determine means to avoid inadvertent actions and implemented new controls.

Projects have been completed in almost all major industry sectors.

Some of the most frequent sectors for projects are:

Chemicals WarningsOil drilling, and production

Large truck transport operations

Railroad operations

All types of construction equipment

Agricultural equipment

Automobile safety equipment and tires

Escape from automobiles and buses after post crash fires or submergence

Paper production and processing facilities

Manufacturing of automobiles and appliances

Chemical plant operations

Materials handling and storage, including all types of lift trucks


 

 


 

Consulting in Litigation Matters

We have provided consultation (including expert testimony) on the listed issues for matters in litigation.

We have consulted with attorneys from all 50 states. References will happily be provided on request.

Hazard Analyses

A hazard analysis uses one or more system safety techniques to identify hazards associated with the intended use and foreseeable misuse of a product. Accident databases are also consulted to identify possible injury modes. Once a list of hazards is developed changes in the product design or instructions and warnings to accompany the product are developed to address the identified hazards.

Risk Assessments

A product or process is evaluated both for the likelihood of injury and/or property damage as well as the severity of injury and/or property damage. Risk reduction techniques are then applied to reduce both the likelihood and severity of the risk as feasible.

Information Interface Designs
Equipment Investigation User interface designs are evaluated by asking representative users to complete actual tasks with a particular product to identify where user confusions may arise. If the testing reveals difficulties or ambiguities with the design, recommendations for changes are provided. Then the user testing can be repeated to confirm that the change has resolved the user confusions. Particular consideration is given to those interface-induced user confusions which may result in injury.
Warning Development and Evaluation
Warnings and instructions can alert users to particular hazards associated with a product and instruct the user in the precautions necessary to avoid harm. The ultimate utility of a warning depends on both the warning as well as the user’s willingness to notice, read, and understand the warning message and then follow the warning’s precautions. A hazard analysis of the product is usually the first step in this process to identify those hazards which the warnings need to address.


We also assist clients in determining which if any, regulatory standards may be applicable to content and format of the warnings for their products. Where no specific government regulation for a warning for a particular product exists, beginning with a hazard analysis, we assist clients to identify appropriate content, format, size and placement of the warning messages based upon the empirical literature on warnings effectiveness as well as consensus standards. Consultations on warnings development and review range from briefing the client on the necessary elements of a warning to actually producing “camera-ready” warnings for a product. We have also designed and conducted tests of the warnings with representative users who are asked to use the product.

Product Instruction Manual Development

Consultations on user manuals are provided to improve the readability, organization, and completeness with particular focus on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the anticipated user. Manuals are also reviewed to ensure that appropriate safety instructions and warnings are included. As with the development of on-product warnings discussed above, we can provide “camera-ready” files for manuals to clients.

Development of Material Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets are required by OSHA for hazardous chemicals to which workers may be exposed. We have assisted manufacturers and importers of chemicals to develop Safety Data Sheets that comply with both OSHA and ANSI requirements for the ordering and content of these sheets. As of 2012, OSHA and ANSI no longer refer to this information as “Material Safety Data Sheets” (MSDSs) but simply as “Safety Data Sheets”. As of 2010, ANSI merged its standards for Safety Data Sheets and (on-product) Precautionary Labeling into one unified standard.

Development of Safety Programs

Consultations with employers on the development of OSHA-mandated safety training as well as site and application specific training to deal with specific hazards are provided. Guidance is also provided on the benchmarking of a particular company’s safety performance against its industry’s safety performance.

Analysis of OSHA Compliance Issues

Consultations on OSHA compliance issues are provided. We have advised clients on the requirements of General Industry and Construction standards and assisted clients in responding to OSHA citations. Based on our knowledge of OSHA standards, compliance directives, and interpretations as well as the hearing record for the standard contained in the preambles to the standard, we have clarified the requirements of OSHA regulations for clients.

We have also advised clients on what they may reasonably expect from an OSHA inspection, including likely areas of particular interest given the client’s industry and injury history. We have also provided guidance regarding the duties of various entities on multi-employer worksites as well as OSHA’s citation practices of ergonomic and heat stress hazards under the “General Duty” clause.
Purswell & Purswell, Ergonomics & Safety Consulting
2035 Mulligan Dr., Colorado Springs, Co 80920
Phone: (719) 592-1773 • Fax: (719) 265-6905
Dr Jerry Purswell: jerry.purswell@gmail.com
Dr. J.P. Purswell: j.p.purswell@gmail.com