In August 2012, Dr. J.P. participated in a committee to reformulate the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam at NCEES headquarters in Clemson, S.C. Dr. Purswell continues to serve on the Industrial Engineers Professional Engineers (IE PE) committee. He represented IIE at a NCEES meeting in December 2012 to discuss transitioning the PE exams to a computer-based format.
In June 2012, Dr J.P. Purswell co-authored a paper with his CSU-Pueblo Masters student, Jay Baillageon, entitled "The Impact of the 1998 Revision OSHA Forklift Standard on the Relative Frequency of Certain Accidents Involving Powered Industrial Trucks" for the 24rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety. The paper compared a sampling of accident reports involving powered industrial trucks in the OSHA accident database for the 10 years before and the 10 years after the revised standard became effective.
In June 2011, Dr. J.P. Purswell presented two papers at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety. The first paper was an update on OSHA citation activity of ergonomic hazards under the "General Duty" clause. Some states like California operate "State Plans" which impose additional requirements for the mitigation of ergonomic hazards and may cite ergonomic hazards for violations of provisions that federal OSHA does not track. Of the jurisdictions cited as ergonomic hazards under the General Duty clause, Puerto Rico (another "state plan" jurisdiction) has seen the most citations issued for ergonomic hazards.
The second paper Dr. J.P. Purswell presented at the 2011 ISOES meeting, entitled "Truck Crane Accident Patterns" classified accidents in the OSHA accident database involving truck cranes. As might be expected, more than half of the accidents records involved employers whose Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes indicated that they were categorized as construction-related. The most common accident scenario was overturn due to exceeding the rated load capacity of the crane. The second most common accident scenario consisted of falling crane components striking a worker during the assembly or disassembly of the crane.
In June 2010, Dr. J.P. Purswell presented a paper at the Third International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics annual meeting entitled "The Distribution of Pedestrian - Backing Vehicle Accidents by Backup Alarm Status and Vehicle Type." This paper expanded on the 2000 paper he co-authored entitled "The Effectiveness of Audible Backup Alarms as Indicated by OSHA Accident Investigation Records." The 2010 paper included records of additional pedestrian-backing vehicle accidents, which were again classified by the backup alarm status of the vehicle involved. The 2010 paper also identified the type of vehicle and the employers' industry classification (SIC code). Vehicle type for each record was also classified as construction equipment, some type of forklift, or a street vehicle. Among the findings of note, a preponderance of the accidents reviewed involved vehicles used in construction. OSHA regulations require that construction equipment with an obstructed rear view have either a functioning backup alarm or an on the ground spotter directing the movement.
In June 2009, Dr. J.P. Purswell presented a paper at the ISOES annual meeting that he authored entitled "Crawler Crane Accident Patterns." The paper was based upon a review of accident summaries contained in the OSHA Accident Database. The analysis revealed that the most common mode of serious injury associated with crawler cranes was workers being struck by falling objects. In some cases, the falling object was an improperly secured load, while in other instances; some part of an improperly rigged crane actually fell and struck a worker. 29 CFR 1926.550 (the OSHA regulations for Construction) states "All employees shall be kept clear of loads about to be lifted and of suspended loads." In addition, OSHA has issued this letter of interpretation regarding the permissible proximity of workers to suspended loads.
Dr. J.P. Purswell also co-authored a paper presented by Mr. Dennis Brickman at the 2009 ISOES conference entitled "Tree Chipper Human Perception-Reaction Testing." The paper addressed the human perception-reaction response during a branch pull-in scenario involving a commercial mechanical in-feed tree chipper. Tests were performed using male subjects utilizing a hopper test fixture equipped with feed wheels and a safety control bar that was located close to the feed end and within easy reach. The test results indicated that all test subjects were able to move the safety control bar into the reverse feed wheel position before their hand entered the feed wheels.
Dr. J.P Purswell completed a 5 year term as Chair of the IE PE Exam committee in May. Dr. Purswell has "passed the baton" to Mr. Ron Janzen. Dr. Purswell continues to serve on the IE PE Exam committee.