A Nondestructive Forensic Investigation of a Scissor Lift Fatality





Radiography, nondestructive, failure analysis, accident investigation, exemplar testing, scissor lift, control panel, lift controls, electrical, damage, safety devices, forensic engineering


After a worker was found fatally pinned between the top rail of a scissor lift and an overhead beam, rescue attempts were frustrated by unresponsive lift controls. In the investigation of this fatal accident, certain lift controls did not function or functioned intermittently. The intermittent nature of the malfunction indicated that the evidence was sensitive — likely to be disturbed if the device was disassembled using typical destructive techniques. Therefore, nondestructive techniques were required. This study discusses how X-ray imaging, computed tomography (CT), electrical testing, and engineering analysis of the lift and control system were used to investigate the causes and contributing factors of this fatal accident without disturbing sensitive evidence.


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How to Cite

Stichter, Michael, Wade Lanning, and Zachary Ball. 2023. “A Nondestructive Forensic Investigation of a Scissor Lift Fatality”. Journal of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers 40 (1). https://doi.org/10.51501/jotnafe.v40i1.859.