Accident investigations


Root Cause Analysis

Root cause analysis is a formal process used to identify the underlying cause and contributing factors of an incident. Whether investigating an employee injury, property damage, or product failure, our scientists and engineers go beyond merely evaluating the general cause of the accident. Fusion’s human factors and ergonomics team provides incident investigation support for any incident where a person is involved in the system’s safe operation.




Standards & References

  • EN/IEC 62740 -Root cause analysis (RCA)


Perception Reaction Time

Perception reaction time is the interval between the time something is perceived and the time a response begins. This period is a critical factor in reconstructing pre-accident timing. Establishing causation and opportunity for accident avoidance is critically dependent upon accurate perception reaction time values. Fusion’s human factors and ergonomics team provides industrial consulting services and litigation support with respect to questions of perception reaction time. As part of these services, we evaluate and deliver clear guidance on the diverse range of factors that impact perception reaction time.

 Standards & References

  • SAE Technical Paper 890732: Perception/Reaction Time Values for Accident Reconstruction
  • AASHTO Green Book A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets
  • Olson, P.L. & Sivak, M. (1986) Perception-response time to unexpected roadway hazards. Human Factors, 28, 96-99.


Distracted Driving and Attention

Distracted driving is the act of engaging in any activity that diverts the vehicle operator’s attention away from safe vehicle operation. Common distracted driving scenarios include: talking, texting, eating, drinking, using the navigation system, and operating infotainment. Fusion engineering’s human factors professionals use knowledge of human performance and behavior to examine the likely contribution of operator distraction to commercial and personal vehicle accidents.

Standards & References

  • SAE J3151 - Relating Experimental Drive Distraction and Driving Performance Metrics to Crash Involvement - Definitions of Terms and Concepts
  • SAE J2944 - Operational Definitions of Driving Performance Measures and Statistics
  • SAE J2396 - Definitions and Experimental Measures Related to the Specification of Driver Visual Behavior Using Video Based Techniques
  • ISO 15007-1 - Road vehicles - Measurement of driver visual behavior with respect to transport information and control systems - Part 1 Definitions and parameters - Second Edition
  • ISO 15008 - Road vehicles - Ergonomic aspects of transport information and control systems - Specifications and test procedures for in-vehicle visual presentation - Third Edition


Fatigue and Work Scheduling

Long work hours, irregular shifts, inadequate work-rest cycle times, personal health, and sleep hygiene are some of the factors that can lead to chronic and acute worker fatigue. Fatigue is frequently cited as a cause of, or contributing factor to, accidents and injuries in a variety of industrial and occupational settings. Fusion’s human factors and ergonomics professionals can provide guidance to industrial clients on issues relating to fatigue through our fatigue risk management consulting.  Our professionals can also analyze whether fatigue played a role in a variety of transportation and manufacturing accidents and injuries.

Standards & References

  • 49 CFR Appendix A to Part 228 - Requirements of the Hours of Service Act
  • Marcus JH, Rosekind MR. Fatigue in transportation: NTSB investigations and safety recommendations. Inj Prev. 2017 Aug;23(4):232-238


Blind Spot Detection

Blind spots are any region around a machine, vehicle, or facility where a person or other object is not readily seen either directly (eyes) or indirectly (mirrors, cameras). Operators of large industrial machinery are particularly susceptible to incidents and accidents due to blind spots. Fusion’s human factors and ergonomics professionals provide blind spot evaluations, digital human modeling, and risk assessments to determine what human operators would be able to see, based on all relevant environmental factors. Through this analysis, we can assist with FMEA training, guidance, and review.

Standards & References

  • ISO 5721 Agricultural tractors – Requirements, test procedures and acceptance criteria for the operator's field of vision
  • ISO 5006 Earth-moving machinery – Operators filed of view  - Test method and performance criteria
  • ISO 14401 Earth-moving machinery – Field of vision of surveillance and rear-view mirrors