Saf Health Work.  2017 Sep;8(3):306-314. 10.1016/j.shaw.2016.11.005.

Integration of Laser Scanning and Three-dimensional Models in the Legal Process Following an Industrial Accident

Affiliations
  • 1Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall, UK. m.eyre@exeter.ac.uk
  • 2Health and Safety Executive, Plymouth, Devon, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
In order to obtain a deeper understanding of an incident, it needs to be investigated to “peel back the layers” and examine both immediate and underlying failures that contributed to the event itself. One of the key elements of an effective accident investigation is recording the scene for future reference. In recent years, however, there have been major advances in survey technology, which have provided the ability to capture scenes in three dimension to an unprecedented level of detail, using laser scanners.
METHODS
A case study involving a fatal incident was surveyed using three-dimensional laser scanning, and subsequently recreated through virtual and physical models. The created models were then utilized in both accident investigation and legal process, to explore the technologies used in this setting.
RESULTS
Benefits include explanation of the event and environment, incident reconstruction, preservation of evidence, reducing the need for site visits, and testing of theories. Drawbacks include limited technology within courtrooms, confusion caused by models, cost, and personal interpretation and acceptance in the data.
CONCLUSION
Laser scanning surveys can be of considerable use in jury trials, for example, in case the location supports the use of a high-definition survey, or an object has to be altered after the accident and it has a specific influence on the case and needs to be recorded. However, consideration has to be made in its application and to ensure a fair trial, with emphasis being placed on the facts of the case and personal interpretation controlled.

Keyword

Keywords; accident investigation; accident reconstruction; laser scanning; three-dimensional modeling
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