Forensic Engineering Expert Witness On Industry Standards Part 2

Wikipedia tells us that “forensic engineering is the investigation of materials, products, structures or components that fail or do not operate/function as intended, causing personal injury for example. In Industry Standards, Technology Associates, the forensic engineering expert witness company has this to say on industry standards.

Because custom and practice is (by definition) something that is actually in existence, and is therefore accepted, there is an understandable tendency to consider it “acceptable.” This conclusion is not automatically justified, however, for two reasons. First, custom and practice within a given industry generally varies over a wide range, from bad to good, from unsafe to safe. For example, although many punch presses are fitted with two-hand controls to prevent the operator from having either hand in the dangerous area as the ram of the press descends, it is common for the operator-or his employer-to “tie down” one of the controls so that the press can be operated with only one hand, leaving the other hand free to inadvertently enter the dangerous area as the ram descends. (The reason for this dangerous practice is that it speeds up production.) Thus, this form of custom and practice is not acceptable as an industry standard. It follows that only good custom and practice should be used as an industry standard.