IR, age 31, was found dead with his neck lacerated. A gas powered
"circular saw" was found running next to a wood deck that had been
partially dismantled. There was blood splattered on the deck, ground,
and wall. The Chief Medical Examiner reported finding abrasions
over the left elbow, left hand, left wrist, and right elbow in addition
to the neck injuries. Upon inspection of the cut-off machine, it
was observed to have a toothed circular blade. The blade guard was
pushed back and wedged so as to expose more of the blade than the
design specified. The manufacturer had provided a warning in the
accompanying instructional manual that a toothed blade should not
be used with this product.
HF Issue: I was retained by defense to determine whether
the wedged blade guard contributed to the accident.
HF Investigation: Information obtained included, but was
not limited to: obtaining an exemplar cut-off machine; the autopsy
report with attached photographs; results of the police investigation
including photographs of the scene; product operation manual; and
all depositions and statements.