The Integration of Laser Scanning and 3D Models in the Legal Process following an Industrial Accident
Safety and Health at Work
© 2016, Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute. This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons license.
Background In order to obtain a deeper understanding of an incident, it needs to be investigated to "peel back the layers" and examine both the immediate and underlying failures that contributed to the event itself. One of the key elements of 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 3D to an unprecedented level of detail, using laser scanners. Methods A case study involving a fatal incident was surveyed using 3D laser scanning and then subsequently recreated through virtual and physical models. The created models were then utilised in both the accident investigation and legal process top explore the technologies use in this setting. Results Benefits include; explanation of the event and environment, incident reconstruction, preservation of evidence, reducing the need for site visits, testing of theories. Drawbacks include; limited technology within court rooms, confusion caused by models, cost, personal interpretation and acceptance in the data. Conclusions The use of laser scanning surveys can be of considerable use in jury trials, for example, if the location supports the use of a high definition survey or if an object has be altered after the accident and 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, emphasis being placed on the facts of the case and personal interpretation controlled.
The Authors would like to acknowledge the European Social Fund for providing funding for this research. In addition, the authors would also like to acknowledge 3DMSI Ltd for their assistance throughout this research.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Available online 1 December 2016