Dr. Morse has performed hundreds of failure analyses and root cause studies of failed parts and personal injury accidents involving a wide variety of equipment and products, for attorneys, insurance adjusters and equipment owners. 
Dr. Morse has particular experience in the following areas:
-ladders and climbing equipment
-shopping carts
-oil and gas industry
-fires and explosions - cause and origin
-roof and structural analysis
-heavy truck accidents/brakes
-machine guarding


shopping cart in parking lot
house on fire
Stepstool, telescoping ladder and articulated ladder
John S. Morse, PE  18 Pullman Street.• Brocton, NY 14716   
479-233-9785  email: jmorse-pe at
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Meeting a standard or regulation does not necessarily equal a reasonably safe product; nor does certification by an independent testing agency (such as Underwriters Laboratories) guarantee a reasonably safe product. Codes and standards differ widely in their quality in terms of producing a safe product or process simply from adherence to the code or standard. Further, many codes and standards do not consider foreseeable misuse of the product or process. Properly practiced Prevention Through Design (PtD) considers foreseeable misuse in hazard evaluations and within the design hierarchy. Abuse is specifically mentioned in the 1984 ASME Instructional Aid [1] in step five of its design hierarchy.
The following two examples demonstrate some ways in which standards fail to ensure a reasonably safe product. 
Fatal Pool Pump Inlets
A 2002 paper by Ralph Barnett and Peter Poczynok [2] severely criticized the standard for pool drain covers (ASME/ANSI A112.19.8M). It noted, "The current ASME/ANSI standard for pool/spa drain covers is relied upon as an effective guideline for drain system safety by pool industry practitioners, state building code commissions, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Spa and Pool Institute, and a myriad of pool safety sophisticates. In fact, it is a license to kill. To demonstrate its shortcomings in the dawn of its next revision, an ordinary steering wheel is shown to satisfy the current standard while exposing bathers to every known fatal drain cover scenario." (emphasis added) 
Barnett and Poczynok [2] go on to say that the drain cover standard does not address hair entanglement, body entrapment, evisceration, or mechanical finger entrapment. 
Unstable Shopping Carts
ASTM publishes a standard entitled “Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Shopping Carts” (ASTM F2372 – 04). The only safety requirements for the cart design involve the seat belt and labeling; there are no stability requirements to prevent tip-overs. No less than the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement calling on the ASTM committee to “include clear and effective performance criteria to prevent falls from carts and cart tip-overs.” [3] 
1.“An Instructional Aid For Occupational Safety and Health In Mechanical Engineering Design,” American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 1984.
2."Critique: Drain Cover Standard ASME/ANSI - A112.19.8M-1987 (1996) Case Study: Steering Wheel,” Ralph L. Barnett and Peter Poczynok, Safety Brief, Triodyne, Inc., Vol. 19, 4, Feb. 2002.
3.“AAP Policy Statement - Shopping Cart–Related Injuries to Children,” Pediatrics, Vol. 118, No. 2, August, 2006, pp. 825-827. 

Codes and Standards