• Artificial turf and playground surfaces
  • Chemical Problems
  • Component Failures: Vehicles; Construction equipment; Aircraft
  • Consumer Product Investigations: Toys, exercise equipment, ladders, appliances
  • Fire and Arson Investigation and Analysis
  • Industrial equipment: Safety, guarding and design analysis
  • Industrial vehicles
  • Material Failure Analysis: Hoses, and other rubber products; Metals, woods plastic, concrete, brick and other structural materials; Strapping, cable, rope, and other cordage products; Glues and adhesives; Leather; Glass and beverage containers
  • Medical Apparatus and Devices
  • Metallurgical failures
  • Microscopy and Photography
  • Pleasure vehicles
  • Slip and Fall, Trip and Fall and other Pedestrian Investigations: Coefficient of friction, code compliance and illumination analysis

In court there are two different types of witnesses: Eyewitnesses and expert witnesses. We are expert witnesses. Expert witnesses may express opinion based on training, experience and skills. The total reason for FORENSICS is to explain to a lay jury the most probable cause of an event. The jury, then, must deliberate and assess the information to determine how it applies to the case.

It is the responsibility of Northwest Labs Forensics Department to get all the facts, deal impartially and arrive at an answer for the assignment in question. We are not investigators. We are professionals who delve into ... and get ... the physical facts.


"This particular incident involved a type of disposable surgical drape used to cover patients during surgery. The drape was ordered by the hospital's purchasing agent who, after studying the drape's description believed it met applicable Federal fire standards.

However, during an operation which required the use of electronic equipment, an electric spark occurred igniting the surgical drape. The drape roared into flames burning the patient and the attending surgical personnel.

Tests conducted by us proved the drapery was highly flammable. Further, the company which manufactured the drape, had labeled the product in a misleading manner. The product was found to be totally wrong for the use for which it was sold."



Component failure analysis is part of our area. Typical examples would include: Vehicle accidents, fire investigations, personal injuries, medical apparatus failures, explosions of boilers and pressure vessels. We deal with any moving component, such as: Cars, motorcycles, construction equipment, buses, rapid transit, amusement rides, ski lifts, bicycles, roller skates. Anything that moves under its own power and is mechanical qualifies. This also would include brakes, rollers, conveyors, drive shafts and equipment of a similar nature.

Again, our job is to find out why something occurred and report the facts as they appear.