Singapore 27th September 2010
The other day I caught a late night episode of CSI Miami, the crime scene investigators. I am not a regular TV watcher, but once in a while I do like to “switch off” from work and just watch some TV. Besides the fact that they use UV light to detect traces of human finger prints and the like, lighting does not play a huge role in these series. However there are times that lighting experts are called in for criminal cases/ fatal accidents to provide expert opinion when lighting is in play. In Australia we are called called in on occasion to provide such opinion.
Several years ago one of my colleagues at the time provided his expert opinion on a glare situation on the road that was the major cause of a road accident. The issue then was a car driver who claimed that he was not able to see the red traffic light because of the glaring sun and therefore was not to blame for the accident. If my mind serves me well it was proven that during some months of the year the sun set occurred right behind the traffic light and that it was indeed impossible for the human eye to overcome that contrast and actually see the traffic light let alone the color of the light. The whole case was brought on by the insurance company of course.
In a more recent case we were called in to investigate a fatal accident at a mining site somewhere in the northern part of Western Australia. A worker was fatally killed during a night shift where he fell to his death through a loose floor panel from a third floor work structure. The company needed to establish cause immediately and flew us in nearly overnight to investigate the “scene” which was left untouched to establish whether lighting was to blame for the accident. Considering the legal implications of our findings we were made to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so I can not disclose the cause but we did establish the role of lighting and submitted our report to the company’s legal department.
This is another side to our lighting experts role that is not often talked about, nor does it happen often, but we do get involved in regular lighting audits to establish public or corporate lighting compliance to standards. Just in case….