Get on site and do a forensic visual assessment before COVID-19 returns

There’s an argument for getting on site and doing a visual assessment before COVID-19 returns. There is talk of a second wave. I thought this when I was thinking of getting up to New Brunswick to visit friends before I get COVID-19-stayed in Halifax for the winter.

There’s no question about the value of virtual site assessments as I noted recently. (Refs 1, 2) Studying emailed documents and photographs of a site and getting a lot of data without leaving the office. Including the cause of a slip and fall accident that stared me in the face recently. (Ref. 1)

But, the worth of an on-scene visual assessment has been well understood for decades – if it can be done safely. Pre, second-wave COVID-19 would be safe. (Ref. 3)

Getting on site would give us:

  • additional photographs to those in the documents,
  • aerial video – pre-planned with a virtual drone flight (Ref. 4),
  • accurate measurements,
  • re-enactment of a slip and fall accident, if that’s the issue,
  • a forensic engineer calibrated to the site (Ref. 5), and,
  • more hard data for continued virtual site assessment back in the office.

In many cases, a forensic investigation unfolding in this conventional way – document study then an on-site visual assessment – often points to the cause of a problem and those responsible. And often, as well, to how an insurance claim might unfold or whether a civil case should be filed. Additional intrusive investigation at the scene is sometimes needed but not always.

So, what are we waiting for? If a second COVID-19 wave is in the wings ready to wash over us, and we quickly visit friends in the Atlantic bubble to get ahead of it, why aren’t we quickly doing an on-site visual assessment?


  1. What can you get from a virtual visual examination of an accident scene? Posted August 28, 2020 2. It’s here
  2. COVID-19 and forensic engineering investigation. Posted May 7, 2020
  3. COVID-19 and an initial forensic task a.k.a a visual site assessment, sans social distancing. Posted June 1, 2020
  4. It’s here, cost effective, efficient aerial video for forensic investigation! Posted October 8, 2019
  5. Can you “calibrate” a forensic expert? Posted June 23, 2020

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