Hospitality, Retail, and Restaurant
Few property events cause the damage a fire is capable of, Our national team of fire investigators has the experience to determine the origin and cause of the event. Rimkus also has a national team of electrical and mechanical engineers whose role is often critical in sourcing the failure in fires.
Mechanical Failure Evaluations
The equipment and machinery that support a hotel or restaurant can be unique to the industry. Whether it is large-scale HVAC systems, elevators, escalators, cooking/venting equipment, fire suppression systems, pumps, or boilers, our mechanical engineers have the skills to determine what led to the failure.
Property Damage Investigations
Rimkus engineers and architects have investigated and advised clients in every manner of problems in structures from top to bottom and side to side. We address these issues from our offices across the country, which ensures our response is quick, cost effective, and performed by experts that know the local and national building code requirements.
Storm Damage and Catastrophic Response
In the aftermath of storms or catastrophes, we are asked to respond and evaluate damage to properties. Such investigations range from damage to roofs, floors, and walls that could have been caused by hurricanes, high winds, tornadoes, hailstorms, floods or earthquakes, as well as interior damage from mold and mildew. Our construction engineers, certified industrial hygienists (CIHs), and other experts can respond to the damage evaluation with detailed causation assessments, reconstruction and remediation plans, repair cost estimates, and construction oversight on behalf of our clients.
Starting with the building envelope that surrounds all of those systems, proper sealing of a structure reduces the demand on HVAC systems. Those systems, however, must be designed to provide proper environmental conditions for the occupants. Similarly, plumbing systems have undergone changes to include low-flow fixtures, high-efficiency boilers and water heaters, and even gray water systems, all designed to increase building efficiency. Our engineers evaluate the condition of a building’s envelope to assure that it is a proper design, was constructed according to plans, and provides the building with the protection for which it was designed.
Increased efficiency helps to reduce the environmental footprint of the building. Rimkus engineers are trained in the requirements for green building construction, operation and maintenance, and many of our engineers hold LEED® AP certification. We are often called upon to inspect and ensure that new construction and remodeling efforts meet the requirements for LEED® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Premises Liability Investigations
Accidents occur on both private and public property. Issues arise regarding maintenance, facility design and construction, and their compliance with applicable codes and regulations. Rimkus offers a highly specialized team of premises liability experts to assist you in all aspects of premises liability evaluations, conformity and industry standards, and building site safety reviews. Supporting this effort is our experienced team of engineers, safety professionals, architects, construction managers and biomechanical experts. Rimkus’ consultants have evaluated balcony and railing failures; exercise room accidents; escalator and elevator accidents; floor, bathtub and shower surface conditions; loading docks; pedestrian crosswalks; playground equipment; lighting; stairways; swimming pools; and even uneven sidewalks.
Our team is well versed in ADA compliance, ASTM standards agreement, building codes, slip-resistance testing, signage, pool security, and lighting conditions as well as workplace hazard analysis.
Injury Causation Biomechanics
Injury claims attributed to inadequate facility design can be both painful and expensive. Our biomechanical engineers review accident reports, the injuries that resulted, and the reported causation to assess whether those injuries could have reasonably resulted from the reported accident. Our property loss consultants utilize specialized test equipment, including the Brungraber Mark I to measure slip resistance in bathtubs and showers, numerous English XL tribometers, and drag sleds (ASTM C1028 tests).
A to Z: asbestos to zinc. Excess exposure to any substance can lead to illness or even death. Products such as asbestos and chemicals including dioxins, pesticides, and xylene are not the only hazards. Radiation, noise, heat, “flesh-eating” bacteria, Legionella disease, mold, and hundreds of other hazards can all be equally dangerous and deadly. Rimkus offers a broad range of services to reduce risk: Rimkus CIHs and environmental specialists assist in developing prevention programs to protect your workers as well as your guests.
Mold and Indoor Air Quality
Our CIHs and professional engineers have investigated and solved air quality complaints in every type of building in virtually every state, including those devastated by hurricanes, floods, and other disasters. Poor indoor air quality is often more complex than mold. Some of our recent exposure claims relate to effects from substances that include second-hand smoke, formaldehyde, radon, carbon monoxide, fire residue and odors, lead, and mercury contamination— even sewage-related pathogens.
We count on our water systems to be safe, but one organism can evade our water treatment systems: the Legionella bacterium. Exposure to elevated amounts of Legionella in susceptible individuals can cause them to contract Legionnaires’ disease. Rimkus has the experience to locate the problem areas and set forth the proper remediation protocols.
Security Event Prevention
Few things are more important than safeguarding guests, employees, and the property that shelters them. Rimkus’ consultants have extensive experience in evaluating property site conditions. From parking management systems, fencing, landscaping, lighting, CCTV design, and lobby design to patron access control, our experts can identify opportunities for improvement that can only be derived from decades of security experience.
Post-Security Event Consulting
Society is changing and we at Rimkus recognize that no property, no matter how secure, is immune from criminal assault events. Certainly, a security breach event is rare, but Rimkus experts can assess the foreseeability of the event and also determine if the response was commensurate with the industry’s best practices. Our experts can perform a demographic analysis of the criminal activity in the vicinity of your property and evaluate employee and guest responses to criminal activity as either appropriate or inappropriate. Rimkus also provides litigation support in security cases. Our areas of expertise include foreseeability of crime, security staffing, background screening, training, policy and procedures, emergency response, and use of force.
Toxic tort claims are on the rise. Often complicating these claims are pre-existing conditions due to lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking, and drug abuse, or pre-existing health conditions such as asthma. Individual genetic differences can also influence susceptibility to certain toxicants. Our scientists have the expertise to evaluate the relevance and validity of the toxicological evidence, ranging from drug and alcohol test results (dram shop) to exposure health claims.
Contamination of foodstuffs with human or animal fluids, tissue, or waste products make up a significant number of claims yearly. Let our experts verify the validity of these claims and also separate the perceived threat of exposure to these products from the actual health risk in order to better address these claims.
Microbial contamination of food products with bacteria such as E. coli or Salmonella can be a serious and even life-threatening health hazard resulting in significant claims. Rimkus experts evaluate the merits of these claims with respect to the known toxicology of the microbials involved.
Food Preparation, Packaging, Storage, and Transport
Claims that involve the manufacturing, rendering, processing, storage, and transportation of foodstuffs require expertise in regulatory requirements related to these issues. Rimkus industrial hygienists and scientists familiar with these concerns can evaluate your complex claims.
Video from security systems is invariably of poor quality and suffers from low resolution, poor lighting, noise, and shaking. Rimkus has forensic video enhancement capabilities that utilize state-of-the-art video enhancement software. Data from each frame of video is analyzed and reconstructed so that it is crisper and clearer with significantly less noise. Our video team can create still images of keyframes, zoom into a specific area of interest as well as convert the selection to slow motion to aid your analysis. We enhance all types of media, including video from surveillance cameras, cellphones, and digital cameras.
Our animation specialists work with the results of the investigating expert’s analysis to recreate the incident in exactly the manner described by the expert’s calculations. This allows the expert to testify along with the assistance of an accurate animation depicting exactly what the expert has determined. The impact of this method of presentation in the courtroom is immense.
Rimkus doesn’t stop at animation. We videotape calibrated nighttime visibility studies to match conditions at the location and time of the accident. When an event cannot be captured from a single camera, we set up synchronized multi-cameras that can be edited to view on a single monitor.