Consumer Product Design, Usage & Injury Analysis

Exponent’s engineers and scientists have extensive expertise in the assessment of potential hazards associated with the use and misuse of a wide variety of consumer products. Exponent’s biomechanics staff analyzes human kinematics and injury mechanisms and utilizes their expertise to understand how traumatic injuries occur. Our human factors scientists analyze the interaction between users and consumer products, including examining the relevant cognitive, attention, and perceptual factors in consumer product safety. We also evaluate product warning and safety communications. The results of these types of analyses can answer questions about misuse or non-use of product components, including safety features. Our engineers assess the role of various design features of a product in a specific event and evaluate the implications associated with changes in product design, including alternative products and alternative use.

Field data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) databases, and information from the scientific literature are used to identify potential hazards and hazard patterns. We develop and perform tests using human volunteers and anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs) to assess product usage and injury potential. Our expertise extends to pediatric biomechanics, developmental functional capabilities, and anthropometry to evaluate injuries to children and to address use, misuse, and age appropriateness.

We are active in several consumer product-related research projects, including analyzing injury patterns in various child products, effects of footwear on gait, and helmet and protective gear performance.

Exponent has been involved in the evaluation of:


  • Child and juvenile products, including restraint systems, toys, handheld carriers, soft infant carriers, slings, swings, bouncers, strollers, highchairs, floor seats, bassinets, cribs and beds, infant bedding, and activity centers
  • Sports equipment, including bicycles, helmets, protective equipment, resistance bands, punching bags, and exercise equipment
  • Household appliances
  • Window coverings and blinds
  • Furniture 
  • Playground equipment
  • Pools and aquatic equipment

Professionals