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Red Bull pit-stop for ergonomics expert

A leading ergonomics expert who successfully appeared as an expert witness in a prominent high court trial told global manufacturing and engineering giants how innovative software helped win the case.

John Lovegrove, Managing Director of Denbigh-based Canary Designs, was guest speaker at Red Bull’s Milton Keynes headquarters.

Last year, John was the expert witness in a high court case involving blind adventurer Mark Pollock, who received millions in compensation after falling 25ft out of a third floor window at his friends’ home during the Henley Regatta.

Mr Pollock – the first blind man to reach the South Pole – had just returned from the 1,400-mile Round Ireland Yacht Race and was staying with the couple when the incident occurred, leaving him paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.

During the legal battle, Mr Lovegrove was brought in as an expert on ergonomics – the interaction between humans and their environment – using Siemens’ Simulation Solutions JACK digital human modelling to explore whether or not the fall was the result of an accident.

“I was instructed to use my expertise to provide objective evidence relevant to the assessment of the level of risk, reproduce an accurate reconstruction of the bedroom, determine the shape and size of the claimant, establish the location of his centre relative to the height of the window-sill and to model the mechanics of the fall through the window,” he said.

“As these tests can be applied to any industry or business, the people at the Red Bull presentation found it useful for their own sectors; the study of the physical being linked to processes and systems can save a company a lot of time and money, as well as making them safer, so being able to do that using Simulation Solutions would be crucial to them.”

In the presentation to companies including Bentley, Land Rover and Ford, the 39 year-old explained his approach of taking measurements at the scene of the accident, the development of a CAD model, Digital Human Model, and the simulation of a loss of balance and fall through the open window.

“This was a rare case and one that required a lot of detail and investigation, so it was vital I used the Simulation Solutions software to illustrate the key principles of the biomechanics that contributed to the fall ,” added the dad-of-two, a former pupil at Prestatyn High School and graduate of Loughborough University.

Robbie Birrell, Director of Simulation Solutions, said the firm has enjoyed a 10-year partnership with Mr Lovegrove, and this is one of the most landmark court victories he has seen during that period.

He said: “John is one of the leading exponents of JACK software and gave a very interesting talk to some of the biggest names in industry on his experiences using digital human modelling and how it impacted on this case.”

“John delivered the facts and using JACK was able to let the evidence speak for itself in an efficient and accurate way. It was an unusual case, but it’s one that shows the versatility of the product and how it can have a positive impact on any workplace in any sector.”

For more on Canary Ergonomics, visit

Visit for information on Simulation Solutions.


Canary Ergonomics: John Lovegrove, the founder and Managing Director of Canary Ergonomics has been practicing ergonomics since July 2000. He has applied ergonomics methods to help resolve common problems associated with human performance at work. John has learnt how to efficiently assess the work organisation, systems of work to identify ergonomic issues that directly influence the bottom line of the business. He has implemented ergonomic solutions across a wide number of domains and supported a range of business groups from the micro-sized to multi-nationals.

Simulation Solutions: Simulation Solutions have been helping manufacturing businesses with process efficiencies and innovation for over 25 years. As a Siemens Smart Expert partner, Simulation Solutions have been recognised as being the only UK Siemens software reseller to specialise in robotics and plant simulation software.