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The Safe Working Load for Timber Saw Stools used for Scaffolding

X. Huang

The Carpentry Section at Otago Polytechnic has previously used saw stools and scaffolding planks for low level scaffolding while building relocatable houses. However, there was a Health & Safety risk because the saw stools are not approved for this use. This paper presents a testing study evaluating the safe working load for timber saw stools used for scaffolding. A total of 30 tests with six load scenarios with different saw cut positions and five load scenarios having different saw cut depths were completed. The test results showed that a saw stool used for scaffolding is very capable of supporting all the imposed loads, with a conservative Factor of Safety (FOS) of 3.5. An inspection checklist and a User Guide Flow Chart have been developed for good practice. This project received support through a New Zealand Timber Design Society Scholarship.

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