Metallurgical failure analysis was requested after a small utility stool failed resulting in personal injury. The stool collapsed when someone sat on the stool. During the accident investigation, it was found that the subject failed stool had been discarded by the store cleanup crew. Discarding of the failed stool raised evidence spoliation issues. Accident reconstruction was employed and an identical stool was tested to determine its load handling capability. Although the subject stool had been discarded, metallurgical examination and testing of example stools revealed that a rivet failure was the most likely cause of the stool collapse.
Photograph A Stool used to test load carrying capacity of accident stool.