The CPSC and Target have announced the recall of an entire line of wooden step stools due to the risk of collapse during use. There have been 26 reports of the stools collapsing or breaking during use, with 14 of the incidents involving children.
Looking at the stools in question, I cannot help wonder if it’s the materials used or improper joinery that led to their failure.
Small step stools are probably the most popular beginners’ woodworking projects there is. I remember building small step stools in summer camp, with my uncle as the wood shop instructor. I still have those stools, and my uncle has quite a few of his own. He occasionally gets a kick out of demonstrating the strength of the stools, which can support upwards of 250lbs.
In any case, for more information about the recall, take a look at the CPSC website.