Skip to main content


Designers Knowledge Base


In specifying the use of timber in his design the designer should be aware of, and assess the risks from, the following principal hazards.

Some principal hazards

  • health hazards caused by wood dust, wood preservatives, adhesives, resins etc.
  • collapse of temporary structures, stored timber, staging etc.
  • handling hazards such as off-loading, stacking, erecting timber components and cuts and splinters.
  • falls from height during erection sequences of platforms, edge protection, toe boards etc.
  • mobile plant and vehicles during delivery, site distribution, craneage etc.

Design considerations

The specification of timber in the construction process requires the designer to consider:

  • fire prevention and fire fighting facilities
  • the feasibility of just-in-time delivery of pre-fabricated elements
  • component sizes and weights in relation to handling methods
  • specify joint arrangements to minimise cutting on site
  • specify permanent works to incorporate temporary support
  • specify preservatives that are not hazardous during application or specify application off site under factory conditions