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Using Timber Planks To Stabilise A Scaffold

Scaffolding planks are long wood boards laid across the sections of scaffolding to give workers the ability to stand and work from. Unlike a purpose-built scaffold work plank, scaffolding planks do not hook over the scaffolding framework. In the beginning, the planks are transported up the scaffolding sections by the workers, and then placed upon the sections of scaffolding to create a space for workers to stand while they assemble the scaffolding tower. Often, the planks are simply elevated section by section while erecting the scaffolding instead of putting planks on every section of the scaffolding tower.

The use of wood scaffolding planks for scaffolding is widespread due to two reasons. First, the planks are strong and they are easy to stack when they are transported. The main reason many scaffolding rental firms use wooden planks for their scaffolding is because they are much less costly than a purpose-built aluminum work platform. Some workers prefer the use of the planks due to the fact that aluminum platforms tend to be slippery and are prone to slide onto the tubing made of steel that is attached to the scaffold sections. The planks of wood soak up moisture, while the aluminum versions often pool rainwater and create danger of slips.

Numerous accidents can occur if the scaffolding structure is not fully stabilized.

Sometimes, the wood planks are doubled to give more support for heavy-duty materials such as brick and mortar. The overhanging edges of the planks provide a space to set materials and supplies while aluminum platforms end directly at the edge of the scaffold. Another reason why workers are more inclined to use of the planks over those of those made from aluminum platforms is their tendency for the platform to stick against the structure. The platforms can get stuck if the scaffold has twisted or moved in any way which requires the platforms to be pried and smashed from their positions at breakdown time, whereas the planks can be lifted off the sections.

The utilization of timber plank does not just saves time, but also helps save money, and generally offers the same safety as purpose-built platforms. These planks are easily rearranged while erecting the scaffolding. This provides better or enhanced footing while striving to elevate the scaffolding sections up. In some instances workers might actually set up the working portion of a scaffold with both an aluminum platform and scaffolding planks. The materials used for work are usually stored on the aluminum platform because it has sides which prevent the materials from falling off the scaffold as workers perform jobs from the scaffolding planks.

What You Need to Know About Wood Scaffold Plank

Under the guidelines provided by Occupational Safety and Health Administration The contractor is accountable for the safety of scaffolding–even in the event that it is rented, or if the equipment is defective or mislabeled. OSHA has strict requirements for scaffold planking.

It must be able to carry its own weight, and at least four times its intended weight. It must be able to support its own weight and at least four times the intended.
When fully full, the plank can’t allow more than 1/60 of the span

Solid-sawn wooden planks used as scaffold planking have to be examined and classified by a certified inspector. Manufactured planks can also be used and should be used as recommended by the manufacturer. If you choose to use the planks that OSHA recommends for you, you’ll be able to pass the safety inspection (assuming the planks are in good condition). If you choose to use other wood for planking it is possible that you will need to demonstrate that they meet the requirements for performance. One of the main reasons to follow the OSHA guidelines on scaffolding is the safety of your workers. There are alternatives to solid-sawn planks of wood: manufactured (or engineered) lumber planks, steel or aluminum planks and platforms. This article will focus specifically on the engineered planks of lumber. Manufactured wood scaffolds are available in three different configurations:

Laminated veneer lumber
Laminates that are glued (glulam)
Pinned planks

Engineered wood planks have grown in popularity in the past few years due to several advantages over solid-sawnlumber:

Longevity
Stiffness and strength
Certification
Cost

The scaffold system is only as safe as its components. Plank selection, maintenance, and storage are essential. Regular inspection of the planks performed by a competent person is an OSHA obligation. Overall, about 70% of scaffolding is rented. Manufacturers are the best source of information regarding engineered planks. The article also contains details on laminated veneer lumber and a chart comparing qualities of different manufacturers plans for scaffolding.