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Platforms/Decking

Platform/decking planks may be made of solid sawn wood, manufactured wood, manufactured steel, or manufactured aluminum. If solid  sawn wood is used, it must be scaffold grade. Platforms must be free from defects.

Recognizing Visual Defects

  • End Splits - A separation that extends through the plank from face to face. End splits are caused by repeated exposure to wet/dry conditions. If an end split exceeds 18",remove the plank from service.
  • Saw Cuts, Drilled Holes and Notches - Saw cuts across the face or through the edge of the plank, drilled holes or notches will reduce the plank's load carrying capacity Planks with saw cuts, drilled holes or notches should be removed from service. 
  •  Edge Splits - A separation of the narrow edge of the plank usually cause by forklift damage. A diagonal split may be caused by overloading. Probe the split to determine the depth; shallow weather checks are acceptable. If an open split is detected, removed the plank from service.
  • Face Breaks - Irregular cracks across the face of the scaffold plank. Usually a result of overloading, face cracks dramatically reduce the strength of the plank. Remove planks with face breaks from service.

Wooden Platforms (i.e. decking, planks) must not be painted to hide defects

Scaffolds must be fully planked or decked whenever possible.

  • The space between the last plank and the uprights cannot exceed 9 1/2 inches.
  • The space between planks cannot exceed 1 inch, except where necessary for obstructions.
  • Platforms and walkways, in general, must be at least 18 inches wide.

The ends of each platform must be cleated or restrained by hooks (or equivalent) to prevent accidental displacement, or must extend at least 6 inches over the centerline of the support.

  • The maximum extension of the plank cannot be more that 12 inches for planks that are <10 feet long.
  • The maximum extension of the plank cannot be more that 18 inches for planks that are >10 feet long.
  • Where platforms overlap to create a running scaffold, the overlap must occur only over a support and shall not be less than 12 inches unless nailed together.

The platform shall not deflect more that 1/60 of the span when loaded.

SAFETY REMINDER - IF THE PLATFORM BREAKS YOU BECOME ONE OF THE STATISTICS CAUSING FALLS TO BE THE LEADING KILLER IN OUR INDUSTRY!


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