The Importance of Strength and Durability in Scaffolding Planks

November 17, 2016

planks

Correctly erected scaffolding is an amazing sight to behold. All the cross members and frame pieces align perfectly, almost like they've been mathematically aligned by some massive machine. Still, even this faultlessly constructed framework is next to useless if the scaffolding planks are found to be substandard. Remember, employees stand on the platform, so it must be strong, reliable, and stable.

Scaffolding Planks Support

They don't just support, they provide safe footing for everyone, be it an experienced at-height worker or a visiting inspector. Therefore, this artificial flooring, narrow though it may be, must satisfy certain criteria. Primarily, the material has to be thick enough and robust enough to support the combined weight of the workers and any building materials or tools that are located on that platform. It should also be installed in such a way as to eliminate uneven surfaces. No projecting plank edges or fastener heads are allowed, in other words, for these defects introduce a potential trip hazard.

Properly Abutted Planks

A level plane is the next feature that receives a mention in this scenario. An inclined platform isn't likely, not when the supporting frame is professionally erected, but a leveling check is still recommended in case of an installation defect. In fact, incorporate a dual inspection check for complete work assurance. The first inspection assesses the tower for orientation. Meanwhile, the second check looks at each platform level and checks the actual planks to see if they're fastened to the frame properly. A poorly leveled structure or platform will cause tools and soft-edged items to roll. Rolling objects, such as screws, bolts, and screwdrivers, could roll under someone's foot and cause a loss of balance.

Platform Spacing

An optimized decking configuration fastens sheets of space-free panels on top of planks. It's slip-resistant and intended to flow seamlessly from one edge of the erected tower to the opposite edge. Conversely, plank-only flooring subscribes to a more open-plan installation model. The planks can gap and cause tools to fall. The same gaps can widen enough to permit an unwary foot to drop, at which point a nasty injury could occur. When installing planks, fasten them properly and eliminate any gaps between individual boards.

Professionally erected scaffolding is designed to deliver a productive working environment that can reach great heights, but that framework becomes shoddy when the scaffolding planks are overlooked. Remember the importance of strength and durability in scaffolding planks when providing this safe working tower.

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