Scaffolds are temporary structures that are built to assist in the construction process. They can be movable or immovable, and some of them use the building for support. These structures are created with wood, steel, or aluminum to elevate and support the construction workers during repairing, building, or cleaning. The size and length of the scaffold and the material used depends on the structure that is being worked upon. Scaffolds like a Kwikstage can be either interior or exterior, rolling or suspended or supportive. They are an essential part of the construction industry as they primarily ensure the safety of the workers.
Planks are the fundamental part of the scaffold. Wood is the preferred material for a plank. The common types of woods used are fir or pine or ply. Reliable scaffold suppliers provide solid sawn scaffold planks and laminated veneer lumber for durability and safety.
Types of Scaffolding
- Putlog Scaffolds
Use walls being built as a support for the putlog and the outer scaffold deck
- Independent Tied Scaffolds
Independent scaffolding relies on two lines of standards to support the working deck, not the wall of the building
- Free-Standing Scaffolds
It stands on its own, without attaching to other structures for stability. Usually resemble two towers that can be moved and resituated as needed
- Slung Scaffolds
Hang down from an overhead structure or device. They are hard to resituate.
- Suspended Scaffolds
Suspended from an overhead structure or device and can be lowered and raised with ropes
Building a plywood scaffold plank
Planks are used to work and walk on the scaffold frames. The size of the plank must fit snuggly with the frame to ensure safe working conditions. This is why rented planks may not always be a good option, and it might just be easier to build a safe plank yourself.
– ¼ inch plywood as per the frame size
– Hammer, nails and tape
– 2 by 4 posts cut 6” shorter than the plywood
– Lay down the 2 by 4 horizontally and put it beside the wall.
– Get another 2 by 4 and create a L shape with the two planks by hammering the nails at both ends
– Use the tape to space the nails equally. Repeat with the other side of 2 by 4
-Put the L posts around the plywood and hammer it down with nails
– Finally flip over the plank and remove all partially pounded nails. Flip again and repeat.
- Plank the whole frame
Make sure to cover the entire width of the scaffold with planks. The larger your work area, the easier and safer it is to walk around it. Preventing falls is an essential task of scaffolding. If using a midway up ladder frame, install another plank high up to form a guardrail.
- Setting up the scaffolding safely
The base jacks must be installed first. Both cross braces go on one frame. This will prevent having to lift the entire scaffold to slide them in. Simply move the top and bottom frame into position and attach the cross braces to it. Slide the scaffold about 14 in. from the wall before installing the planks. Slide the scaffold about 14 in. from the wall before installing the planks.
- Safely working on scaffolding
Do not clutter the planks so that you can avoid tripping over them or accidentally kicking them down. Keep all tools and supplies in boxes. Do not hang tools from the railings because it adds weight to the railings and they could fall over! Always wear your hard hats.
- Working with wooden planks
Only use sturdy wood like Douglas fir or ply and planks of at least 2×10 size. Softer pine boards will not hold up. The most ideal planks are the laminated veneer lumber. If you are renting a plank, get warranty insurance for safety. Don’t overhang the wooden planks by less than 6 inches or more than 18 inches!
Scaffold planks are the working platform for construction work. Precautions must be taken by using the right kind of planks and with appropriate safety measures!