In September 2015 the HSE in Northern Ireland issued a Safety Alert on substandard boards. It describes how the boards failed:
- The boards did not meet strength criteria before putting into use.
- The boards have been damaged and not withdrawn from use.
- The boards have become distorted.
- The boards have been attacked by insects or fungus.
The HSE Recommends that only boards manufactured to standards of BS 24832:2009 However this is not a British Standard legal requirement.
Deterioration can occur due to misuse, age, accidental damage, deliberate cutting to fit around obstructions and unsuitable storage conditions.
Avoid the following:
- Driving over the boards.
- Using boards as ramps for wheelbarrow access.
- Throwing or dropping them from a height.
- Overloading e.g. leaving scaffolds stacked with heavy materials.
Make sure you check your boards for:
- Splits and deep fissures.
- Broken or damaged end bands.
- Cuts to the face caused by saws.
- Dents from being struck by loads or fork lift trucks.
- Loose or broken knots.
- Wet rot caused by poor storage conditions.