Weak Scaffold Boards Are A Major Concern In The Construction Industry

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  • The boards have been damaged and not withdrawn from use.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:

  1. Driving over the boards.
  2. Using boards as ramps for wheelbarrow access.
  3. Throwing or dropping them from a height.
  4. Overloading e.g. leaving scaffolds stacked with heavy materials.

Make sure you check your boards for:

  1. Splits and deep fissures.
  2. Broken or damaged end bands.
  3. Cuts to the face caused by saws.
  4. Dents from being struck by loads or fork lift trucks.
  5. Loose or broken knots.
  6. Wet rot caused by poor storage conditions.
  7. Infestation.
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