In the building and construction industry, scaffold boards—also referred to as walkboards or scaffold planks, scaffold wood, and scaffolding wood (when made from wood)—are materials used along scaffolding structures to facilitate safe working conditions at height. Typically, these boards are made from treated and finished wood, such as southern yellow pine or spruce, which then undergo inspection for compliance to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. Alternatives to traditional wood boards include laminated veneer lumber (LVL)—consisting of multiple layers of thin wood assembled with adhesives.
The following blog post provides an overview of scaffold boards, outlining some of the wooden types available and the requirements for OSHA compliance.
Types of Wooden Scaffolding Board
Equipped with 80 years of combined experience in the scaffold plank industry, the team at Kennison Forest Products has the skills and knowledge to source and supply quality wooden walkboards for use in a wide range of scaffolding and contractor applications. Our product offerings include:
Solid Sawn Scaffolding Planks
Our solid sawn scaffolding planks offer a higher machine stress rating (MSR) per the grade rulebook that meets and exceeds industry requirements for functional and visual characteristics. Features include:
Compliance with OSHA/ANSI standards
Availability in S4S and rough surfaces and 2 inch by 10 inch and 2 inch by 12 inch sizes
Rodded ends and clipped corners
Precision end trimming and painting
Options for custom embossing and paper wrapping
Made in the USA guarantee
Made from Southern pine—a species of lumber known for its reliability—our solid sawn scaffolding planks offer exceptional stability and durability, making it a cost-effective and dependable option for use by scaffold manufacturing companies and professional contractors in the masonry, plastering, and stucco industries.
Laminate Veneer Lumber (LVL)
We are the exclusive distributor of SURE-LAM 2.1E and 2.3E——made entirely in the USA from high-quality Douglas fir. The strength of the base material combined with advanced manufacturing techniques makes for a scaffold board that offers superior reliability at a competitive price. Features include:
Compliance with OSHA/ANSI standards
Rigorous testing and inspection, including by an independent third-party
Options for custom lengths, sizes, and embossing
Choice of end seal color
Made in the USA guarantee
Requirements for OSHA Compliance
According to OSHA estimates, thousands of injuries that occur in the workplace are a result of not following regulations or improper employee training regarding scaffolding safety. In regard to scaffold boards, this refers to both incorrect selection and usage.
When choosing and using wooden scaffold boards in a scaffolding application, it’s important to consider, among other factors, size, load capacity, number required, and condition. Some of the considerations to keep in mind include:
OSHA standards require at least six inches of overlap on each side of the frame.
Scaffolds should not defect—i.e., warp—more than 1/60th of their length.
Each component of a scaffolding system must be able to support at least four times the maximum intended load before being used on a project.
Safe use of scaffolding requires that the quality and strength of the system increases with more substantial applications.
Before using a scaffold board, ensure the board is properly treated and sealed by the manufacturer, which is essential to maintaining safe and sturdy conditions during construction operations.
Using scaffold grade lumber—which is of a higher quality than construction grade lumber—is also of the utmost importance. To be classified as scaffold grade lumber, the material needs to have more than six rings per inch, have few defects (e.g., knots and notches), and, for Southern pine, have a grain slope of one inch to the side for every 14 inches along the length. Additionally, the lumber should be inspected, graded, and clearly marked by a certified independent third-party agency.
Quality Scaffolds Boards From Kennison
At Kennison Forest Products, we are the premier provider of scaffold planks—including solid sawn and LVL boards—for scaffolding companies and contractors around the world. For quality products at a competitive price, you can count on us.
In the construction industry, scaffolding plays a critical role in many worksites. The structures help establish safe working conditions for employees operating at elevated heights by offering support and stability to access and working platforms. However, aboveground operations also inherently carry a heightened risk of worker injury from falls and falling objects. In 2003 and 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 4,500 injuries and over 40 deaths were attributed to scaffold-related accidents. A more recent study indicated over 72% of injuries in scaffold-related accidents stemmed from faulty equipment, falling, or falling objects. The risk of these and other accidents occurring can be reduced by complying with scaffolding safety standards.
OSHA’s Standards for Scaffolds and Scaffolding
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) imposes numerous rules and regulations that outline safe work practices for construction sites, including in regard to the design, construction, and use of scaffolds and scaffolding. These standards focus on protecting workers from scaffold-related hazards, including, but not limited to, falls, falling materials and equipment, and electrocution. Below we outline some of the general OSHA requirements for scaffolds.
Capacity: The scaffold and individual scaffolding components must be able to support their own weight plus at a minimum four times the maximum intended load without failing.
Scaffold platform construction: OSHA standards define the acceptable design and construction characteristics for all components of the scaffold platform, including the planking, work area width, and guardrails. For example, the planking should be able to support its own weight plus four times the intended load, the work area should be at least 18 inches in width, and guardrails must be installed on all scaffolds with open sides and ends that allow for a fall of more than 10 feet.
Supported vs. suspended scaffolds: Supported scaffolds are supported by rigid support elements, while suspended scaffolds hang from ropes and other non-rigid elements. Both types have standards addressing safe design, construction, and use.
Access: Scaffolds must have an acceptable form of access (e.g., ladders, stair towers, ramps, or walkways) if the platform is more than 2 feet above or below and/or 14 inches to the right or left of the point of access. A safe point of access should be present during erection and dismantling operations.
Use: The use of shore and lean-to scaffolds is prohibited in construction worksites. Additionally, employees are not permitted to use scaffolds if they are covered by ice, snow, or other slippery substances (except for the removal of the substances) or too close to powerlines.
Fall protection: Employers must give employees fall protection equipment for operations involving scaffolds more than 10 feet above ground or a lower level. The equipment provided depends on the type of scaffold employed.
Falling object protection: Barricades, catch platforms, canopy structures, debris nets, guardrail systems, screens, and toeboards should be installed to protect employees from falling materials and equipment. Employees should also wear hard hats when on or near the scaffold.
Additional Safety Standards Followed by Kennison Forest Products
In addition to OSHA standards, some companies—such as Kennison Forest Products—also comply with other industry standards when designing and manufacturing their scaffolding components to ensure the safety of their customers.
At Kennison Forest Products, we’ve supplied high-quality scaffold planks that meet and exceed industry standards for over 30 years. Due to their superior strength and durability, scaffolding companies and contractors across the globe know they can rely on our products for their needs. Our planks meet all applicable OSHA/ANSI requirements and are independent third party inspected.
To learn more about scaffold and scaffolding safety standards, reach out your scaffolding training consultant for further information. To learn more about scaffolding options and how we can help provide scaffolding solutions for your next construction project, contact us or request a quote today.
Scaffolding is a temporary, and sometimes moveable, fabrication used by workers throughout the construction industry and associated trades. Often referred to as staging, the platforms are typically constructed of wooden planks and metal poles used to raise and support machinery, materials, and workers.
Once consisting primarily of wood construction, modern construction scaffolding utilizes several materials, such as high-quality wooden planks, aluminum and steel, and advanced designs, such as tube and clip and cup lock, to achieve its purpose.
Planking is critical for safe conditions on a scaffold to properly support workers and their equipment. Wood, such as fir or pine, is the most common material. High-quality wooden planks, such as Kennison Forest Products solid sawn scaffold planks or sure-lam LVL (laminated veneer lumber) scaffold planks, provide durable, safe planking solutions.
Aluminum is a soft, ductile, corrosion-resistant metal with properties that make it suitable for use in scaffolding applications. Aluminum scaffolding is stable and secure, lightweight, and requires minimal maintenance.
Steel construction scaffolding offers excellent strength and durability while maintaining some elasticity, which helps prevent cracking. Steel can support extremely heavy loads and is a necessity for tall structures, where the weight of the scaffolding itself requires structural strength.
Tube and Clip
Tube and clip is a popular scaffold design because of the ease in assembly and disassembly. To build this type of scaffolding, tubes are connected to make long runs, and then the horizontal and vertical tube runs are clamped together with a specially designed clip.
Cup lock is a multi-purpose type of scaffolding system for general access and supporting vertical loads. The system uses a circular node point that may fasten up to four components together.
6 Types of Scaffolding Used in Construction
Single scaffolding, or bricklayer’s scaffolding as it is commonly used for that practice, is placed parallel to the wall about 1.2 m away. Standards are set about 2 to 2.5 m apart, while ledgers connect the standards at vertical intervals of 1.2 to 1.5 m. Finally, putlogs emitting from a hole in the wall, are taken to one end of the ledgers. Putlogs are placed at a 1.2 to 1.5 m interval.
Double scaffolding, or masons scaffolding as it is often used for stone masonry, is comprised of two rows of scaffolding for added strength, and thereby support of dense stone materials. The first row is placed about 20 to 30 cm from the wall, while the second is 1 m from that. Putlogs are then set, supported by the two frames. Strong rakers and cross braces provide additional strength.
Cantilever scaffolding, also called needle scaffolding, uses needles made of timber, which are extended out or cantilevered from holes in the walls of the building. These needles then support the entire scaffold structure. Cantilever scaffolding is used when the ground won’t support a conventional scaffold, when a sidewalk or road can’t be blocked, or when construction or maintenance is required at a great height.
Suspended scaffolding uses ropes or other types of rigging systems to suspend the scaffold platform from an overhead structure. The rigging system enables workers to raise or lower the platform as needed to reach the desired work level, for example in a high-rise environment.
Trestle scaffolding is a versatile system ideal for maintenance projects and simple jobs. The design of a trestle scaffold makes it easy to move and is often used by painters and builders when a flexible and secure platform is required.
Steel scaffolding is a highly durable scaffolding system constructed with steel tubes coupled together with fittings for ease of assembly and disassembly. It offers the great strength, durability, and high fire resistance; it is widely used when an entire structure is under maintenance.
To learn more about scaffolding options and how we can help provide scaffolding solutions for your application, contact us today.
As the global spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to impact our world in a big way, we at Kennison Forest Products are closely monitoring the changing situation.
Our company headquarters and partner facilities are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as our local, state and federal governments, to minimize the spread of the virus.
We are thankful that there have been no reported cases of coronavirus among our staff or facilities personnel. There will be no interruption to our service, product supply/delivery or business hours.
As we continue to provide the best products and service in the industry, we at Kennison Forest Products are doing everything possible to promote the safety and well-being of our customers.
As always we are available round the clock to provide the best scaffold plank on the market, with the service you have come to expect.
Please call or email any of our sales representatives if you need a quote, to place an order or just have a question!