Ungraded scaffold boards are those which are offered in an unseasoned and ungrouped hence have different similar appearances and structural properties. They often have a rough finish with uneven edges. Ungraded scaffold boards are mainly used in home projects and various constructions.
On the other hand, graded scaffold boards are machine-streamlined and even hence any flaw will not be detected by the human eye. They are costly to acquire and maintain as compared to ungraded boards.
Safety conditions for scaffold boards
Scaffold boards must be made under the health and safety authority which is concerned with the detection of sub-standard boards. This is due to an increased number of accidents involving sub-standard boards.
Damaged and ungraded scaffold boards may have sharp edges which can cause cuts when handled badly. It is therefore important to fit end bands to the scaffolds which aid in protecting the vulnerable ends.
Scaffold boards that have been stored for a long duration must not be used unless they are severely checked and inspected to verify whether they are fit for their intended purpose. However, if they are deemed fit they should be checked regularly to minimize the risk of being damaged, rot, or any weakness that may cause hazards.
Common defects in scaffold boards
In some instances, defects are found on scaffold boards. This does not mean that the planks are dysfunctional and most can easily be corrected. Here are some commonly occurring defects on scaffold blanks;
1. Splits and fissures
Splits that occur at the end of the scaffold boards can be slightly hidden by the end bands and hence may not be easily notable and should be checked to prevent accidents from occurring.
2. Mechanical damage
Scaffold boards may be damaged to an extent that their strength is reduced which is likely to cause an injury while handling. Such boards should be destroyed.
Common examples of damage are; broken end bands, loose or broken knots, excessive cuts caused by handsaws and angle grinders, and traverse cuts that are caused by overloading.
3. Fungal decay
This is mainly common on scaffold boards that are poorly stored. It is detected by discolouration of the wood.
When scaffold boards are exposed to sunlight and moisture, they may easily distort. This may lead to accidents when used.
Scaffold boards that are deemed not to be fit for use must be destroyed. Boards must also be cleaned before they are inspected and stored. The quality of scaffold boards is of utmost importance if satisfactory results are to be obtained in any project.