Why do scaffold boards split

The most common cause of scaffold board splitting is poor handling on site. One allowable end split is permitted on each end of the board, provided an inspection has been carried out by a competent individual. Splits on scaffold boards are created when the boards are either dropped, transported in poor conditions, or loaded past their carrying capacity. Splitting on scaffold boards also occurs as a result of repeated exposure to wet or dry cycles.


If you’re planning to use the boards for a different function like making furniture, or DIY projects, poor storage can make them split. Leaving the boards outside where they’re exposed to moisture or wetness can make them warp or develop some cracks. It’s also advisable to opt for treated boards when you’re planning to use them for a different purpose other than scaffolding. Storing your boards appropriately should help avoid this problem.

How to properly store scaffold boards

Proper storage of scaffold boards is essential if you expect to use them for a long period. The collection of scaffold planks should be stacked to allow for proper airflow which will, in turn, dry the boards preventing prolonged periods of exposure to moisture. Loading the scaffold boards in bundles increases the chance of splits occurring and deterioration in a short time.

Visual inspections to choose quality scaffold boards

A visual inspection of the scaffold boards is recommended as the most accurate way to help assure the risk of potential damage to scaffold boards has been reduced. Defects such as splits occurring on the edges of the panels are often detrimental to the safety of workers.

Pile of wood planks on the ground

How to handle splitting on scaffold planks

Splits are a common occurrence, especially when dealing with wood and they can be repaired. Banding is used to prevent the split from growing further. In case the split is sizeable, the board is cut back to remove the part with a split. Cutting back of the board should be done by a qualified professional to prevent the board from becoming too short making it useless.

When using boards for DIY projects, you can cut out the split part or use it as it is depending on what you want to make. Treating the boards ensures that they don’t go through more damage. If it’s an issue of warping, you can always leave it out to dry so that it can regain its original form.

Scaffold board splitting is a common occurrence. It can be dangerous if the splits go unchecked. It is advised to carefully examine all scaffolding equipment before and after embarking on any work. This will help ensure all personnel is safe and the risk of injuries in the workplace is reduced.