California finally follows new scaffold plank design requirements

On Dec. 2, 2010, new requirements for scaffold plank design took effect. The requirements are found in Section 1637 of the Construction Safety Orders, with some definitions found in Section 1504. The revised standard now permits products made of solid sawn planks of wood other than Douglas Fir to be used as scaffold planking (the revised standard specifically mentions that southern pine planks are permitted for this purpose) provided that appropriate lumber grading rules are met.
The revised standard also specifies design and strength requirements for engineered and manufactured planking, particularly planks made from laminated veneer lumber (LVL). It requires such planking to be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. Engineered and manufactured planking must bear the seal of an independent, nationally recognized inspection agency certifying that it complies with the applicable American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.
The revised rule establishes planking deflection limits consistent with federal OSHA standards. It also requires visual inspections of planking for defects and removal of damaged scaffold planks from service.


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