There are two thicknesses of Scaffold Board, 38mm and 63mm. They are manufactured from European Whitewood and should all be graded; the specific grades for Scaffold Boards are set out within BS 2482:2009 (Specification for timber scaffold boards). The details of the loads that can be applied on scaffold boards can be calculated from this Standard. The loadings were agreed in consultation with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC). A scaffold board should never be overloaded as this may cause weaknesses that can lead to failure.
Scaffold Boards can be either visually graded or machine graded. Machine grading applies a set load to each board and a deflection measured. This is the most consistent way to grade scaffold boards. Common defects that are hard to visually assess, such as slope of grain, are detected. Slope of grain is one of the most common causes of board failure, after damage and overloading.
For old boards in use, the NASC have published a grading guide TG5:10 (Timber scaffold boards – An introduction to the revised standard BS 2482:2009). This can be ordered via the NASC website for a nominal fee.
British Standard boards can be readily identified. The boards must be marked with BS 2482:2009, license number or supplier identification, support span, M or V (visual or machine grading) and ideally third party assessment logo (typically the Kitemark).
Care and maintenance: The NASC have published a guide TG6:10 (Care and maintenance of scaffold boards). Once graded a scaffold board requires no further testing.