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All materials should, when new, comply with the requirements of the appropriate British Standards. Used materials, which are in satisfactory condition, may not always comply with requirements of these standards. Due allowance has been made for this fact in the NASC Guide. Material which is obviously defective should not be used e.g., dented tubes, couplers with defective threads etc. The materials and components and their method of assembly should comply with the relevant statutory regulations. (List Available via NASC)


GeneralTubes are normally supplied with a maximum length of 6.40m and are available in shorter lengths by request. The NASC guide only considers the use of BS EN 39:2001 type 4 steel tube. The tubes shall be supplied galvanised, or, if the BS EN 39 option for them to be supplied without a coating has been specified shall be in the "as new" condition and free from corrosion.

BS EN 39 specified the minimum properties, dimensions and tolerances. Tubes shall be straight to the eye. The ends of the load-bearing tubes should be cut cleanly and squarely with the axis of the tube and should not show excessive wear. It also specifies that tubes shall be marked by impression at intervals of 1.5m. The marking for Type "4" tube shall be "EN 39 xxx4" where the "xxx" is the name or trademark of the manufacturer.


All couplers and fittings should be properly maintained and examined before use. The nuts should be run on their bolts and rejected unless they have a free-running fit.

Heat should not be applied to couplers and fittings, to free parts or nuts and bolts.

Spanners and podgers should have lengths as recommended by the coupler manufacturer. Torque should not be applied to a coupler through an ill-fitting spanner.



GeneralResearch in 2001 on the properties of scaffold boards funded by the Health & Safety Executive, identified that a large number of boards to varying standards, mostly lower than the existing British Standard were being used. The revision to BS 2482 as Part 1 for 38mm scaffold boards, introduces two grades with different support centres. (1.2m and 1.5m). Boards suitable for support at 1.2m centres may be assessed visually or by machine stress grading. Boards suitable for support at up to 1.5m centres may only be machine stress graded. To allow for a tolerance in setting out of the board transoms, the BS2482-1 states a target span for 38mm boards, whereas BS 2482-2 for the 50mm and 63mm thick boards retains the term "maximum span".

The scaffold board specification has been informed by BS 2482-1. The structural properties of scaffold boards are shown in Clause 39.6.1.

Boards should be inspected after each job. Any, which show signs of ill-treatment, abuse or decay, should be discarded, as should boards that are excessively warped. Damaged or suspect sections should be cut off and destroyed. Stock should be regularly rotated and stored to allow circulation of air around stacked boards. Any signs of rot and decay should be cut out.

The end hoops or other means of end protection should be replaced or re-fixed as necessary. This is important because the banding indicates to users the maximum safe span of the board when originally supplied in the new condition.

Where boards have split ends which do not exceed the limits given in BS 2482-1 nail plates may be used to close them in accordance with Clause 6(b) of that specification. No other repair should be used.

Scaffold boards should be cleaned on return from a construction site prior to stacking. They should be stacked flat and raised from the ground by cross battens.

Care should be taken of boards in use. Any over-stressing, e.g. that is caused by impact loading, is likely to cause unseen damage. They should not be used as ramps or platforms over long spans, nor should they be put on the ground where vehicles or other loads can be put upon them.

The detection of compression creases, which cause a weakness in boards, is very difficult. Such damage is likely to result from over loading, particularly impact loading caused by dropping on the end. In any case of doubt, destroy the board. Boards, which show evidence of tyre marks, should be destroyed. Both high temperatures and chemicals can result in permanent loss of strength. Where boards are treated for fire retardant purposes, care should be taken to select a process which minimizes the loss of board strength. Refer to the NASC guidance note TG10 Fire Retardant Treatments for Scaffold Boards and Battens.

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