Buyer Beware Fraudulent Scaffold Plank

In order for manufactured wood scaffold plank (i.e. laminated plank) to qualify as meeting OSHA and ANSI standards, the manufacturer must follow three procedures to qualify its product.

First, the plank product must be tested to determine the structural design properties of the actual product, and all performance testing must be conducted by an independent laboratory that is accredited to perform the scope of work in observance of the applicable ASTM standards for manufactured wood products.

Next, the test reports provided by the laboratory must be reviewed by an independent engineering service organization that is also properly accredited to interpret the test reports, so that they can develop accurate span/load tables relative to the OSHA and ANSI Standards.

Finally, upon qualification of the product as noted above, the manufacturer of the scaffold plank product must contract with an accredited independent, third party inspection agency, whom in turn required to provide oversight of the quality control processes at the production facility, and performs regular in-plant testing audits to ensure product quality is consistent with the laboratory test results.

Respectively, it is important to note that all three groups involved, the testing laboratory, the engineering service group, and the inspection agency, must all be "accredited” and "certified"  by either IAS , ANSI , or IAF to perform their scope of work.

In light of the above, it is critical that you are on-guard about the scaffold plank your looking to purchase and what steps did the manufacturer take to get their product qualified.  In recent years, the industry has encountered several suppliers of laminated wood plank that have falsified documents and misrepresented that they followed the three tiered protocol for approval.   Therefore, DO NOT assume the plank meets standards and is a genuinely tested and proven product just because the salesperson says so.  In addition to product literature, ask your supplier to substantiate the credentials of the product before placing your order and putting your staff in harms way.  BUYER BEWARE !!