3 Ways To Know If Your Trestles And Planks Are Safe

By | March 14, 2020

Are you thinking of renovating your home?  Based on building construction statistics, Australia’s home renovation industry experienced a hike of 4.2 percent last 2019.  Most homeowners were inspired to renovate after watching a variety of HGTV shows. They discover that homes can improve their appearance with a few repainting and repair jobs.  

The project can either be a full-scale or small one.  If you are planning to complete the project yourself, you will need help from workers like renderers, painters, and plasterers.  Look out for companies that rent out equipment like ladders, scaffolding, hoarding screens, as well as trestles and planks.

However, as in any project, it is essential to ensure the safety of all workers.  So, before you buy or rent building equipment, find out the best safety features available.   

This article will discuss choosing safe trestles and planks.

Choose sturdy materials

Trestles and planks are preferable to ladders when working for more than a few minutes.  There are plank frames made out of timber, aluminum, or fiberglass.

Aluminum is the right choice if you need to support heavy loads.  Aluminum stools, for example, can support up to 225 kilograms. If the seat comes with rubber feet and holding clips, the combined weight of the worker and materials will have better support.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics for 2018, 21% of work-related injuries were in construction, with technicians and trades workers forming 36% of the injured.

Therefore, you need equipment made of sturdy and durable materials.

Find flexible equipment

Stools, which fall under the group of trestles and planks, should be adjustable.  Painters and plasterers usually work on high walls or ceilings. A single trestle stool that is adjustable – for example, from 545mm to 870mm – is the best choice.  If it comes with folding legs and handles, it will be easier to move around.  

Extendable aluminum planks are particularly helpful in loading more tools, equipment, and people.  Some planks extend from 2.4 to a maximum of 4.8 meters, with a workload limit from 225 to 300 kilograms.

With flexible equipment, workers can complete the job in less time.

Check for compliance with quality standards

Building equipment should pass Australia’s quality standards.  Likewise, workers need to be fit and follow safe work practices.

Australian Safety and Standards

To ensure that the trestles and planks are safe and durable, they should have passed Australia’s product safety standards.  Regulated products include building and building materials. Suppliers should recall products from the market once they are proven to be defective or unsafe.

Trestles used as temporary platforms should have passed the AS/NZS 1576.5:1995.  Compliance means that its specific parts follow the recommended standard. Likewise, trestle ladders should comply with AS 1892.1 and AS 1892.2.

For planks, the Australian standard is AS 1577-1993.  The planks should have passed tests for stiffness, strength, sliding, and slips.

Workcover NSW Certification

If you are hiring construction workers, make sure WorkCover certifies them. This requirement ensures that they are health and safety practitioners.   Three organizations currently manage WorkCover:

  • SafeWork NSW
  • State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA)
  • Insurance and Care NSW 

Work Health and Safety Act of 2011

This act aims to protect work-related health and safety standards of workers, including contractors hired for your home renovation.

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011

These are specific guidelines on how workers can prevent or mitigate the risk of accidents.  Workers should have trained and been made aware of these regulations.

Conclusion  

Trestles and planks are just two of the many tools used in your home renovation.  With the above guidelines, you should be able to decide the safest ones for your project.

 

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