Title:
Scaffolding units and platforms for use with scaffolding units
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A scaffolding unit 10 including:

a first elongate support member 12 adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or a wall panel, and an elongate frame assembly 13 adapted to support a plank thereon connected to said first elongate support member 12 for pivoting movement relative thereto from an operative in-use position perpendicular to said first elongate support member and an adjustment position in which said elongate plank support means is inclined upwardly towards said first elongate support member, said elongate frame assembly being adapted for sliding movement up and down along said first elongate support member to a selected operative height.




Inventors:
Thomas, Donald Harrison (Caloundra, AU)
Application Number:
10/021763
Publication Date:
07/04/2002
Filing Date:
10/22/2001
Assignee:
THOMAS DONALD HARRISON
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
182/150
International Classes:
E04G1/15; E04G5/06; (IPC1-7): E04G3/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN-SHUE, ALVIN CONSTANTINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ABELMAN FRAYNE & SCHWAB (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A scaffolding unit including: a first elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or a wall panel., said first elongate support member being substantially rectangular in cross section and having a front face, a rear face spaced from said front face and two opposed spaced apart side faces; a frame assembly including elongate plank support means and first connecting means operatively connected to said plank support means at one end for connecting said frame assembly to said first elongate support member for pivoting movement of said frame assembly relative to said first elongate support member from an operative in-use position in which said elongate plank support means is perpendicular to said first elongate support member and an adjustment position in which said elongate plank support means is inclined upwardly towards said first elongate support member said first connecting means including first engagement means adapted to engage the front face of said elongate support member and second engagement means spaced from said first engagement means and adapted to engage the rear face of said first elongate support member above the position of engagement of said first engagement means with said first face when said frame assembly is in the operative in-use position, the engagement of said first and second engagement means being such as to prevent sliding movement of said frame assembly downwards along said first elongate support member, and said first engagement means being spaced from said front face and/or said second engagement means being spaced from said rear face when said frame assembly is in the adjustment position whereby said frame assembly may be moved slidingly up or down along said first elongate support member to a selected operative height; said first connecting means being so made and arranged as to allow pivoting movement of said frame assembly beyond the adjustment position to a stowed position in which said elongate plank support means is substantially parallel to and immediately adjacent said first elongate support member.

2. A scaffolding unit including: a first elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or wall panel, said elongate support member being substantially rectangular in cross section and having a front face, a rear face spaced from said front face and two opposed spaced apart side faces; a frame assembly including elongate plank support means and first connecting means operatively connected to said plank support means at one end for connecting said frame assembly to said first elongate support member for pivoting movement of said frame assembly relative to said first elongate support member from an operative in-use position in which said elongate plank support means is perpendicular to said first elongate support member and an adjustment position in which said elongate plank support means is inclined upwardly towards said first elongate support member said first connecting means including first engagement means adapted to engage the front face of said elongate support member and second engagement means spaced from said first engagement means and adapted to engage the rear face of said first elongate support member above the position of engagement of said first engagement means with said first face when said frame assembly is in the operative in-use position, the engagement of said first and second engagement means being such as to prevent sliding movement of said frame assembly downwards along said first elongate support member, and said first engagement means being spaced from said front face and/or said second engagement means being spaced from said rear face when said frame assembly is in the adjustment position whereby said frame assembly may be moved slidingly up or down along said first elongate support member to a selected operative height; a second elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent the first elongate support member and to be secured to the top plate of the wall frame or the upper end portion of the wall panel; second connecting means connecting said first and second elongate support members for pivotal movement of said first elongate support member relative to said second elongate support member about a vertical axis.

3. A scaffolding unit including: a first elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or wall panel, said elongate support member being substantially rectangular in cross section and having a front face, a rear face spaced from said front face and two opposed spaced apart side faces; a frame assembly including elongate plank support means and first connecting means operatively connected to said plank support means at one end for connecting said frame assembly to said first elongate support member for pivoting movement of said frame assembly relative to said first elongate support member from an operative in-use position in which said elongate plank support means is perpendicular to said first elongate support member and an adjustment position in which said elongate plank support means is inclined upwardly towards said first elongate support member said first connecting means including first engagement means adapted to engage the front face of said elongate support member and second engagement means spaced from said first engagement means and adapted to engage the rear face of said first elongate support member above the position of engagement of said first engagement means with said first face when said frame assembly is in the operative in-use position, the engagement of said first and second engagement means being such as to prevent sliding movement of said frame assembly downwards along said first elongate support member, and said first engagement means being spaced from said front face and/or said second engagement means being spaced from said rear face when said frame assembly is in the adjustment position whereby said frame assembly may be moved slidingly up or down along said first elongate support member to a selected operative height, said first connecting means being so made and arranged as to allow pivoting movement of said frame assembly beyond the adjustment position to a stowed position in which said elongate plank support means is substantially parallel to and immediately adjacent said first elongate support member; a second elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent the first elongate support member and to be secured to the top plate of the wall frame or the upper end portion of the wall panel, and second connecting means connecting said first and second elongate support members for pivotal movement of said first elongate support member relative to said second elongate support member about a vertical axis.

4. A scaffolding unit according to claim 1 including securing means for selectively securing the frame assembly in a selected operative position.

5. A scaffolding unit according to any claim 4, wherein said securing means is arranged to allow pivoting movement of the frame assembly to the stowed position when securing the frame assembly in a selected operative position.

6. A scaffolding unit according to any one of the preceding claims wherein said first connecting means includes a sleeve-like member having two side walls as well as the first and second engagement means, said two side walls being adapted to abut the respective side faces of the first elongate support member, and said securing means includes a pin adapted to extend through aligned apertures provided in said side walls and said first elongate support member to secure said frame assembly in a desired operative position along said first elongate support member.

7. A scaffolding unit including: a first elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or wall panel; a frame assembly operatively connected to said first elongate support member for up or down sliding movement therealong to a selected operative height, said frame assembly being adapted to support thereon one or more planks; a second elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent the first elongate support member and to be secured to the top plate of the wall frame or the upper end portion of the wall panel; and second connecting means connecting said first and second elongate support members for pivotal movement of said first elongate support member relative to said second elongate support member about a vertical axis.

8. A scaffolding unit according to claim 7, wherein said second connecting means includes upper and lower hinge assemblies which are selectively height adjustable along the respective first and second elongate support members.

9. A scaffolding unit according to claim 7, wherein said first and second elongate support members are substantially identical with both having means for securing them to the top plate so that they are interchangeable.

10. A scaffolding unit including: a first elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or wall panel, said elongate support member being substantially rectangular in cross section and having a front face, a rear face spaced from said front face and two opposed spaced apart side faces; a frame assembly including elongate plank support means and first connecting means operatively connected to said plank support means at one end for connecting said frame assembly to said first elongate support member for pivoting movement of said frame assembly relative to said first elongate support member from an operative in-use position in which said elongate plank support means is perpendicular to said first elongate support member and an adjustment position in which said elongate plank support means is inclined upwardly towards said first elongate support member said first connecting means including first engagement means adapted to engage the front face of said elongate support member and second engagement means spaced from said first engagement means and adapted to engage the rear face of said first elongate support member above the position of engagement of said first engagement means with said first face when said frame assembly is in the operative in-use position, the engagement of said first and second engagement means being such as to prevent sliding movement of said frame assembly downwards along said first elongate support member, and said first engagement means being spaced from said front face and/or said second engagement means being spaced from said rear face when said frame assembly is in the adjustment position whereby said frame assembly may be moved slidingly up or down along said first elongate support member to a selected operative height; an upper mount adapted to be disposed adjacent said first elongate support member and to be secured to the top plate of the wall frame or the upper end portion of the wall panel; a lower mount adapted to be disposed adjacent said first elongate support member and to be secured to or engage with a lower part of the wall frame or the wall panel; and upper and lower mount connecting means connecting said first elongate support member to said upper mount and said lower mount respectively for pivotal movement of said first elongate support member relative to said upper and lower mounts about a vertical axis.

11. A scaffolding unit including: a first elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or wall panel; a frame assembly operatively connected to said first elongate support member for up and down sliding movement therealong to a selected operative height, said frame assembly being adapted to support thereon one or more planks; an upper mount adapted to be disposed adjacent said first elongate support member and to be secured to the top plate of the wall frame or the upper end portion of the wall panel; a lower mount adapted to be disposed adjacent said first elongate support member and to be secured to or engage with a lower part of the wall frame or the wall panel; and upper and lower mount connecting means connecting said first elongate support member to said upper mount and said lower mount respectively for pivotal movement of said first elongate support member relative to said upper and lower mounts about a vertical axis.

12. A scaffolding unit according to claim 10, wherein said lower mount is adapted to engage with the outside faces of both of the adjacent wall frames or panels at a corner.

13. A scaffolding unit according to claim 12, wherein said lower mount is an L-shaped member with the legs of the “L” being adapted to abut the outside face of the adjacent wall frames or panels, and said lower mount connecting means includes a sleeve member slidably mounted on said L-shaped member to provide horizontal adjustment.

14. A plank of the type commonly known as builders planks, the plank having one or more protuberances provided in the end portion adjacent one end and one or more complementary recesses provided in the end portion adjacent the other end adapted to receive therein the corresponding protuberances of a like plank upon end to end abutment of a pair of like planks, the respective end portions also including locating means for locating the planks longitudinally in a predetermined position on a plank support such as a scaffolding unit.

15. A plank according to claim 14, wherein said locating means includes a recess provided in the underside of each respective end portion which is adapted to locate about a complementary part of the plank support with the recesses formed in the respective end portions cooperating to form a laterally extending recess or groove for this purpose.

16. A plank of the type commonly known as builders planks, the plank having complementary first and second connecting means at its respective ends, said first connecting means being adapted to support thereon the second connecting means of a like plank, and said first and second connecting means having complementary first and second locating means for locating the like plank in a predetermined longitudinal position relative to the plank while said first connecting means is supporting thereon the second connecting means of the like plank, and said first connecting means also having third locating means for locating the plank longitudinally in a predetermined position on a plank support such as a scaffolding unit as defined in any one of claims 1 to 13.

17. A plank according to claim 16, wherein said second connecting means is a downwardly open channel cross-section member with one flange secured to an end of the body of the plank and the upper face of the web being level with the upper face of the plank body, and said first connecting means has a recess adapted to receive therein said other flange of the open channel of a like plank to locate it longitudinally.

18. A plank according to claim 17 wherein said first connecting means is a member of S-cross-section with one opening of the S facing up and the other facing down, the one opening up being narrow in the direction along the plank and being adapted to receive therein said other flange of said channel and the upper face of the web forming the other opening of the S being parallel to and below the upper face of the plank body by a distance approximately equal to the thickness of the web of said channel, so that the web of the S can support thereon the web of the channel of a connected like plank.

19. A platform including two or more planks as defined by any one of claims 14 to 38, secured together along their lengths with the respective protuberances and recesses or first and second connecting means aligned laterally.

Description:
[0001] THIS INVENTION relates to scaffolding units and planks or platforms for use with scaffolding units and/or scaffolding generally.

[0002] Scaffolding is generally erected adjacent a dwelling house or other building under construction for the purpose of supporting a worker thereon at a suitable height for fixing fascias, gutters, soffits and other building elements. One particularly popular form of scaffolding for this purpose is “hanging scaffolding” which includes spaced apart scaffolding units adapted to hang from the wall or wall frame of the building under construction and which have horizontal support members on which builders planks or other work platforms are placed. Several types of hanging scaffolding are available, but all suffer from drawbacks, one of which is that they are not particularly suitable for use at building corners and often do not provide adequate support for builders planks at the corners.

[0003] When builders planks are placed on scaffolding units, they typically overlap one another with one plank resting on the horizontal support member and the next plank in the run resting on top of that plank above the horizontal support member. This method of arrangement results in a small step which can cause tripping and is therefore dangerous. Another method of laying planks on scaffolding units is to place two scaffolding units in close proximity, each supporting one plank near its end with the ends of the planks abutted together. However, this method greatly increases the member of scaffolding units on a job.

[0004] One object of the present invention is to provide a scaffolding unit which is more suitable for use adjacent corners of a building. Another object is to provide a scaffolding unit which is easily height adjustable and suitable for use adjacent the corners of a building. Yet another object is to provide a height adjustable scaffolding unit which is readily stowable. It is another object to provide builders planks or platforms which can co-operate with a scaffolding unit in a suitable manner which avoids the steps created by overlapping builders planks. Other objects and advantages of the invention may be come apparent from the following description of the invention.

[0005] With the foregoing in view, the present invention in a first aspect resides broadly in a scaffolding unit including:

[0006] a first elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or a wall panel, said first elongate support member being substantially rectangular in cross section and having a front face, a rear face spaced from said front face and two opposed spaced apart side faces;

[0007] a frame assembly including elongate plank support means and first connecting means operatively connected to said plank support means at one end for connecting said frame assembly to said first elongate support member for pivoting movement of said frame assembly relative to said first elongate support member from an operative in-use position in which said elongate plank support means is perpendicular to said first elongate support member and an adjustment position in which said elongate plank support means is inclined upwardly towards said first elongate support member said first connecting means including first engagement means adapted to engage the front face of said elongate support member and second engagement means spaced from said first engagement means and adapted to engage the rear face of said first elongate support member above the position of engagement of said first engagement means with said first face when said frame assembly is in the operative in-use position, the engagement of said first and second engagement means being such as to prevent sliding movement of said frame assembly downwards along said first elongate support member, and said first engagement means being spaced from said front face and/or said second engagement means being spaced from said rear face when said frame assembly is in the adjustment position whereby said frame assembly may be moved slidingly up or down along said first elongate support member to a selected operative height;

[0008] said first connecting means being so made and arranged as to allow pivoting movement of said frame assembly beyond the adjustment position to a stowed position in which said elongate plank support means is substantially parallel to and immediately adjacent said first elongate support member.

[0009] In a second aspect the present invention resides broadly in a scaffolding unit including:

[0010] a first elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or wall panel, said elongate support member being substantially rectangular in cross section and having a front face, a rear face spaced from said front face and two opposed spaced apart side faces;

[0011] a frame assembly including elongate plank support means and first connecting means operatively connected to said plank support means at one end for connecting said frame assembly to said first elongate support member for pivoting movement of said frame assembly relative to said first elongate support member from an operative in-use position in which said elongate plank support means is perpendicular to said first elongate support member and an adjustment position in which said elongate plank support means is inclined upwardly towards said first elongate support member said first connecting means including first engagement means adapted to engage the front face of said elongate support member and second engagement means spaced from said first engagement means and adapted to engage the rear face of said first elongate support member above the position of engagement of said first engagement means with said first face when said frame assembly is in the operative in-use position, the engagement of said first and second engagement means being such as to prevent sliding movement of said frame assembly downwards along said first elongate support member, and said first engagement means being spaced from said front face and/or said second engagement means being spaced from said rear face when said frame assembly is in the adjustment position whereby said frame assembly may be moved slidingly up or down along said first elongate support member to a selected operative height;

[0012] a second elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent the first elongate support member and to be secured to the top plate of the wall frame or the upper end portion of the wall panel;

[0013] second connecting means connecting said first and second elongate support members for pivotal movement of said first elongate support member relative to said second elongate support member about a vertical axis.

[0014] In a third aspect the present invention resides broadly in a scaffolding unit including:

[0015] a first elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or wall panel, said elongate support member being substantially rectangular in cross section and having a front face, a rear face spaced from said front face and two opposed spaced apart side faces;

[0016] a frame assembly including elongate plank support means and first connecting means operatively connected to said plank support means at one end for connecting said frame assembly to said first elongate support member for pivoting movement of said frame assembly relative to said first elongate support member from an operative in-use position in which said elongate plank support means is perpendicular to said first elongate support member and an adjustment position in which said elongate plank support means is inclined upwardly towards said first elongate support member said first connecting means including first engagement means adapted to engage the front face of said elongate support member and second engagement means spaced from said first engagement means and adapted to engage the rear face of said first elongate support member above the position of engagement of said first engagement means with said first face when said frame assembly is in the operative in-use position, the engagement of said first and second engagement means being such as to prevent sliding movement of said frame assembly downwards along said first elongate support member, and said first engagement means being spaced from said front face and/or said second engagement means being spaced from said rear face when said frame assembly is in the adjustment position whereby said frame assembly may be moved slidingly up or down along said first elongate support member to a selected operative height, said first connecting means being so made and arranged as to allow pivoting movement of said frame assembly beyond the adjustment position to a stowed position in which said elongate plank support means is substantially parallel to and immediately adjacent said first elongate support member;

[0017] a second elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent the first elongate support member and to be secured to the top plate of the wall frame or the upper end portion of the wall panel, and second connecting means connecting said first and second elongate support members for pivotal movement of said first elongate support member relative to said second elongate support member about a vertical axis.

[0018] Preferably the scaffolding unit includes securing means for selectively securing the frame assembly in a selected operative position. It will be appreciated that the securing means is primarily intended as a safety precaution in case the first and second engagement means do not hold the frame assembly at the selected operative height under some loading arrangements but it also allows safer transfer or portage of the scaffolding units to or from a truck wherein sliding movement of the frame assembly along the first elongate support member is prevented in all positions. For this reason it is preferred that the securing means be arranged to allow pivoting movement of the frame assembly to the stowed position when securing the frame assembly in a selected operative position. Advantageously such arrangement can also allow easier erection of the scaffolding unit on a wall frame.

[0019] Preferably the first connecting means includes a sleeve-like member having two side walls as well as the first and second engagement means, the two side walls being adapted to abut the respective side faces of the first elongate support member, and preferably the securing means includes a pin adapted to extend through aligned apertures provided in the side walls and the first elongate support member to secure the frame assembly in a desired operative position along the first elongate support member, the positioning of the aligned apertures in the side walls and the positioning of the first and second engagement means will determine the arc of allowable pivoting of the frame assembly relative to the first elongate support member.

[0020] In a fourth aspect the invention resides broadly in a scaffolding unit including:

[0021] a first elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or wall panel;

[0022] a frame assembly operatively connected to said first elongate support member for up or down sliding movement therealong to a selected operative height, said frame assembly being adapted to support thereon one or more planks;

[0023] a second elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent the first elongate support member and to be secured to the top plate of the wall frame or the upper end portion of the wall panel; and

[0024] second support member connecting means connecting said first and second elongate support members for pivotal movement of said first elongate support member relative to said second elongate support member about a vertical axis.

[0025] In a preferred form, said second support member connecting means includes upper and lower hinge assemblies which are selectively height adjustable along the respective first and second elongate support members. Advantageously, such arrangement allows first and second elongate support members of different heights to be connected in case this is necessary to avoid obstructions. However, it is preferred that said first and second. elongate support members be substantially identical with both having means for securing them to the top plate so that they are interchangeable.

[0026] In a fifth aspect the present invention resides broadly in a scaffolding unit including:

[0027] a first elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or wall panel, said elongate support member being substantially rectangular in cross section and having a front face, a rear face spaced from said front face and two opposed spaced apart side faces;

[0028] a frame assembly including elongate plank support means and first connecting means operatively connected to said plank support means at one end for connecting said frame assembly to said first elongate support member for pivoting movement of said frame assembly relative to said first elongate support member from an operative in-use position in which said elongate plank support means is perpendicular to said first elongate support member and an adjustment position in which said elongate plank support means is inclined upwardly towards said first elongate support member said first connecting means including first engagement means adapted to engage the front face of said elongate support member and second engagement means spaced from said first engagement means and adapted to engage the rear face of said first elongate support member above the position of engagement of said first engagement means with said first face when said frame assembly is in the operative in-use position, the engagement of said first and second engagement means being such as to prevent sliding movement of said frame assembly downwards along said first elongate support member, and said first engagement means being spaced from said front face and/or said second engagement means being spaced from said rear face when said frame assembly is in the adjustment position whereby said frame assembly may be moved slidingly up or down along said first elongate support member to a selected operative height;

[0029] an upper mount adapted to be disposed adjacent said first elongate support member and to be secured to the top plate of the wall frame or the upper end portion of the wall panel;

[0030] a lower mount adapted to be disposed adjacent said first elongate support member and to be secured to or engage with a lower part of the wall frame or the wall panel; and

[0031] upper and lower mount connecting means connecting said first elongate support member to said upper mount and said lower mount respectively for pivotal movement of said first elongate support member relative to said upper and lower mounts about a vertical axis.

[0032] In a sixth aspect the invention resides broadly in a scaffolding unit including:

[0033] a first elongate support member adapted to be disposed in a generally vertical attitude adjacent a wall frame or wall panel;

[0034] a frame assembly operatively connected to said first elongate support member for up and down sliding movement therealong to a selected operative height, said frame assembly being adapted to support thereon one or more planks;

[0035] an upper mount adapted to be disposed adjacent said first elongate support member and to be secured to the top plate of tho wall frame or the upper end portion of the wall panel;

[0036] a lower mount adapted to be disposed adjacent said first elongate support member and to be secured to or engage with a lower part of the wall frame or the wall panel; and

[0037] upper and lower mount connecting means connecting said first elongate support member to said upper mount and said lower mount respectively for pivotal movement of said first elongate support member relative to said upper and lower mounts about a vertical axis.

[0038] Preferably, said lower mount is adapted to engage with the outside faces of both of the adjacent wall frames or panels at a corner thereby ensuring that it is securely located without the need for any fasteners, due to the horizontal force components.

[0039] In a preferred form, said lower mount is an L-shaped member with the legs of the “L” being adapted to abut the outside face of the adjacent wall frames or panels, and said lower mount connecting means includes a sleeve member slidably mounted on said L- shaped member to provide horizontal adjustment so that the upper and lower mounts can be aligned.

[0040] In a seventh aspect the invention resides broadly in a plank of the type commonly known as builders planks, the plank having one or more protuberances provided in the end portion adjacent one end and one or more complementary recesses provided in the end portion adjacent the other end adapted to receive therein the corresponding protuberances of a like plank upon end to end abutment of a pair of like planks, the respective end portions also including locating means for locating the planks longitudinally in a predetermined position on a plank support such as a scaffolding unit. In one form the locating means includes a recess provided in the underside of each respective end portion which is adapted to locate about the a complementary part of the support with the recesses formed in the respective end portions cooperating to form a laterally extending recess or groove for this purpose.

[0041] In a eighth aspect the invention resides broadly in a plank of the type commonly known as builders planks, the plank having complementary first and second, connecting means at its respective ends, said first connecting means being adapted to support thereon the second connecting means of a like plank, and said first and second connecting means having complementary first and second locating means for locating the like plank in a predetermined longitudinal position relative to the plank while said first connecting means is supporting thereon the second connecting means of the like plank, and said first connecting means also having third locating means for locating the plank longitudinally in a predetermined position on a plank support such as a scaffolding unit as previously described.

[0042] Preferably, said second connecting means is a downwardly open channel cross-section member with one flange secured to an end of the body of the plank and the upper face of the web being level with the upper face of the plank body, and said first connecting means has a recess adapted to receive therein said other flange of the open channel of a like plank to locate it longitudinally. In such form it is preferred that said first connecting means be a member of S-cross-section with one opening of the S facing up and the other facing down, the one opening up being narrow in the direction along the plank and being adapted to receive therein said other flange of said channel and the upper face of the web forming the other opening of the 5 being parallel to and below the upper face of the plank body by a distance approximately equal to the thickness of the web of said channel, so that the web of the S can support thereon the web of the channel of a connected like plank.

[0043] In a ninth aspect, this invention resides broadly in a platform including two or more planks as previously described secured together along their lengths with the respective protuberances and recesses or first and second connecting means aligned laterally.

[0044] In order that the invention may be more readily understood and put into practical effect, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings which illustrate preferred embodiments of the invention and wherein:

[0045] FIG. 1 is a pictorial representation of a scaffolding unit according to the invention partly assembled and showing the frame assembly of the scaffolding unit in an operative position (position “A”) and also in a stowed position (position “B”);

[0046] FIG. 2 is an elevation of a sleeve member part of the scaffolding unit;

[0047] FIG. 3 is a sectional end elevation of the sleeve member part of FIG. 2;

[0048] FIG. 4 is a pictorial representation of an alternative scaffolding unit according to the invention partly assembled;

[0049] FIG. 5 is a pictorial representation of another alternative scaffolding unit according to the present invention shown in-use;

[0050] FIG. 6 a pictorial representation of upper mount of the scaffolding unit of FIG. 5;

[0051] FIG. 7 is a pictorial representation of the lower mount of the scaffolding unit of FIG. 5;

[0052] FIG. 8 is a plan view of a builders platform according to the invention;

[0053] FIG. 9 is a side elevation of the plank of FIG. 8;

[0054] FIG. 10 is a view of the right hand end of the platform shown in FIG. 8; and

[0055] FIG. 11 is a side view of the platform of FIG. 8 fitted to the scaffolding unit illustrated in FIG. 1.

[0056] FIG. 12 is a pictorial representation of a builders platform according to the invention;

[0057] FIG. 13 is a plan of the builders platform of FIG. 12, and

[0058] FIG. 14 is a side elevation of the platform of FIG. 12.

[0059] The scaffolding unit 10 illustrated in FIG. 1 is particularly adapted for use in the construction of a dwelling house. The unit includes an upstanding elongate support stand 11 having a main member 12 constructed of 65 mm×35 mm rectangular hollow section steel (RHS) having a front wall 12a, a rear wall 12b and two opposed side walls 12c and 12d, the main member being intended to stand adjacent the external face of a wall frame with the front and rear faces parallel thereto. It will be seen that the front and rear walls form the narrow faces of the member and the side walls form the side faces and the main member is suitably selected to support the frame assembly 13 which will be described later, without undesirable bending. A sleeve member 14 is welded to the upper end of the support member with its axis parallel to the side faces of the main member and is adapted to receive a top plate bracket 15 which is adapted to engage with the top plate of a wall frame. The sleeve member is also adapted to receive an L-shaped post support bracket 16 which in turn is adapted to receive a post for the attachment of safety rails if required. It will be appreciated that the bracket 14 allows the apparatus to be used for providing a safety rail about the perimeter of the roof of a house under construction. A T-shaped foot bracket 17 has one leg of the Tee telescopically engaged in the main member at its lower end and can be selectively secured therein by a securement pin 18a adapted to pass through aligned apertures in the side walls 12c and 12d and aperture 19 provided in the foot bracket. Advantageously, the foot bracket can be of any preselected length so that the unit can be used with walls of different heights. The other leg of the “T” is a tubular member which is adapted to receive a connecting member(not shown) for connecting the support stand to an adjacent support stand and has a set bolt 21 for this purpose.

[0060] The frame assembly 13 includes spaced apart upper and lower plank support members 23 and 24 interconnected to form a truss-like structure by spaced apart connecting lugs 26. At one end the plank support members are welded to a sleeve member 27 adapted to be slidingly mounted on the main member 12 for movement therealong. The sleeve member 27 has a front plate 27a adapted to engage with the front wall 12a of the main member, a rear plate 27b adapted to engage with the rear wall 12b and two spaced apart side plates 27c and 27d adapted to slidingly engage with the side walls 12c and 12d respectively. The front plate extends vertically downwards from the top face of the upper plank support member 23 and the two plank support members are welded to the front plate. However, the front plate could be omitted if desired and the members 23 and 24 would then be welded to the side plates. The rear plate extends downwardly over much less than half the vertical length of the sleeve member and is spaced vertically from the front plate so that most of the rear face and a large portion of the front face of the sleeve member are open. It will be seen that the vertical spacing between the upper end of the front plate and the lower end of the rear plate is 68 mm in this case so that it can accommodate the main member 12 therebetween when the sleeve member is pivoted upwardly through 90°. It will be appreciated that in use the front and rear plates engage with the front and rear walls of the main member respectively when the plank support members are in the horizontal attitude. Furthermore the sleeve member can be secured in position by the pin 28 which is adapted to pass through aligned apertures 20 provided in the side plates 27c and 27d and a selected one of the apertures 18 provided in the main member to prevent sliding movement of the frame assembly relative to the main member. It will be understood that the front and rear plates may bind with the front and rear walls when sufficient load is applied downwardly on the plank support members, but in the interests of safety the securing pin 28 should be inserted when the unit is in use. The height of the frame assembly relative to the main member can be adjusted by simply removing the pin 28 tilting the plank support members upwardly so that the front and rear plates disengage from the main member allowing the sleeve member to slide easily therealong. The apertures 20 are positioned halfway across the side plates 27c and 27d in the horizontal direction and halfway between the lower end of the rear plate and the upper end of the front plate. Advantageously, this allows the sleeve to pivot through a full 90° between the operative position shown as position “A” and a stowed position shown as position “B”. A second pair of aligned apertures 25 are provided in the side plates below the apertures 20 and can be used alternatively to the apertures 20, if pivoting of the frame assembly is not required and provides another possible range of height settings. It will be appreciated that if the pin 28 is passed through these apertures then pivoting to the stowed position is not possible.

[0061] A tubular connecting bracket 31 is welded to the underside of the lower plank support member 24 and extends perpendicularly thereto for receiving therein a connecting member (not shown) for connecting adjacent scaffolding units. Suitably a set bolt is provided in a similar manner to that described in relation to the foot bracket for securing the connecting member therein,

[0062] The scaffolding unit 110 illustrated in FIG. 4 is the same as unit 10 in many respects and where appropriate corresponding numbers have been used to reference corresponding items but prefixed by a “1”. In this unit, the main member 112 is not intended to be secured directly to the wall frame but rather is pivotally connected by spaced apart hinge assemblies 143 and 144 to a second main member 142 which in turn is intended to be secured to the wall frame by top plate bracket 115 and foot bracket 117 in the same manner as described in relation to scaffolding unit 10. Each hinge assembly (one upper and one lower) includes complementary hinge halves, one of which is slidably mounted on the first main member 112 and the other on the second main member and being adapted to be secured at corresponding selected heights by securing pins 146 and 147 respectively. One half of each hinge has a gudgeon 148 and the other half has a sleeve which is adapted to be pivotally secured on the gudgeon in the normal manner of a gate hinge but shown disassembled in FIG. 4. It will be seen that the sleeve half of the top hinge does not have a securing pin 147 which is really unnecessary, the hinge half being held in place by its own weight. However, a set bolt 151 is provided to secure it in place to assist with erection, transport and loading. It will be appreciated that the absence of a securing pin allows the components to be made with less precision.

[0063] The scaffolding unit 210 illustrated in use in FIG. 5 is the same as unit 110 in many respects and where appropriate corresponding numbers have been used to reference corresponding items but prefixed by a “2”. In this unit, the main member 212 is pivotally connected to upper and lower mounts by spaced apart hinge assemblies. The upper mount 260 includes a hanging bracket 261 adapted to hang from the top plate 255 of a right hand wall frame 256, and has two spaced apart apertured hinge plates 262 extending therefrom to form one hinge half. The other hinge half includes a rectangular sleeve member 263 which is slidably mounted on the main member and has a hinge sleeve 249 attached, the hinge sleeve being located between the hinge plates and pivotally secured therein by a pivot pin 264. With respect to the lower mount 270, the hinge half on the main member 212 is the same but the lower mount includes an L-shaped member 271 constructed of SHS section and a complementary sleeve 272 slidably mounted thereon and adapted to be secured in a desired position by a lock bolt 274. A gudgeon pin 248 extends from the sleeve and engages with the hinge sleeve 249 of hinge half on the main member. It will be appreciated that this particular unit provides the same advantages as unit 13.0 but without the second full length member. Additionally, the long leg 276 of the L-shaped member is arranged to abut the lower part of studs 257 of the right hand wall frame while the short leg 277 is arranged to abut the lower part of the studs 258 of the left hand wall frame 259. As will be understood, in the position shown, a downward load on the frame assembly 213 will create a horizontal force component on the long leg of the L-shaped member which forces the short leg into hard engagement with the left hand wall frame. This unit is also provided with an angle brace 279 extending between the frame assembly 213 and the main member 212 for additional support.

[0064] The builders platform 310 illustrated in FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 has a length of 3.0 m and a width of 442 mm approximately. The platform is made up of two aluminium builders planks 311 and 312 which are welded together by spaced apart welds 311. In other embodiments, the planks may be clamped together to form the platform.

[0065] Each plank at one end has a downwardly J-shaped lug 314 forming a protuberance, and at the other end two spaced apart downwardly J-shaped lugs 316 forming a recess therebetween adapted to receive the lug 314 of a like platform. As more clearly shown in FIG. 11, the lugs are downwardly J-shaped and are adapted to locate about the upper member 23 of the frame assembly 13 illustrated in FIG. 1. It has been found that good stability is obtained if the width of the lug 314 is approximately 108 mm and that it be spaced from the intended outer edge of the plank by about 55 mm. Allowing for clearance, the width of the outer lug at the other end should be about 51 mm and that of the inner lug about 54 mm for good stability.

[0066] In this embodiment the lugs are formed by cutting pieces of 76 mm by 76 mm×6.3 mm aluminium box section, each piece providing two lugs and have been welded to the ends of standard aluminium planks but in other embodiments, the protuberances and recesses could be formed in the planks when manufactured.

[0067] It will be appreciated that the protuberances 314 locate between the protuberances 316 of a like plank so that the J-shaped lugs are laterally aligned to form a continuous inverted channel which can locate about the member 23 thereby preventing longitudinal movement of the platform so that platforms can be erected on scaffolding units to form a continuous run of platform without the need to rest planks one upon another at the ends.

[0068] The builders platform 410 illustrated in FIG. 12 has a length of 3.0 m and a width of 442 mm approximately. The platform is made up of two aluminium builders plank bodies 411 and 412 which are welded together by spaced apart welds 413. In other embodiments, the planks may be clamped together to form the platform. A downwardly open U-shaped channel member 414 extends across one end of the plank bodies with one flange 416 being welded thereto, and the upper face of the web 415 being flush with the upper face of the plank body 420. An S-shaped member 417 extends across the other end with a flange 418 being welded thereto, the narrow opening of the S forming an upwardly opening recess 421 adapted to receive therein the flange 419 of the U-shaped channel of a like plank, while the wide opening 422 opens downwardly, the web 423 of the wide opening forming a support adapted to support thereon the web 414 of the like plank, the other flange 424 merely adding strength to the web 417.

[0069] As can be more clearly seen from FIG. 14, the upper face of the web 417 is lower than the upper face of the plank bodies by a distance approximately equal to the thickness of the web 414, so that when two planks are connected together, the upper face is fairly even throughout the full length which is clearly safer for workmen, using the platform. It will be appreciated that although a platform has been described, the invention can be used with single width planks with good results.

[0070] While the foregoing description has been give by way of illustrative example of the invention, it will be appreciated that the invention may be embodied in many other forms and all such forms are deemed to fall within the broad scope and ambit of this invention as is defined in the appended claims.