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Erecting Trestle and Plank Systems

Dozens of painters are injured every year from using trestles and planks incorrectly and unsafely. The following video demonstrates best practice using Australian Standards:

Trestles are self‐supporting scaffolds capable of holding one or two horizontal scaffolding planks to form a working platform. Trestles will support a maximum of two planks and two people. Folding trestles are available in timber, steel or aluminum. Stiles are tapered towards the top and should
be wide enough apart to take two 225mm scaffold planks. Rungs are staggered on each side to give a platform rise of 225mm – timber trestles should have at least two 10mm steel reinforcing rods fitted to give added strength to the rungs. The trestle is prevented from over‐opening and collapse by a specially formed lipped trestle hinge. When the hinge is fully opened the angle should not be less than 24° or more than 36°. Spreader ropes may also be used as in swing back step ladders.


  • Check all trestles and planks for defects before erecting.
  • Fully open the trestles. If a stay bar is fitted it must be correctly locked.
  • If the working height does not exceed 1.8 metres, one plank may be used to form the working platform.
  • If the working height exceeds 1.8 metres and lessthan 3.66 metres, two planks of equal strength laid side by side must be used.
  • Trestle planks must not be placed above 3.6 metres.
  • Trestle ladders higher than 5.0 metres must not be used.
  • Trestle ladders must not be spaced more than 2.4 metres apart.
  • All work must be performed between the trestle ladders. Never overreach.
  • No more than two persons can work on the plank at any time.
  • Overhang of the plank on the trestle rungs must be at least 230mm.
  • Trestles must be placed on a firm solid footing.
  • Planks must form a horizontal working platform.

CPCCPB3026 Erect and maintain trestle and plank systems

For more great learning resources, assessment tools, trainer guides and multi-media training resources for CPCCPB3026 Erect and maintain trestle and plank systems , please contact the National Painting and Decorating Institute