The term "scaffolding platforms" may refer to a specific part of a scaffolding structure, or to certain types of scaffolding structures. When the term refers to just the component, it is referring to a plank or board that is laid across ledgers and transoms to allow workers to stand or walk safely on the structure. When it refers to entire structures, scaffolding platforms are smaller, usually mobile units with a platform on which workers can stand. Sometimes such a unit is mounted on casters so it can be moved from one location to another, and it may or may not be height-adjustable.
Another term for scaffolding platforms is scaffolding planks; these planks fit the first definition of the term: they are pieces of wood or metal laid across the ledgers and transoms — metal support bars beneath the plank — on which workers can walk or stand. Most scaffolding rental companies will rent out as many scaffolding platforms as the builder needs, though some builders choose to simply use scrap metal or wood as planks. This is not advisable, as most scaffolding platforms are designed specifically for use with certain scaffolding components, meaning the rented or bought units will be safer and more reliable than simple scraps of wood or metal.
The size and configuration of scaffolding platforms can vary according to the type of scaffolding structure being built. Some scaffolds are built with stairways, which means the platforms may be altered to accept the top and bottom of the stairways. In other cases, a ladder may be mounted so workers can climb from one level of the structure to the next; it is not uncommon for the ladder to be mounted in a hole in the platforms, meaning the worker must climb through the platform. This configuration tends to be somewhat dangerous, as workers can unexpectedly fall into the opening while working on the platform. Stairs are the safest method of getting from one level to another, though the structure will need to be quite a bit larger.
Many builders refer to the entire scaffolding structure as "scaffolding platforms," though usually only when the structure is fairly small. Scaffolding can be built to be quite large and expansive, at which time is it likely to be called a structure rather than a platform, but if the structure features only one working platform mounted to scaffolding tubes, it may be called a platform instead.