Many commercial areas as well as industrial settings prefer to use ships ladders or ship stairs. These are special types of ladders that were originally designed for use inside a ship by the crew and even passengers. The unique design had become extremely popular making it the first choice of industrial workers, especially those working at heights. The “Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)” terms these ladders ship ladder stairs and have come up with a set of standards related to ship ladder stairs dimensions. OSHA further modified the regulations in 2003 making it necessary for employers to comply with the standards. Yes! Modifying an existing stair may be a trifle expensive but the cost is likely to be huge when slapped with a legal suit filed by an injured employee.
It is most important for employers to understand the safety precautions and train their employees about the right way to use the stairs even when in a hurry. Inspecting the stairs and viewing each rung and tread is important as well. Failing to do this may result in injuries with the employees slipping and falling on account of not heeding the precautionary advice.
OSHA recommends using Alternating tread stairs in places that have space restrictions. You will usually find such ladders being used to access the conveyor or equipment placed at a considerable height or distance. It may also be used for work platforms or crossover stairs. Facilities that are constrained for space find the ships’ stair ladders to be most convenient and suitable for their purpose.
The Alternating tread stairs consist of a series of treads that are attached to a centrally positioned support. The rungs are placed in an alternating manner to ensure that the user does not have to place both feet simultaneously on one level.
OSHA standards of ship ladder stairs dimensions
- 25(f)(1): Have a series of treads installed at a slope of 50 to 70 degrees from the horizontal– The incline makes it a trifle difficult for users to climb up and down. However, holding onto the rails helps to prevent slips & falls. In restricted spaces that cannot have the ladder fitted with rails, it is advisable to speak to the manufacturer and get an alternative solution for fall prevention.
- 25(f)(2) Have a distance between handrails of 17 to 24 inches (51 to 61 cm)-The top manufacturers maintain the required distance diligently thus complying with the OSHA regulations.
- 25(f)(3) Have a minimum tread depth of 8.5 inches (22 cm)- It is mandatory to discuss the matter with the manufacturer and adhere to the standards as perfectly as possible.
- 25(f)(4) Have open risers if the tread depth is less than 9.5 inches (24 cm)- Open risers may be customized to ensure the safety of the users especially when they are in a hurry.
- 25(f)(5) Have a minimum tread width of 7 inches (18 cm), measured at the leading edge of the tread (i.e., nosing)- Alternative solutions may be requested well before the ladder is installed by professionals.
Getting in touch with a company that is experienced in providing, installing, and alternating the design to comply with OSHA standards of ship ladder stairs dimensions is necessary to prevent accidents and penalties in the future.