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Ships Ladder Installation to Access Upper Floor

Categories:  Ship & Fixed Ladders  Fixed Ladders  Mezzanine Stairs & Access  

Ships Access Ladder Installation
By Jamie Nute
Nov 20, 2021
Estimated 4 minute read

Ships ladder is a compromise when space cannot accommodate regular stairs

Remember that a ships ladder does not necessarily apply exclusively to ships? Here is yet another great example. With a narrow entrance to the facility's second floor, a regular stair cannot be sensible in this scenario because of the limited space. At the same time, a 90-degree ordinary ladder would take a lot of climbing effort because the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) proposed a ladder inclination angle lower than 75.5° as the safest bet. The best compromise? A ships ladder that can accommodate angles between 50° to 70°!

A staircase is a set of steps leading from one level to another and typically consists of two handrails, one on each side, with each step sandwiched in between. In contrast, a ladder is a single structure that uses rungs or slats to provide a foothold while climbing. While metal stairs take up more space than ladders, they offer several advantages:

  1. Stairs have lesser inclined slopes between 30° to 50°
  2. Stairs are much more stable than ladders and are less likely to tip over.
  3. Stairs provide a continuous handrail, which can be helpful when carrying heavy objects.
  4. Stairs can be used by people with limited mobility, whereas ladders typically require the user to be able-bodied.

For these reasons, stairs are generally the preferred option when space permits.

Although OSHA 29 CFR 1910.28(b)(9)(ii)(B) recommends a rest or landing platform at maximum intervals of 50 feet (15.2 m), safety managers at the facility thought it would be beneficial in this scenario to reduce the strain of climbing up the next floor. The main advantage of having a rest or landing platform is that it allows employees to take a break during their ascent, which can help prevent them from getting too tired and making mistakes. In sum, rest or landing platforms offer many benefits that can be extremely helpful in preventing accidents and injuries in the workplace.

Another great benefit here is the ladder handrails and the rest platform guardrails. The railing helps to provide the user with support and stability when climbing up or down the ladder. Likewise, the handrail can support the user's weight when working at height when climbing at this angle. The guardrails on the rest platform help prevent the user from falling off, providing an extra level of safety. As a result, the handrails and guardrails on an access ladder are essential safety features that workers feel more confident in using this equipment. Knowing that there is something to grip on can make all the difference in whether or not a worker feels comfortable using the equipment.

Always remember that ladders are only for simple access jobs or short durations. You're doing it wrong if you need to use a ladder when stairs are much more sensible for the comfort of people using it often in the workplace. Ladders are not as stable as stairs and can be slippery, making them dangerous for workers who use them frequently. In addition, safety is always a priority in the workplace, and using a ladder when stairs would be more sensible is not in line with this. So, next time a designer is tempted to build a ladder when stairs can be achievable, think about safety first and choose the stair option instead.

Erectastep provides much more than utility and durability on ladders; we also offer a wide range of fall protection products because we know falling from great heights is no laughing matter. We've got you covered, whether it's a safety swing gate or a universal ladder grip handle. So you can rest easy knowing that your employees are in good hands.





Compliance Expert

Ted Richardson

Your friendly stair expert