What to Look for in a Fixed Access Ladder

What to Look for in a Fixed Access Ladder

24th October 2019

The successful business comes from a different range of activities; market research, logistics, advertisement, sales and marketing among other factors. However, one thing many people forget is the importance of equipment in the workplace. Having the right equipment is vital and can affect your production 10-fold. 
Purchasing a fixed access ladder for your business may seem like an easy task. However, you must always be ready and well informed before the purchase. Have you been wondering what qualities make the best fixed access ladders? Then here is a little guide to help! 
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the following are the most important factors to consider in your ladder: 

1.    Strength & Durability
The strength and durability of the ladder must always be put into consideration. This virtually ensures your safety when using the equipment. Each step should be able to hold up to about 500 pounds at a time. However, you must also consider the amount of work to be done and get a ladder that can handle the workload while adhering to the set standards. 

2.    Landing Platform
A standard well-designed fixed access ladder should have a landing platform after every 10 meters/30 feet. An exception to this rule comes when there’s a ladder safety device installed. They should also contain a “break-in elevation.” 

3.    The Steps
The steps must be shaped or have ridges to ensure that anyone using them does not slip. Individual rung/step ladders must extend at least 42 inches (1.1 m) above an access level or landing platform. This can either be by the continuation of the rung spacings as horizontal grab bars or by providing vertical grab bars that must have the same lateral spacing as the vertical legs of the ladder rails. You don’t want to get injured while you could prevent it in the first place. Or would you? 

4.    The Rungs
Rungs and steps of fixed metal ladders must be corrugated, knurled, dimpled, coated with skid-resistant material or treated to minimize slipping. This is to remedy the absence of the shaping or ridges that prevent slipping. 

5.    Clearance Distance
The minimum perpendicular clearance between fixed ladder rungs, cleats, and steps and any obstruction behind the ladder should be 7 inches (18 cm), except for an elevator pit ladder which should be 4.5 inches (11 cm). 
The minimum perpendicular clearance between the centerline of fixed ladder rungs, cleats and steps, and any obstruction on the climbing side of the ladder must be 30 inches (76 cm). But if obstacles are unavoidable, clearance may be reduced to 24 inches (61 cm), provided a deflection device is installed to guide workers around the obstacle. 

6.    The Step-Across Distance
The step-across distance between the centre of the steps or rungs of fixed access ladders and the nearest edge of a landing area must be no less than 7 inches (18 cm) and no more than 12 inches (30 cm). A landing platform must be provided if the step-across distance exceeds 12 inches (30 cm). 

7.    Ladder Safety Devices
Fixed access ladders must be provided with cages, wells, ladder safety devices or self-retracting lifelines where the length of climb is less than 24 feet (7.3 m) but the top of the ladder is at a distance greater than 24 feet (7.3 m) above lower levels. 
Fixed ladders without cages or wells must have at least a 15-inch (38 cm) clearance width to the nearest permanent object on each side of the ladder’s centerline. 
When safety devices are provided, the maximum clearance distance between side rail extensions must not exceed 36 inches (91 cm). 
Parapet ladders must have an access level at the roof if the parapet is cut to permit passage through it. However, if the parapet is continuous, the top of the parapet becomes the access level.