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The Whats, Whys, and Hows Related to a Ship Ladder

The Whats, Whys, and Hows Related to a Ship Ladder

Ladders or portable stairs are highly popular and have remained in vogue from time immemorial. Trying to gain access to the top of a lofty structure becomes easier for workmen and residents alike especially when there is no possible way of constructing a conventional stairway. This is often the case when space is limited. However, ladders come in all sizes with a ship ladder being used to access constricted structures such as the interior of a ship, a watercraft, or a tall and narrow building structure.

You cannot think of installing a fixed ship ladder when there is enough space for a traditional ladder and/or stairway. Moreover, simply ordering such specialty ladders may not be the right decision. It is important to check the associated facts and follow the regulations too.

You are likely to be concerned when you learn that more than 500,000 individuals suffer falls from ladders. You cannot rule out fatalities, either. You must, therefore, be prepared to source the right product only after going through Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety practices.

A ship ladder is not the same as a ship stair going to their definitions. However, OSHA refers to such ladders as ship stairs thus establishing that both ladder types as synonymous. The emphasis on safety measures is due to the sharp incline of the ladders. The steep slope becomes essential as the ladder is installed in tight spaces that do not leave much room for movement.

OSHA standards

When you need to install this specialized ladder for business, you must train the workers who would be using the ladder frequently in course of their work. Some of the codes that you would have to go through before advising the workers include:-

1910.25(e)- The ladder must be equipped with handrails on both sides to provide support to the user. Such ladders do not need a fall arrest system to be installed as the rails guard the user preventing sudden falls

  • 1910.25(e)(1)- The incline should be at an angle of 50 to 70 degrees from the horizontal surface.
  • 1910.25(e)(2)- Each stair must include open risers with a rise of 6.5-12 inches between the tread surfaces
  • 1910.25(e)(3)- The depth of each tread must be 4 inches
  • 1910.25(e)(4)- The width of each tread must be at least 4 inches

The ladders come with a narrow surface on the tread that requires an employee to grip it with at least one hand when reversing down the ladder. OSHA further warns employees against carrying tools or products. Such an action could cause them to lose their balance.

All of the above-mentioned standards are included in section 1910.25(e) of the OSHA handbook. Sure, you may not be able to find an OSHA-compliant ship ladder immediately. Place the order only after being satisfied that the manufacturer is informed about the safety standards. You are welcome to request customization of the features that may prove to be risk prone unless altered. Since these specialized ladders are not exclusively meant to be used within watercraft, you may request custom features for varying conditions without breaking the bank.