Roof ladders permanently attach to structures and provide safe vertical access to building tops, grain silos, bridges, and warehouse mezzanines.
There are many different models for different applications. Some are manufactured with fasteners that attach them directly to a structural edifice. The worker holds hand rails while ascending and descending the ladder. For higher climbs and more dangerous environments, other models feature circular rungs and are fitted with safety cages and offset standoff platforms at the top. This allows the worker to pass from the cage across the platform floor straight onto the roof without risk of tripping or falling.
Fixed roof ladders are not meant to be moved around once they are attached to a structure.
They are placed in key locations where workers can quickly climb to the roof to perform any number of tasks. Repair men use them to conduct electrical circuit repair. Workers repair leaks in ceilings after storms. Ventilation checks are conducted on a routine basis. Any machines located on the roof are also maintained and repaired.
Regardless of the specific application for which a fixed ladder is used, specific OSHA regulations require the use of standoff platforms set at regular intervals.
If the ladder spans a distance of more than 30 feet, regulations specify that there must be a standoff platform attached to it. When workers exit the ladder, they can step onto a firm and a stable surface. A standoff platform is a stationary platform that is connected to the ladder at intervals of 30 feet. Companies can purchase standoff platforms with both left entrances and right entrances, depending on environment, location, and application.
The type of ladder used depends on the type of industry you are in and the type of structure your workers are climbing onto. It also depends on how far up they have to climb.
When working at heights of less than 20 feet, a standard design is sufficient. This ladder features a single, one-piece welded construction with fasteners that affix it to a vertical surface. For more maneuverability, you may need a ladder with walk-thru handles.
If you are working in a warehouse that requires mezzanine access, you can get a specialty roof ladder made for this purpose.
A typical custom ladder features a one-piece welded assembly designed to give safe access to mezzanines. Many are walk-thru models with 42 inch high handrails and 24 inch wide steps. Other side step model features have rungs with 4 additional hand rungs and 18 inch wide steps.
When safety is paramount at heights between 10 and 30 feet, the safest roof ladder design is one with a safety cage at the top.
These ladders feature hatch-way and side step landing access. You can also get ladders with walk-thru hand rails. When selecting a model, choose a ladder where the bottom of the cage is 7 inches to 8 inches above the floor. Also, consult with your material handling vendor and double check that it extends 42 inches above the landing surface.
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