4188 East Andrew Johnson Highway

Morristown, TN 37814
800-225-7814
education@precisionladders.com
© Ron Blank & Associates, Inc. 2013
Super Simplex Disappearing Stairway
Automatic Electric Disappearing Stairway
Automatic Super Simplex
FL Series Wall Ladders
SL Series Ships Ladders
Roof Hatches
Please note: you will need to
complete the conclusion quiz online
at ronblank.com to receive credit
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Continuing Education Program
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Continuing Education Program
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Course Description
This course will discuss different types of ladders and various
applications in which they can be safely used. The designer will also
learn about codes and minimum requirements necessary to adhere to
standards both dimensionally and for fire ratings.
Access Ladders & Stairways: Design and Code Solutions
Learning Objectives
By completing this course, the design professional will be able to:
0 Identify the types of fixed access ladders and disappearing stairways.
0 Describe applications for each type of fixed ladder or disappearing
stairway.
0 List the applicable building code considerations.
0 Explain the options for fire-rated & non-rated disappearing stairways.
Access Ladders & Stairways: Design and Code Solutions
Definition of a Ladder
0 A climbing device used to access any level at a different elevation.
0 Usage, length and how you exit the ladder determine what options are
required to meet code (cages, walk-thru, overshoot, etc…).



Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Ladders Accessing a Roof Hatch
Typically the most narrow and can be equipped with hand-hold devices
(i.e. safety post) to aid the climber entering and exiting the opening.

Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Ladders Accessing a Floor Door
0 Provides access to level below.
0 Safety Posts are available.
Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Ladders Accessing a Man Hole
0 Provides access to sewer level below.
0 Safety Posts are available.
Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Fixed Vertical Ladders with
Walk-thrus for Roof Access
0 A Walk-thru can also be called a
roof-over or side rail extension.

0 This option is used when the
climber exits the ladder straight
ahead / between the side rails.

0 Things to look for include gutters,
parapet walls, cornices, and
copings.

Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Fixed Vertical Ladders with
Walk-thrus for Mezzanines
0 A ladder with a walk-thru can be
used to access the intermediate
level above.
0 Walk-thru will be 42” minimum
height.
0 Walk-thru will be 24” clear between
rails to comply with both (OSHA
and ANSI).
Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Fixed Vertical Ladders with
Walk-thrus for Catwalks
0 A ladder with a walk-thru can be used to access a catwalk.
0 Walk-thru will be 42” minimum height.
0 Walk-thru will be 24” clear between rails to comply with both (OSHA and
ANSI).

Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Fixed Vertical Ladders with Walk-thrus
for Platforms and Landings
0 A platform is used when crossing over
parapet walls that can not be used as a step.
0 This application can also contain a return
ladder on the backside if the platform is more
than 12” for egress to the roof deck.
0 Parapet platforms are typically 6” above wall
height.
0 Walk-thru is 42” minimum height.
0 Walk-thru will be 24” clear between rails to
comply with both (OSHA and ANSI).


Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Fixed Vertical Ladders with Overshoot
(Side Exit)
0 Ladder extends above the exit point to allow the
climber easy egress left or right.
0 You may never dismount a ladder backwards.
0 Offset Ladders on Silos or Storage Tanks.
0 Barn Loft.
0 Elevator Pit Ladders.


Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Fixed Vertical Ladders with Overshoot
(Side Exit)
0 Platforms and Landings.
0 Rest Platforms are required on climbs
over 30’.
0 Platforms can be either right or left
hand exit.
0 Lower ladder will have a 48” overshoot.

Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Ships Ladders
0 Neither OSHA nor ANSI addresses this
product specifically, therefore vertical ladder
code is applied when possible. Ships ladders
can not exceed vertical climb of 20 feet.
0 This product provides an easier climb, but in
turn sacrifices floor space.
0 Industry standards usually have 4” to 6” deep
treads with an anti-slip surface. Handrails are
typically found on both sides .
0 Angles range from 60° to 70°.
0 When required to cross over a structure, two
ships ladders and a platform are used .


Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Ships Ladders
0 The technical term for ships ladder is inclined ladder.
0 Ships ladders can be used in much the same ways as most Vertical
Ladders.
0 Handrail configurations can be fitted for hatch openings or walk-thrus.
0 The clear tread width may vary per application while maintaining
vertical ladder code minimums.
Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Disappearing Stairways & Ladders
Typical Applications
0 Airport control towers
0 Banks
0 Better residences
0 Sports arenas
0 Churches
0 Drug stores
0 Government buildings
0 Hospitals
0 Laboratories
0 Libraries
0 Museums
0 Restaurants
0 Schools
0 Retail stores
Code Provisions: Disappearing Stairways
Manual Disappearing Ladders
(a.k.a Folding Retractable Attic Stairs)
0 Inclined ladder style climbing system that disappears into the ceiling
when not in use.
0 Applications include access to roof deck, attic space or elevated
walkways.
0 This product is available in various duty ratings ranging from light
weight residential to heavy duty industrial.
0 Product can be purchased for fire-rated installations or applications.
Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Manual Disappearing Ladders
(a.k.a Folding Retractable Attic Stairs)
Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Automatic Disappearing Ladders
(a.k.a Folding Retractable Attic Stairs)
0 Inclined Ladder style climbing system that disappears into the ceiling
when not in use.
0 Applications include access to roof deck, attic space or elevated
walkways.
0 This product is available in various duty ratings ranging from light
weight residential to heavy duty industrial.
0 No manual assistance.
0 Can be operated with a wall mounted keypad.
Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Automatic Disappearing Ladders
(a.k.a Folding Retractable Attic Stairs)
Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Automatic Disappearing Stairways
(a.k.a Single Piece Stringer Retractable Attic Stairs)
0 Inclined Ladder style climbing system
that disappears into the ceiling when
not in use.
0 Applications include access to attic
space or elevated walkways.
0 This product is available in various
duty ratings ranging from light weight
residential to heavy duty industrial.
0 No manual assistance.
0 Can be operated with a wall mounted
key.
Types of Fixed Access Ladders and Stairways
Automatic Electric Disappearing
Stairways
Automatic Electric Disappearing
Stairways
0 Typical Equipment
0 Emergency operation to lower the unit from above and/or below via
battery backup
0 Toggle switch

0 Optional Equipment
0 Warning buzzer to sound when stairway is in motion
0 Key switch
0 Battery back-up
Code Provisions: Disappearing Stairways
Current Code Covers
Fixed Vertical Ladders Only
Applications (Indoor or Outdoor)
0 Roof Access
0 Storage Tanks
0 Loading Docks
0 Platform Access
0 Equipment Access

0 Note:
Proposed code includes Ships Ladders


Applicable Codes : Fixed Vertical Ladders
Applicable Codes for Fixed Ladders
0 OSHA-Occupational Safety &
Health Admin.
0 ANSI-American National
Standards Institute

0 OSHA and ANSI code are
similar. The more stringent code
element in each is used as a
guideline in this presentation.

0 National codes
0 OSHA 1910.27
0 www.OSHA.gov
0 ANSI A14.3
0 www.ANSI.org

0 Websites offer easy code
reference

Note: Some states may have special code requirements
Applicable Codes : Fixed Vertical Ladders
Applicable Codes for Fixed Ladders
0 OSHA refers to ANSI but alters its version of the code.
0 Best Practice: Select manufacturers that choose to build to the more
strict of the two codes in all cases and will inform you when your ladder
can not comply with one or the other.
0 Some states may have special code requirements (example: Minnesota
Section 306.5 [Roof Equipment Access] – no vertical ladders, spiral
stairs, or half tread ships ladders. (alternating tread devices)
Manufactures will advise you on exact requirements.
Applicable Codes : Fixed Vertical Ladders
Rungs, Cleats or Treads
Loading requirements
0 Live Load per Rung
0 250 lbs. (ANSI)
0 200 lbs. (OSHA)
0 Note: Industry standard is +/- 1000 lbs.
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Rungs, Cleats or Treads
0 The requirement is to provide a burr free power grip surface. Any shape
is accepted.
0 ¾” min cross section std.
0 1” min in high corrosion areas

0 Some type of anti-slip texture is preferred but not addressed in codes.
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Rungs, Cleats or Treads
Vertical Spacing
0 12” max tread spacing uniform
throughout the climb. Does not address
the bottom rung.
0 Bottom rung must not exceed 14”
above ground (relative).
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
12” MAX
14” MAX
In order to meet code and keep ladder secure, all manufacturers offer a
security door or security gate for new construction or retrofit.
Rungs, Cleats or Treads
Placement
0 First rung is level with the exit point at
the top of the ladder.
0 Rungs descend in 12” increments.
0 Spacing must be equal.
0 Bottom rung must be within 14” of the
ground.
Top Rung Placement Detail
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Clearances (Clear Width Of Tread)
Width of Tread – 16” min clear width between side rails.

Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
16”
MIN
Clear Space Behind Ladder
Clear Space Behind Ladder
0 7” min from center line of rung to
wall or nearest object.
0 Exceptions for unavoidable
obstructions are rarely granted.
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
7”
MIN
Climber Clearance
Clear Width – 15” left and right of the center line of the ladder except
when cages are required.
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
15”
MIN
Climber Clearance
From the center line of the rung to the nearest object shall be 30” on
vertical ladders, 36” at a pitch of 76°, and on all others a proportional
distance determined by the slope. (24” with deflector plate)

Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
12” MAX
2” -6”
7”
MIN
Step Across Distance
0 The distance from the top tread
to a weight bearing surface
must be between 2-1/2” and
12”.

0 Platforms are required to gap
larger step across distances.






Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Safety Cages (OSHA)
0 Cages or wells shall be provided on
ladders of more than 20’ to a maximum
unbroken length of 30’ with the exception
of chimneys, water tanks and towers.
0 Cages shall extend a minimum of 42”
above top landing.
0 Cages shall start not less than 7’ nor
more than 8’ above the ground.
0 Cage sizes and shapes are set by code.
0 Recommended on shorter ladders in
dangerous locations (edge of building,
around machinery, in close location to
chemicals).
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Safety Cages (ANSI)
0 Cages or wells shall be provided on ladders
of more than 24’ to a maximum unbroken
length of 30’ with the exception of chimneys,
water tanks and towers.
0 Cages shall extend a minimum of 42” above
top landing.
0 Cages shall start not less than 7’ nor more
than 8’ above the ground.
0 Cage sizes and shapes are set by code.
0 Recommended on shorter ladders in
dangerous locations (edge of building,
around machinery, in close location to
chemicals).
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Landing Platforms
0 For climbs greater than 24’, landings shall be provided for each 30’ of
height or fraction thereof except where no cage, well, or ladder safety
device is provided. Landings shall be installed every 20’ of height on
these ladders. (illustrated on next side)
0 These rest platforms shall be offset at each level.
0 Rest platforms shall have handrails and toe boards on all exposed
sides.
0 Landings shall be at least 48” in length and 30” in width.
0 The ladder accessing a landing shall have its rung level with the
platform.

Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Landing Platforms - Example
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Ladder Extensions at Exits
0 Side rails shall extend above the exit
point 42” and the rungs omitted for step
through ladders (walk-thru ladders).

0 24” to 30” clear opening.

0 For side exit do not omit rungs and
continue spacing till the next rung
above 42”.

0 Standard holds true for caged ladders
as well.
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Ladder Extensions at Exits
0 If the exit is straight through,
a 42” side rail extension is
required (also called a walk-
thru, or roof over).

0 If the exit is to the left or
right, an overshoot is used.
Overshoots are at least 48”
above the top tread and the
rungs are not omitted like in
the walk-thru.
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Ladder Safety Devices
Fall Arrest Systems
0 Fall Arrest Systems can be used on a
tower, chimney, or water tank in excess
of 20’ in unbroken length in lieu of cage
protection. No landing platform is
required in these cases.
0 Rigid Rail Systems (example shown)
0 Cable / Rope Systems
0 Spool Systems
0 All systems have the climber secured
in a harness and the unit attaches to
allow free motion but prevent free fall.

Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Guard Rail System for
Stairway Opening
0 A guard rail system can be used in conjunction with an opening to
provide safety.
0 Structure shall be capable of withstanding a load of at least 200 pounds
applied in any direction at any point on the top rail.
0 OSHA code 1910.24 applies.
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Guard Rail System for
Roof Hatch Opening
0 A guard rail system can be used in conjunction with a roof hatch to
provide safety while open.
0 Structure shall be capable of withstanding a load of at least 200 pounds
applied in any direction at any point on the top rail.
0 OSHA code 1910.24 applies.
Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Ships Ladder
0 There is no code that specifies how
a ships ladder must be built or sets
a minimum or a maximum on
critical dimensions such as length,
width, tread spacing or tread depth.
0 Best practice dictates the use of
vertical ladder code as guidance.
0 OSHA & ANSI standards pertain to
round bar rung ladders – ships
ladders incorporate a tread rather
than a round bar rung. (illustrated
next slide)


No Code: Ships Ladders
Angle of Incline
0 Ladders may not have angles
greater than 90°
0 Preferred pitch – 76° to 90°
0 Substandard pitch (inclined, ships
ladder) – 60° to 75°

0 Fixed stairway pitch – 30° to 50°
(different than disappearing stairway)

Code Provisions: Fixed Vertical Ladders
Angled (Inclined) Ladder
Comparison
Standard Production Ships Ladder vs. OSHA/ANSI Test Ladder
No Code: Ships Ladders
Disappearing Stairways
0 The following slides deal with Disappearing Stairways
(Both Manual and Automatic Electric).

0 Manual models are available for applications that require up to a 2-Hour
Fire Rated ceiling.

0 Governing code ANSI A14.9 (Code is mostly residential but does
address commercial applications.)
Code Provisions: Disappearing Stairways
ANSI A14.9
0 Load Rating: 200-350 pounds residential
500 pounds commercial
0 Tread Depth: 3” minimum residential
5” minimum commercial
0 Tread Width: 11” minimum residential
15” minimum commercial
0 Angle:
All disappearing climbing devices must be 66° or less from the horizontal.
0 Material:
Any (typical - wood, aluminum, or steel)
Code Provisions: Disappearing Stairways
Manual Disappearing Stairway
(Folding)
Can be installed in various
types of ceiling assemblies.
0 Truss ceilings
0 Suspended ceilings

Check with
manufacturer
sizing.
Code Provisions: Disappearing Stairways
Manual Disappearing Stairways
0 Fire-Rated
0 Non-Rated
0 Placement
0 Roof access (with hatch)
0 Attic access
0 Through ceilings to other level,
including fire-rated ceilings

0 Advantage: Can be shipped as a
complete assembly as shown
here. (roof hatch & disappearing
stairway ready to install into
opening)



Code Provisions: Disappearing Stairways
Frames for Disappearing Stairway
Frame Types:
0 Box
0 Deep Box
0 Deep Angle
Check with
manufacturer
sizing.
Code Provisions: Disappearing Stairways
Automatic Disappearing Stairways
0 The Automatic Electric Stairway
can be opened or closed with a
simple toggle switch. The unit
can be supplied with a key
operated switch in areas where
security is important.
0 The units can be fabricated with
a custom frame to accommodate
dropped ceilings.

Code Provisions: Disappearing Stairways
Horizontal Fire Test of
a Disappearing Stairway
0 Fire-Rated Test
Unit tested in these images was installed in a complete
ceiling assembly.

Check with
manufacturer
for Fire-Rated
Label
Testing oven
Inside oven during the
test 1 hour at 1700
degrees
At the end of test –
red hot door
After the 2-hour test at 1800
degrees – still fully functional!
Code Provisions: Disappearing Stairways
Applicable Fire Rating Codes
0 ASTM E-119:
Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and
Materials
0 UBC 43-7:
0 Revised to 43-2
0 Fire Test of Door Assemblies
0 IBC:
0 406.1.4 Fire Separation
0 711.3.2 Access Doors
0 315.2.4 Attic
Code Provisions: Disappearing Stairways
Applicable Codes for
Fire Separated Ceilings
0 2003 / 2006 IBC contains language which has made the use of a fire-
rated ceiling more common.
0 Fire-rated disappearing stairways are available.
Proliferation of
2003 / 2006 IBC
Applicable Codes
Code Provisions: Disappearing Stairways
Manual Disappearing Stairways
Fire-Door Installation Detail
Code Provisions: Disappearing Stairways
Summary
When incorporating Access Ladders & Stairways into your next project,
remember:
1. Determine which type of access ladder or stairway is needed for your
application.
2. Incorporate access ladders and stairways into the design
development phase of building.
3. Always use manufacturers who build access ladders and stairways to
OSHA and ANSI design criteria.


Conclusion
Course Summary
Now the design professional will be able to:
0 Identify the types of fixed access ladders and disappearing stairways.
0 Describe applications for each type of fixed ladder or disappearing
stairway.
0 List the applicable building code considerations.
0 Explain the options for fire-rated & non-rated disappearing stairways.
Conclusion
4188 East Andrew Johnson Highway
Morristown, TN 37814
800-225-7814
education@precisionladders.com
© Ron Blank & Associates, Inc. 2013
Super Simplex Disappearing Stairway
Automatic Electric Disappearing Stairway
Automatic Super Simplex
FL Series Wall Ladders
SL Series Ships Ladders
Roof Hatches