A crossover stair, or an industrial crossover or crossover bridge, is a special type of stairway system commonly used in industrial or manufacturing facilities. The primary purpose of a crossover stair is to provide a safe, convenient means of passage over obstructions or dangerous work areas, like conveyors, pipes, ductwork, or machinery. This enables employees to move from one part of the facility to another without risking injury or interrupting the workflow.
Crossover stairs are specialized stair systems used in industrial or manufacturing environments that provide safe and efficient passage over obstructions or hazardous work areas like conveyors, pipes, or machinery.
A crossover stair generally has two sets of stairs—one to ascend, the other to descend—with a top platform bridging the gap over the obstruction. They are typically built from durable, industrial-grade materials like steel or aluminum that withstand heavy use and harsh environments. The steps and platform often have non-slip surfaces to reduce the risk of slips and falls.
What are the primary uses?
- Safety: One of the most critical functions of crossover stairs is to ensure the safety of workers. They provide a secure and stable way to navigate obstacles such as conveyors, pipes, machinery, or other potentially hazardous areas. This reduces the risk of trips, falls, or other accidents if workers navigate these obstacles without a crossover.
- Efficiency and Productivity: Crossover stairs can significantly improve workflow efficiency in a facility. Providing a direct route over obstructions can reduce workers’ time navigating these obstacles. This can boost productivity and make operations more efficient.
- Access to Elevated Areas: In some facilities, crossover stairs may provide access to elevated workstations, platforms, or equipment.
- Regulatory Compliance: Occupational health and safety regulations in many jurisdictions require safe means of access and workplace egress. Crossover stairs can help meet these requirements.
- Prevention of Equipment Damage: Crossover stairs can also prevent damage to equipment. Without them, workers might be tempted to walk directly on conveyors, pipes, or other equipment, potentially causing damage or wear.
- Space Management: Crossover stairs are designed to optimize space usage. They can provide access over obstacles without significantly increasing the facility’s footprint, which can be crucial in a crowded industrial environment.
Like any safety equipment, crossover stairs should be professionally designed, installed, and regularly maintained to ensure they provide safe and effective service.
To comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations in the United States, crossover stairs must meet several criteria:
- Height and Depth of Steps: OSHA regulations specify the appropriate height and depth of the steps. This usually means a maximum riser height of 9.5 inches and a minimum tread depth of 9.5 inches for industrial stairs.
- Stair Width: OSHA requires stairways to be at least 22 inches wide.
- Guardrails: OSHA standards require guardrails on both sides of the stairway to prevent falls. The rails should be between 30 and 37 inches tall, and a mid-rail must be halfway up.
- Handrails: Industrial stairs used by many people simultaneously need handrails on both sides, which must withstand a force of 200 pounds applied in any direction.
- Slip-Resistant Surfaces: All walking surfaces, including stairs and platforms, must be slip-resistant to prevent accidents.
- Platform Size: According to OSHA, the platform’s length should equal the width of the widest stairway leading to it, and it should be able to hold the maximum intended load and the number of personnel.
- Stair Angle: OSHA specifies that the preferred angle for a stairway lies between 30 and 50 degrees.
Remember, different jurisdictions and types of industrial settings might have additional or slightly different safety regulations. Always consult the appropriate safety authority for the specific requirements in a given location or situation.