Platform Stairs

Platform stairs

These stairs include a platform at the top and sometimes in the middle, depending on the height. They are often used for maintenance access.

Platform stairs in industrial settings incorporate landings or platforms into their design, typically at intervals based on the height and length of the staircase.

What are primary uses?

  1. Break in Elevation Change: Platform stairs provide a break in the continuous run of the stairs. This can help make the stairs safer and less strenuous to use, particularly in situations where the stairs cover a significant change in height.
  2. Access Between Levels: Like all stairs, the main purpose of platform stairs is to provide access between different floors or levels in an industrial setting such as factories, warehouses, or other industrial facilities.
  3. Rest Areas: The platforms can provide areas for people to rest during the climb, especially in cases where the stairs cover a large vertical distance.
  4. Emergency Exits: Platform stairs are commonly used in emergency exits, as the platforms provide areas where people can move aside to let others pass in the case of an evacuation.
  5. Turn Points: The platforms in these stairs are often used as turn points where the stairs change direction, making efficient use of space.
  6. Loading and Unloading Points: In some instances, platform stairs can provide loading and unloading points for goods or materials at different levels in an industrial facility.
  7. Maintenance Access: Platform stairs can be used to provide access to machinery, equipment, or systems that need regular maintenance or inspection, with platforms serving as staging or work areas.
  8. Observation Points: Platforms can also serve as observation points in a factory or warehouse setting, allowing supervisors or other personnel to oversee operations.

As with all types of stairs, platform stairs must comply with safety regulations and standards to ensure the safety of the people using them. This includes specifications for the design and construction of the stairs and platforms, the use of handrails, and more.

Platform stairs are used in industrial settings to provide access to different levels. OSHA has set forth certain standards for these types of stairs to ensure the safety of workers. Here are the key requirements for OSHA-compliant industrial platform stairs:


  1. Stair Width: The minimum clear width of stairs at and below the handrail height, including treads and landings, should be at least 22 inches.
  2. Angle: Fixed industrial stairs should be inclined to the horizontal at an angle between 30 to 50 degrees.
  3. Treads and Risers: All stairs should have uniform riser heights and tread widths. Risers should be between 6 to 7.5 inches, and treads should be at least 10 inches.
  4. Platform: The platform at the top of the stairs should be at least as wide as the stairway and a minimum of 30 inches in length along the direction of travel.
  5. Guarding: The platform should be guarded by a standard railing on all open sides except where it is an entrance to a ramp, stairway, or fixed ladder. The railing should be at least 42 inches high, and the intermediate rail should be approximately halfway between the top rail and the platform surface.
  6. Surface: The stair treads and platform surface should be slip-resistant to prevent slipping and falling.
  7. Handrails: If the stairs have four or more risers or rise more than 30 inches, whichever is less, handrails should be provided. If the width of the stairs exceeds 44 inches, handrails on both sides are required. If the stairway is more than 88 inches wide, it should have an intermediate handrail every 44 inches.
  8. Loading: The platform and stairs should be able to carry a load of 50 pounds per square foot.
  9. Vertical Clearance: There should be at least 6 feet, 8 inches of vertical clearance above any stair tread or platform to any overhead obstruction.
  10. Visibility and Maintenance: Stairs and platforms should be well lit and free of any hazardous objects, debris, or materials that could pose a tripping or slipping hazard.

As always, these are general guidelines, and actual OSHA regulations or other jurisdictional regulations should be referenced or a safety professional consulted when designing or inspecting workplace stairs.

Platform stairs that are compliant with both OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and IBC (International Building Code) guidelines incorporate specific features aimed at ensuring user safety and accessibility. Here are key features of OSHA and IBC compliant platform stairs:


  1. Stair Width: The IBC requires that stair width be at least 44 inches for buildings that can hold more than 50 people, and 36 inches for buildings holding fewer than 50 people. OSHA, on the other hand, requires a minimum stair width of 22 inches.
  2. Treads and Risers: According to the IBC, the maximum riser height must not exceed 7 inches, and the minimum tread depth should be 11 inches. For industrial stairs, OSHA requires risers to be between 6.5 and 10 inches and tread depth to be a minimum of 9.5 inches.
  3. Landings: Both OSHA and IBC require landings at certain intervals. For IBC, landings are required at the top and bottom of the stairs and every 12 feet of vertical rise. The landing’s width and length should be at least as wide as the stairs.
  4. Handrails: For stairs with four or more risers, handrails are necessary. The IBC specifies that handrail height should be between 34 and 38 inches, while OSHA requires them to be between 30 and 37 inches, unless the stairs are being used by children.
  5. Guardrails: Both OSHA and IBC require guardrails on the open sides of stairways to prevent falls. IBC requires that guardrails be at least 42 inches high, while OSHA stipulates a height of between 42 inches and 45 inches.
  6. Non-slip Surfaces: OSHA requires that stair treads should be slip-resistant to avoid accidents.

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