These are compact and space-saving, often used in tight industrial settings or to provide secondary access.
Spiral industrial stairs are characterized by their helical design, which winds around a central post. While not as common as straight or angled stairs, they are utilized in certain industrial environments for their space-saving design.
What are the primary uses?
- Space Efficiency: Spiral stairs are a great solution for tight spaces. They have a smaller footprint compared to other types of stairs, making them ideal for areas where space is limited.
- Access to Elevated Platforms: They are often used to provide access to elevated platforms, machinery, or equipment in factories or warehouses.
- Access Between Floors: Like other types of stairs, spiral stairs can also provide access between different floors in an industrial building, particularly when space is restricted.
- Emergency Exits: In certain situations, spiral stairs may form part of an emergency exit route, particularly in smaller or more compact facilities.
- Maintenance Access: Spiral stairs can provide access to areas that require maintenance, especially in cases where the machinery or equipment is located in a tight space where a straight or angled stairway wouldn’t fit.
- Observation Decks or Control Rooms: In some cases, spiral stairs may be used to provide access to observation decks or control rooms that oversee the operations of a factory or warehouse.
- Architectural Interest: In addition to their practical uses, spiral stairs can also add architectural interest to a facility, offering a unique design element in an industrial setting.
Despite their space-saving advantage, spiral stairs are not suitable for all situations due to their steepness and the difficulty of navigating them, particularly when carrying loads. As with all industrial stairs, they should meet safety standards to ensure safe use.
Spiral stairs, also known as circular stairs, are used in various industrial settings due to their compact and space-saving design. When it comes to spiral stairs in industrial settings, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) doesn’t provide specific guidelines, but general standards apply.
Here are some key features that should be included in OSHA-compliant spiral stairs:
- Treads and Risers: Like with any other type of stairs, spiral stairs must have uniform riser heights and tread widths. For spiral stairs, the tread depth should be at least 7.5 inches at a point 12 inches from the narrower edge. All treads must be identical, and the rise between treads must not exceed 9.5 inches.
- Stair Width: The minimum clear width at and below the handrail, including treads, should be at least 22 inches.
- Handrails: Spiral stairs must have a handrail on the outer side that is between 34 and 38 inches in height. Handrails must also have an appropriate shape that can be grasped firmly to provide support and prevent falls.
- Headroom: Although OSHA doesn’t specify a requirement for headroom, it is generally considered good practice to provide at least 6 feet, 6 inches of headroom for spiral staircases, similar to the general building code requirement.
- Surface: Treads must have a slip-resistant surface to prevent slips and falls.
- Landings: A landing must be provided at the top and bottom of the stairs and should be at least the width of the stairway. The landing length should be a minimum of 30 inches in the direction of travel.
- Loading: Spiral stairs should be able to support at least five times the normal anticipated live load, but never less than a concentrated load of 1,000 pounds applied to any area of 4 square inches.
- Guarding: If there are more than four risers, guarding is required. Guardrails should be at least 42 inches high.
- Visibility and Maintenance: As with other stair designs, steps should be distinctly marked and well-lit. Stairs should be kept in a safe and clean condition, free of debris or other slipping/tripping hazards.
Please note that this is just a general guide and may not cover every detail of the OSHA requirements. Always refer to the latest standards from OSHA or consult with a safety professional to ensure full compliance.