Five Critical OSHA Standards for Portable Stairs

Categories: Dumpster Access, Handrail, OSHA, Platforms, Ramps, Safety Access, Stairs

Selecting the right safety equipment means considering all aspects of the product. For instance, investing in portable steps to prevent slips, trips, and falls will require a review of the equipment as a unit. Here’s a checklist of what to look for in moveable safety steps:

1. Does the tread rise meet OSHA standards?

    • Riser height should be 5 to 9 inches
    • Stair width minimum should be 22 inches between vertical barriers
    • Tread depth should be a minimum of 10-14 inches
    • Tread nosing shall be straight leading edges
    • Stair landings shall be at least 20 inches deep

2. Does the unit have guardrails?

  • Any working surface (platform) 4 feet or higher must be protected with guardrails on all sides; the guardrails should be at least 42” tall
  • Do the guardrails cover all open gaps?
  • If the unit abuts a solid structure, are chain guards present?

3. Is the platform height within 4x its base width?

  • Is there an outrigger connected to the platform such as a ramp or stairs that can add stability to the platform and increase the base width safely?

4. Are the stairs at least 16” wide, 7” deep, and have no more than 9” of rise between them?

  • Are the steps uniformly spaced and arranged?

5. Has the platform been tested to 4x its rated capacity?

When shopping for portable stairs, don’t be tempted to purchase based on price. Since you’re providing safety access equipment for your employees, go beyond a quick buy online and make sure the equipment you choose meets OSHA standards. The cost of one workers’ compensation claim, time lost, and productivity lost stands out in sharp relief against a non-standard internet “special”.

However, by using this checklist to ensure your portal stairs conform to OSHA standards, you can choose safety access equipment that serves its purpose — to provide ergonomic access for employees. Your investment in the right product, such as the Dumpster Access stair and ramp units, will pay dividends by helping keep your employees safe and on the job.