Cage Ladders and Platform Ladders

Exterior ladders are fixed staircases that let you scale the outside of your property. You can use them to climb towers and tanks. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that staircases only classify as exterior ladders if they don’t exceed 20 feet; otherwise, they’ll have to be cage ladders or platform ladders, which follow a new set of standards. After all, climbing a staircase over 20 feet requires extra safety measures.

If you’re unsure what OSHA standards to follow, don’t worry—we can help. Structures that need an “exterior ladder” exceeding 20 feet will likely need one of the following options:

If you need a fixed stairway that exceeds 20 feet, look into cage ladders. They look exactly like exterior ladders, but guardrails surround the rail and rungs about 10 feet up the staircase. The actual basket consists of seven 0.25″ x 2″ hoops riveted around vertical bars.Alaco Cages for fixed access ladders offer added safety for climbs higher than 20 feet. Made of the same aircraft-grade aluminum alloy as the ladders themselves, cages use 1/4″ x 2″ hoops riveted to seven 3/16″ x 1-1/2″ vertical bars for optimal structural stability. All cages come in standard mill finish.

As for OSHA compliance, our aluminum cage ladders abide by the following standard numbers:


OSHA standard 1917.118(e)(5)(i) requires aluminum cage ladders to have a durable, rigid barricade that prevents people from falling. Fortunately, our aluminum alloy guardrails can support thousands of pounds. Also, we welded the joints properly to prevent dislodging due to general wear and tear damages. You won’t worry about the barrier suddenly buckling.


Rigid, sturdy cage ladders prevent falls. However, OSHA standard 1917.118(e)(5)(ii) prohibits rough, jagged cages because they might puncture the skin. If someone falls hard against the structure, they might get seriously injured.In line with this standard, Alaco Ladder Company uses aluminum alloy barriers with smooth, even surfaces for our aluminum cage ladders. You can lean your body against them without getting scraped.

1917.118(e)(5)(iii) and (iv)

The 1917.118(e)(5)(iii) and (iv) standard requires cage ladders to stretch a minimum of 36″ above overhead landings. Also, they must be at least eight feet tall. However, note that you can’t take the highway if your ladder extends 20 feet; otherwise, it will obstruct traffic.

Platform Ladders

Think of aluminum platform ladders as portable exterior ladders that exceed OSHA’s 20-foot limit. You can use them to scale ladders and structures exceeding 30 feet, such as billboards, signages, telephone lines, and mid-rise buildings. However, note that platform ladder heights aren’t adjustable.As its name suggests, the most defining feature of a platform ladder is its broad platform, which you can use as a foothold. Platforms only have space for one person. However, they should leave enough leeway for mid-sized tools and equipment, plus any additional safety harnesses and gear.Alaco Platforms for fixed access ladders – required at every 30-foot interval – give users a secure resting area when climbing very tall ladders. Special brackets ensure secure mounting of the platform, which is enclosed with round, serrated tube railings.

Rugged Grip Strut® floor grating allows for safer footing and is virtually self-cleaning. All platforms come in standard mill finish.

Our aluminum platform ladders at Alaco Ladder Company meet the following OSHA standards:


Aluminum platform ladders can extend beyond 30 feet. However, OSHA requires that they must install at least one platform capable of supporting 100 lbs. per square foot at the 30-foot mark. However, note that 1917.118(e)(2)(iv) eliminates this requirement for aluminum cage ladders. If you have a sturdy, OSHA-compliant barrier, you can operate without platforms installed every 30 feet.


Again, platform ladders can go beyond 20 feet if they have a platform at 30-foot marks. However, self-retracting ladders must cap at 150 feet. We don’t think this should be an issue because 150 feet already equals a 10-floor building, which would already require scaffolding to climb.Buy Quality Aluminum Platform Ladders and Aluminum Cage LaddersYour workers will use cage and aluminum platform ladders to reach towering heights over 20 to 30 feet, so don’t skimp on quality. Poorly made ladders could spell the difference between life and death. Invest in nothing other than high-quality, durable products from Alaco Ladder Company.Whether you need fixed aluminum cage ladders or portable platform ladders, we’ve got you covered. Our company carries dozens of premium ladder units made of aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, which can easily comply with the standard weight requirements for ladders and then some. Call us at (888) 310-7040. Our team will help you decide which of our models best suits your industrial and commercial ladder needs.


  • Designed for maximum safety, comfort and support
  • Custom engineered with standard parts and components, to meet any condition, at the lowest cost.
  • Quick, responsive service from our staff of experts, for fast quotes and fast shipments.


560-C Roof Hatch Access

560-CP Roof Hatch Access

561-C Handrails Over Roof Ladders

561-CP Handrails Over Roof

561-SE-CP Side Exit

561-SE-C Side Exit

562-C Roof Return

562-CP Roof Return

563-C Parapet Return

563-CP Parapet Return With Rest Platform

564-C Parapet Return

564-CP Parapet Return With Rest Platform

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