OSHA-Compliant Ship Ladders – Alaco Ladder Company

OSHA-Compliant Ship Ladders

OSHA Compliant Ship Ladder SpecsWhen shopping for aluminum ship ladders, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) imposes several safety and structural guidelines. Overlooking them could get you in trouble with health and safety inspectors. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot just install cheap, random ladders on business premises, especially if you manage several workers regularly. You need OSHA-compliant ship ladders.

OSHA generally defines ship ladders by their measurements. Under standard number 1910.21(b), ship stairs or ladders have open risers, rails, and treads that horizontally slope between 50° to 70°. Note that they don’t fall under standard stairs.

Alaco Aluminum Ships Ladders have a reputation of being among the sturdiest in the industry. Using only high-quality, high-strength 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum alloy, our OSHA-compliant exterior ladders and OSHA-compliant roof access ladders are manufactured for extra safety and longer life, while meeting strict industry standards.

Virtually maintenance-free, our aluminum OSHA-compliant ship ladders never need painting and offer superior scratch resistance to ladders constructed of lower-grade alloy or steel. Additionally, every ladder is designed to fit specific conditions, (using standardized components) for flexibility and efficiency. Our OSHA-compliant exterior ladders and OSHA-compliant roof access ladders are designed for a fixed, permanent installation utilizing Alaco heavy-duty aluminum brackets.


Standard 1910.25(b)(1) requires OSHA-compliant ship ladders to have railings on each side. Handrails and guardrails will make climbing steep treads much easier, especially for your less mobile, flexible workers. OSHA rarely allows the lack of rails. If you demonstrate that attaching handrails only compromises your workspace further, you must propose an alternative fall protection system.

1910.25(b)(3) and (4)

We ensure that our OSHA-compliant exterior ladders and OSHA-compliant roof access ladders have uniform tread depths and riser heights. Unusually shaped or placed steps can cause accidents, especially in hectic spaces where workers move quickly.

Also, all platforms and landings equal the width of the stair. If you need to place them beside an entryway, we can adjust the platform so that an open door compromises less than 20″.


Aluminum ship ladder models have varying load limits. However, OSHA requires that each step should have the capacity to support at least a concentrated load of 1,000 lbs. or five times its intended load, whichever is smaller. For instance, let’s say your aluminum ship ladder has a manufacturer-rated capacity of 500 lbs. It should withstand loads lighter than 1,500 lbs.

Fortunately, our OSHA-compliant exterior ladders and OSHA-compliant roof access ladders consist of heavy-duty, aircraft-grade alloy capable of withstanding more than the minimum weight limit. They won’t buckle even if a hefty adult male carrying several tools climbs them.

1910.25(c)(2), (3), and (4)

Our OSHA-compliant ship ladders meet all the minimum height and width requirements and then some. They have a minimum tread depth and width of 9.5″ and 22″, respectively, while the riser height also caps at 9.5″.

1910.25(d)(1), (2), (3), and (4)

As for spiral stairs, the maximum riser height stops at 9.5″ as well. However, the minimum clear width, headroom clearance, and tread depth measurements are 26″, 6’ 6″, and 7.5″, accordingly.

Using Aluminum Ship Ladders and Stairs

You can’t use aluminum ship ladder models in a typical office setting, but they’re a popular choice in industrial work environments. Our units consume less space, accommodate 1,000+ pounds, and require minimal maintenance. You can use our OSHA-compliant exterior ladders and OSHA-compliant roof access ladders for roof hatch and mezzanine access.

However, OSHA advises employers to use ship stairs sparingly. Although they’re efficient and convenient, their steeper treads make them slightly more dangerous to use. Mobility-impaired users can’t maneuver these steps. Standard number 1910.25(b)(8) even dictates that employers must first prove the impracticality of standard stairs before installing ship ladders.

Get Quality, Top-Grade OSHA-Compliant Ship Ladders

Invest in top-grade aluminum ship ladders. Your workers will regularly use them while carrying heavy items, so it’s imperative to have a heavy-duty unit. If you continue using a non-compliant unit, not only will you end up wasting money, but you’ll also endanger your staff.

Contact us at Alaco Ladder Company for more information on our available OSHA-compliant ship ladders. We have dozens of roof hatch and mezzanine access stairs. Just call (888) 310-7040, and our personable sales team will explain your options.

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