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A fixed ladder
is a vertical ladder
A ladder is a vertical or inclined set of rungs or steps. There are two types: rigid ladders that can be leaned against a vertical surface such as a wall, and rope ladders that are hung from the top. The vertical members of a rigid ladder are called stringers or stiles . Rigid ladders are usually...
mounted permanently to a structure
Structure is a fundamental, tangible or intangible notion referring to the recognition, observation, nature, and permanence of patterns and relationships of entities. This notion may itself be an object, such as a built structure, or an attribute, such as the structure of society...
. These ladders are primarily used to access roof
A roof is the covering on the uppermost part of a building. A roof protects the building and its contents from the effects of weather. Structures that require roofs range from a letter box to a cathedral or stadium, dwellings being the most numerous....
s or other structures for industrial purposes. In the United States, these ladders are covered by OSHA
The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. It was created by Congress of the United States under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, signed by President Richard M. Nixon, on December 29, 1970...
The American National Standards Institute is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. The organization also coordinates U.S. standards with international...
Fixed ladders consist of the following components:
- Rungs: all fixed ladders have rungs, dictated by OSHA Standard 1910.27(b)(1)(ii) of no more than 12" on center (measured as the distance from the centerline of a rung to the center line of the next rung), and at 16" clear width.
- Side members: These are the rails on the side of the ladder that are designed that the foot cannot slip off the end.
- Stand-off brackets: Dictated by OSHA Standard 1910.27(c)(4) stand-off brackets must be at least 7" longer than the farthest obstruction for clearance on the back side of ladder. This means that if there is a 4" gutter projecting from the side of a building, a fixed ladder would have to have standoff brackets that were at least 11" (7" + 4") in length.
- Cages: Cages are optional for fixed ladders with a floor to floor elevation of less than 20', however they are often available for ladders with elevation changes down to 11'. Cages are mandated to begin between 7' and 8' from the ground and extend the entire length of the ladder. Cages can have left hand exits (opening in the LH side of cage), right hand exits(opening in RH side of cage), top exits (for exit through a hatch or floor door), and walk through exits (for exit through back side of fixed ladder).
Fixed ladders are generally made of steel or aluminum, but can be reinforced polymer, stainless steel, hot dipped galvanized, or wood.