When most folks think of Unistrut Service Company, they think about our flagship products—the metal framing strut, fittings, and related hardware we’ve sold since 1940. We are always on the lookout for complimentary products that may be of value to our customers, and we recently added fixed access ladders to our suite of solutions.
Fixed access ladders have been around for ages, and if you look carefully at different manufacturers, you won’t find much difference beyond price. Most “stock” access ladders come in similar lengths and widths, and all of the leading manufacturers offer accessories such as ladder guards, swing gates, and P Returns. These same manufacturers use the same methodology to connect the ladder to the building—welded stand-off brackets with holes for the anchors used secure the ladder.
The problem with fixed stand-off brackets is in the name—they are fixed—and as such, if they need to be moved or modified for any reason, you are looking at re-fabricating your ladder.
There are two basic ways that fixed stand-offs can create trouble. The first scenario is driven by changes to OSHA regulations for fixed ladders. OSHA 1910.23(d)(2) states that the minimum perpendicular distance from the centerline of the steps or rungs, or grab bars, or both, to the nearest permanent object in back of the ladder is 7 inches (18 cm).
OSHA made this change to ensure a worker’s footing during a climb. If you look at the picture below, you’ll notice that conduit lines running between the wall and the ladder provide minimal footing on the rung.
If you have a ladder scenario as shown above, you would have two options to ensure OSHA compliance: removing the existing stand-offs, and welding longer stand off brackets to the ladder to increase the distance between the wall and the rung, or starting from scratch with a new ladder with longer stand offs.
You can also encounter situations where the location of welded stand-offs won’t ensure a suitable mounting surface. Classic examples of this include obstructions such as pipe or conduit located in the precise location where you are looking to anchor the ladder to the wall.
One of the features of our new patent pending EZ Series Fixed Access Ladders–Easy Up Technology, which includes adjustable, bolt-on stand-offs–offers a fast and easy work around for the obstructions shown in the pictures above:
Achieving the MINIMUM 7-inch perpendicular clerance is easy thanks to the design of the EZ series fixed ladder.
Another advantage of our new fixed access ladders is the hole pattern running the entire length of each side rail section. In the event of a horizontal obstruction running between the wall and the ladder, simply select a different series of mounting holes and bolt the stand-offs in the desired location. A poorly placed run of conduit or pipe doesn’t have to mean removing the stand-off and field welding to work around the interference anymore! Roof access ladders are now made EZ!
To learn more about the features and pricing of our new, EZ Fixed Ladder Series, visit the access ladder section of our website, download our brochure, or contact Unistrut Service Company for further assistance.