March 15, 2017

If you’re shopping around for warehouse stairs or ladders in Denver, there are some things you should probably know about the legal requirements before you make your purchase. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has very specific rules for these pieces of equipment. Failing to maintain compliance with these requirements could result in fines totaling close to $12,500 per violation.

Understanding the Risks

The use of stairways and ladders is an integral part of warehouse operations. Still, it’s important to acknowledge that there are potentially hazardous risks involved. Stairways and ladders are one of the main sources of injuries for construction workers. Some cases of injury are serious enough to where they require workers to take time off from the job and can even be fatal.

OSHA Health & Safety Guidelines

The guidelines established by OSHA are meant to help businesses maintain compliance with OSHA standards and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Their intent is to help prevent workplace accidents and injuries. These rules apply to all stairways and ladders used in construction, alteration, repair, decoration, and demolition. By maintaining compliance, you can help reduce the chances of employee accident and injury from occurring in your warehouse.

A Brief Overview

The rules for warehouse stairs and ladders vary depending on the specific type of equipment used and its intended purpose, though there are some general guidelines. Below we’ve outlined some of these regulations so you can gain a general understanding of the requirements. Please note that this list is neither exact nor comprehensive and that actual regulations should be referred to at all times.

  1. Employers must provide a stairway or ladder at all points of access where there is a break in elevation of 19 inches or more and no ramp, runway, or hoist exists.
  2. If there is only one point of access between levels, it must be kept clear of obstacles at all times to allow for free passage. If this passage becomes restricted, a second point of access must be provided and used by workers.
  3. When there are more than two points of access between levels, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that at least one remains clear.
  4. Stairway and ladder fall protection systems required by these rules must be installed.
  5. Employers must ensure that their worksite meets all requirements for stairways and ladders before employees use them.

You can gain access to the complete list of OSHA requirements for stairs and ladders here: or visit their website for more information.

Advice on Warehouse Stairs & Ladders

If you would like additional advice on stairs and ladders or other warehouse equipment, please contact our office. The Porta Power team is fully committed to helping you with all your warehouse needs. We work hard to maintain the reputation as the number one material handling company in Denver. Call our office today to speak to a consultant about the requirements for warehouse stairs and ladders in Denver.