The following general requirements apply to all stair rails:
_ Stairways with four or more risers or rising more than 30 inches (76 cm) in height— whichever is less must be installed along each unprotected side or edge. When the top edge of a stair rail system also serves as a handrail, the height of the top edge must be no more than 37 inches (94 cm) nor less than 36 inches (91.5 cm) from the upper surface of the stair rail to the surface of the tread.
_ Stair rails installed after March 15,1991, must be not less than 36 inches (91.5 cm) in height.
_ Top edges of stair rail systems used as handrails must not be more than 37 inches (94 cm) high nor less than 36 inches (91.5 cm) from the upper surface of the stair rail system to the surface of the tread. (If installed before March 15, 1991, not less than 30 inches [76 cm]).
_ Stair rail systems and handrails must be surfaced to prevent injuries such as punctures or lacerations and to keep clothing from snagging.
_ Ends of stair rail systems and handrails must be built to prevent dangerous projections, such as rails protruding beyond the end posts of the system. In addition,
_ Unprotected sides and edges of stairway landings must have standard 42-inch (1.1 m)
_ Intermediate vertical members, such as balusters used as guardrails, must not be more than 19 inches (48 cm) apart.
_ Other intermediate structural members, when used, must be installed so that no openings are more than 19 inches (48 cm) wide.
_ Screens or mesh, when used, must extend from the top rail to the stairway step and along the opening between top rail supports.
Requirements for handrails are as follows:
_ Handrails and top rails of the stair rail systems must be able to withstand, without failure, at least 200 pounds (890 n) of weight applied within 2 inches (5 cm) of the top edge in any downward or outward direction, at any point along the top edge.
_ Handrails must not be more than 37 inches (94 cm) high nor less than 30 inches (76 cm) from the upper surface of the handrail to the surface of the tread.
_ Handrails must provide an adequate handhold for employees to grasp to prevent falls.
_ Temporary handrails must have a minimum clearance of 3 inches (8 cm) between the
handrail and walls, stair rail systems and other objects.
_ Stairways with four or more risers, or that rise more than 30 inches (76 cm) in height—
whichever is less—must have at least one handrail.
_ Winding or spiral stairways must have a handrail to prevent use of areas where the
tread width is less than 6 inches (15 cm).
Midrails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members or equivalent intermediate structural members must be provided between the top rail and stairway steps to the stair rail system. When midrails are used, they must be located midway between the top of the stair rail system and the stairway steps.
If the total length of the climb on a fixed ladder equals or exceeds 24 feet (7.3 m), the ladder must be equipped with ladder safety devices; or self-retracting lifelines and rest platforms at intervals not to exceed 150 feet (45.7 m); or a cage or well and multiple ladder sections with each ladder section not to exceed 50 feet (15.2 m) in length. These ladder sections must be offset from adjacent sections and landing platforms must be provided at maximum intervals of 50 feet (15.2 m). In addition, fixed ladders must meet the following requirements:
_ Fixed ladders must be able to support at least two loads of 250 pounds (114 kg) each, concentrated between any two consecutive support added anticipated loads caused by ice buildup,
_ Wood ladders must not be coated with any
opaque covering except for identification or warning labels, which may be placed only on
one face of a side rail.Note: A competent person must inspect ladders for visible defects periodically and after any incident that could affect their safe use. edge of a landing area must be no less than 7 inches (18 cm) and no more than 12 inches (30 cm). A landing platform must be provided if the step-across distance exceeds 12 inches (30 cm).
_ Fixed ladders without cages or wells must have at least a 15-inch (38 cm) clearance width to the nearest permanent object on each side of the centerline of the ladder.
_ Fixed ladders must be provided with cages, wells, ladder safety devices or self-retracting
lifelines where the length of climb is less than 24 feet (7.3 m) but the top of the ladder is at a distance greater than 24 feet (7.3 m) above lower levels.
_ Side rails of through or side-step fixed ladders must extend 42 inches (1.1 m) above the top level or landing platform served by the ladder.
Parapet ladders must have an access level at the roof if the parapet is cut to permit passage through it. If the parapet is continuous, the access level is the top of the parapet.
_ Steps or rungs for through-fixed-ladder extensions must be omitted from the extension; and the extension of side rails must be flared to provide between 24 inches (61 cm) and 30 inches (76 cm) clearance between side rails.
_ When safety devices are provided, the maximum clearance distance between side rail extensions must not exceed 36 inches (91 cm).
_ Fixed ladders must be used at a pitch no greater than 90 degrees from the horizontal,
measured from the back side of the ladder.