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Key definitions
  • Key definitions for stairways are found in this section.

Alternating tread-type stair means a type of stairway consisting of a series of treads that usually are attached to a center support in an alternating manner such that an employee typically does not have both feet on the same level while using the stairway.

Handrail means a rail used to provide employees with a handhold for support.

Open riser means the gap or space between treads of stairways that do not have upright or inclined members (risers).

Ship stair (ship ladder) means a stairway that is equipped with treads, stair rails, and open risers, and has a slope that is between 50 and 70 degrees from the horizontal.

Spiral stairs means a series of treads attached to a vertical pole in a winding fashion, usually within a cylindrical space.

Stair rail or stair rail system means a barrier erected along the exposed or open side of stairways to prevent employees from falling to a lower level.

Stairway (stairs) means risers and treads that connect one level with another, and includes any landings and platforms in between those levels. Stairways include standard, spiral, alternating tread-type, and ship stairs.

Standard stairs means a fixed or permanently installed stairway. Ship, spiral, and alternating tread-type stairs are not considered standard stairs.

Tread means a horizontal member of a stair or stairway, but does not include landings or platforms.