Handrail is a rail that is designed to be grasped by the hand so as to provide stability or support. Handrails are commonly used while ascending or descending stairways and escalators in order to prevent injurious falls. Handrails are typically supported by posts or mounted directly to walls.
ELEMENTS OF A HANDRAILS
Bannister (handrail) – The element of the stair for holding. Steel staircases can have one, two, or no bannister at all. In the case of larger staircases there can be one (or multiple) handrail(s) in the middle of the flight.
Volute – The end of a handrail that curves around the starting step in a spiral shape.
Gooseneck – The gooseneck is a vertical handrail that vaults to reach a higher handrail or the railing of a balcony.
Baluster – Balustrades are the vertical bars that connect the handrail and the tread.
Newel – The newel is a large baluster that anchors the handrail. These are structural elements that often extend below the floor for greater structural integrity. In the case of staircases with an open landing, newels may extend past the landing right down to the floor.
Steel ladders are vital to many industrial operations. They allow workers to easily and safely access all parts of the facility, but they have to be constructed to fit the specific needs of the facility and to meet all safety standards. Thus they are often built to order to ensure maximum utility and function at the particular facility that needs them. Let’s take a look at several main points to consider when it comes to structural steel ladders such as their strength and durability, component parts and options, and industry standards.
STRENGTH AND DURABILITY
One of the core requirements of structural steel ladders is that they be strong and durable. They must be able to stand up to often very harsh industrial conditions for years on end. This requires that high grade steel be used in the construction of structural steel ladders and that each and every weld is rigorously tested for quality.
HEIGHT AND OTHER DIMENSIONS
Obviously the important consideration for structural steel ladders that are built to order is ensuring that they are the correct height and have the right dimensions to fulfill their role. The width of the ladder may vary and the rungs must be carefully designed to be safe and ergonomical.
Making a steel ladder involves many different parts, from design to installation. Every step along the way involves making sure that all standards are being met. OHSAS has lists of regulations for both portable and free-standing ladders that must be meet. There may also be specific industry regulations and requirements that have to be upheld to maintain safety standards.
DEADLINES AND PROJECT-SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS
Custom built structural steel ladders also very commonly have fixed project deadlines and other project-specific considerations. Often the ladders must be in place before operations a new facility can commence, or the ladders must be replaced at an existing facility during a brief turnaround window. The ladders may also need to be delivered and installed according to a set schedule. Successfully managing these logistics is a fundamental aspect of custom building structural steel ladders.
A steel staircase will last longer, is more eco-friendly, is more cost-effective and will look better than any other building options that might come your way. If you are considering steel frames for your new staircase and would like a professional opinion, we can help.