OSHA Handbook for Small Businesses

Stairs and Stairways

Stairs and Stairways

  • Are standard stair rails or handrails on all stairways having four or more risers?
  • Are all stairways at least 22 inches (55.88 centimeters) wide?
  • Do stairs have landing platforms not less than 30 inches (76.20 centimeters) in the direction of travel and extend 22 inches (55.88 centimeters) in width at every 12 feet (3.6576 meters) or less of vertical rise?
  • Do stairs angle no more than 50 and no less than 30 degrees?
  • Are stairs of hollow-pan type treads and landings filled to the top edge of the pan with solid material?
  • Are step risers on stairs uniform from top to bottom?
  • Are steps on stairs and stairways designed or provided with a surface that renders them slip resistant?
  • Are stairway handrails located between 30 (76.20 centimeters) and 34 inches (86.36 centimeters) above the leading edge of stair treads?
  • Do stairway handrails have at least 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) of clearance between the handrails and the wall or surface they are mounted on?
  • Where doors or gates open directly on a stairway, is there a platform provided so the swing of the door does not reduce the width of the platform to less than 21 inches (53.34 centimeters)?
  • Are stairway handrails capable of withstanding a load of 200 pounds (90 kilograms), applied within 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) of the top edge, in any downward or outward direction?
  • Where stairs or stairways exit directly into any area where vehicles may be operated, are adequate barriers and warnings provided to prevent employees stepping into the path of traffic?
  • Do stairway landings have a dimension measured in the direction of travel, at least equal to the width of the stairway?
  • Is the vertical distance between stairway landings limited to 12 feet (3.6576 centimeters) or less?