When To Install Ladders, Steps, Stairs And Walkways



When it comes to ensuring that your roof access and fall protection systems are compliant, correct system design and selection is paramount in fulfilling your responsibility to ensure your workers are conducting their duties in a safe environment.

Ladders, steps, stairs and walkways are all covered by Australian Standard AS/NZS1657:2018 and this must be adhered to when designing roof access and fall protection systems. Frequency of use to perform maintenance to plant and equipment and varying inclines of slope call for different systems and for each application, choosing the correct product is vital.



In the case of ladders, steps and stairs, it is often confusing to know what equipment should be installed when and where. Ladders, steps and stairs are covered by Australian Standards and when designing roof access and fall protection systems these regulations must always be followed.

This video gives details of the equipment that needs to be installed for the particular roof incline.

0 – 20 degrees: This degree of incline should be serviced by a 600mm wide walkway mounted using the appropriate fixing method. It is important to comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations with regard to spanning requirements to ensure no flexing occurs which would cause the walkway to become loose or dislodged.

Within this degree of incline, there are additional requirements that must be complied with. With inclines greater than 7 degrees walkways must be levelled when installed across the fall of the roof. With inclines greater than 10 degrees walkways that are installed along the incline of the roof require cleats. Cleat spacing to prevent foot slippage is dependent on the slope of the walkway.

Walkways that are installed on roofs with greater inclines than 12 degrees require handrails to protect the operator from a potential fall.

20 to 45 degrees. According to the Standard, this incline is too step for a walkway and requires a stairway with intermediate landings depending on the length of the system required. Stairways are selected when frequent access for maintenance is required. Ladders should only be used if stairways are not a feasible solution.

45 to 60 degrees. Classed as the unsafe zone the Standard states that access equipment should not be installed or used on this angle of slope.

60 to 70 degrees. Step ladders should be used for this degree of slope where treads and handrails are required to be fitted. This is the recommended system when periodic access for maintenance is required.

70 to 90 degrees. Rung ladders are the correct system for this incline and should be installed at the preferred angle of 75 degrees. The installation of intermediate landings should also be implemented when they extend above 6 metres. Fall protection is required by means of a cage or fall arrest lifeline where they exceed 3 and a half metres.

We hope that this information is helpful. Staying aware of the guidelines is imperative to providing a healthy and safe working environment.

Join us in our mission to save lives by taking safety seriously.

If you have any queries please feel free to contact the sales team on 1300 301 755, [email protected] or visit our website, sayfa.com.au. Thanks for your time.