Various Scaffolding Stairs & Stair Tower Configurations

Various Scaffolding Stairs & Stair Tower Configurations

While traditional ladders may offer the most straightforward route to access workspaces at height, they need more safety, ergonomic design, and user comfort. Let’s delve into the details of three leading stairway options for scaffolding, highlighting their distinct advantages and practical uses.

Scaffold Platform Stairs

Platform stairs on scaffolding offer a more ergonomic option compared to scaffold ladders. These stairs are constructed into the scaffolding, with a scaffold bay in front of them. This design increases safety when climbing and going down the scaffold and averts restricting the scaffold’s usable width, which can be a downside with ladders.

Construction Stair Towers

Stair towers are constructed to represent an advancement from platform stairs. They’re typically employed when a significant amount of materials needs to be transported on the scaffold, when multiple workers are on the scaffold simultaneously, or when all scaffold levels must remain accessible for ongoing tasks.

Construction stair towers, rated with a load capacity of 2kN per m2, fall under load class 3. They are constructed with a frame, often using modular scaffolding materials, and include pre-made stair sections. These stair towers are versatile, adaptable to various applications, and can be expanded or tailored with specialised components.

Public Access and Emergency Stair Towers

Construction stair towers are primarily deployed on construction sites and industrial settings, where access is limited to trained personnel. However, stair towers intended for public use have distinct requirements. In these contexts, it’s important to differentiate between public access stair towers and emergency stair towers.

Understanding Public Access Stair Towers

These structures are integral in managing the flow of people, particularly during events that draw large gatherings. They are temporary bridges facilitating safe passage over construction sites, station railway lines, and other barriers. Additionally, they provide a reliable means of vertical movement at bustling venues like concerts and exhibitions. Public access stair towers serve as essential infrastructure when accommodating crowds.

The Role of Emergency Stair Towers

Emergency stair towers are vital installations in public spaces designed to facilitate rapid egress and access for emergency response teams during crises. Their primary role transcends mere access; they are critical for ensuring a secure evacuation route in dire situations like fires or other emergencies. Compliance with specific local codes and standards is crucial for these towers, which vary based on their purpose and placement.

Typically, you’ll find emergency stair towers adjacent to:

  • Public institutions such as educational facilities and medical centres,
  • Commercial structures, including shopping malls,
  • Residential towers, particularly when ongoing refurbishments obstruct existing emergency exits, necessitating an alternative.

Emergency stair towers must adhere to additional regulations pertinent to those settings in venues that host large groups, like sports arenas, theatres, or concert venues.

Here are some key features of an emergency stair tower:

  • Load capacity ranges from 5.5kN/m2 to 7.5kN/m2, depending on local venue regulations and even load distribution.
  • Absence of tripping hazards for quick and safe evacuation.
  • Non-slip surfaces, such as grating steps with safety treads, feature a mesh size of 30 mm x 30 mm.
  • Childproof railings and stair edges.
  • A continuous handrail at least along one side.
  • Safety treads enable year-round use, even in rainy, snowy, or icy conditions.

Which stair solution best suits your upcoming project?

  • Platform stairs excel in small to medium-sized projects and can facilitate expanded scaffold width.
  • Conversely, stair towers are the perfect access solution for larger projects, especially when transporting significant amounts of material on the scaffold.

If you need help selecting the perfect stair solution for your next project, contact Turbo Scaffolding on 02 9725 5233. Our experienced and friendly team will be delighted to assist you.

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