Prefab Metal Stairs: Guide to Industrial Stair Applications

Prefabricated metal stairs have many benefits. They are easy to install with a bolted stair kit assembly, powder coat finished, code compliant, and shipped with shorter lead times than custom stair systems. It makes sense that prefab stairs are the preferred option for most industrial stair applications. This guide will help you understand the options for prefabricated industrial stair applications.

There are many different applications for industrial stairs. It helps to start by breaking them out into building access vs equipment access. Building access stairs will generally need to meet IBC design requirements while equipment access will meet OSHA Stair design requirements.

IBC Compliant Industrial Building Access Stair Applications

OSHA Compliant Equipment Stair Applications

Mezzanine stairs Equipment platform stairs
In-plant office stairs Conveyor access stairs
Access to bathrooms or other general-use areas Crossover stairs
Roof hatch stairs Maintenance stairs
  Exterior roof access stairs
  Exterior stair towers

IBC Compliant Industrial Stair Applications

Even in industrial applications design of IBC compliant stairs should factor in use by the general public.  The below table outlines the various options and considerations for prefab IBC industrial stairs. 

IBC Industrial Prefabricated Stair Options

Tread Options

Benefits

Disadvantages

 

Metal diamond plate stair tread

Provides a solid tread surface with some slip resistance Not very good slip resistance; can be noisy diamond-tread-plate

 

Metal stair tread with abrasive, non-slip coating

Provides a solid tread surface with strong slip resistance None Quiet Grip stair tread

 

Metal pan stair tread with poured concrete

Provides a solid tread surface with strong slip resistance Costly and time consuming to pour concrete concrete-pan

 

Bar grating stair tread

Easy to field install. Can be nonslip Bar grating is not a good option for IBC applications used by the general public. Heeled footwear can get caught in the openings and cause slips and falls. Typically requires ADA compliant bar grating with openings spaced not more than 1/2." bar-grate

 

Finish Options

Benefits

Disadvantages

 

Powder Coated

Durable and economical coating system Depending on the coating, may not be suitable for outdoor applications 03-comm

 

Galvanized

Best for outdoor applications Higher cost and longer lead time commercial-main

 

 

OSHA equipment stairs will only be used by those working on the equipment, so use by the general public does not need to be considered. Other factors that need to be considered include the type of equipment being accessed, the production environment and surroundings, and how the stairs are to be used. 

OSHA Equipment Prefabricated Stair Options

Tread Options

Benefits

Disadvantages

 

Metal diamond stair tread

Provides a solid tread surface with some slip resistance. Drainage holes can be added for wet environments May not be suitable for all production environments. Not very slip resistant in wet environments. diamond-tread-plate

 

Metal stair tread with abrasive, non-slip coating

Provides a solid tread surface with strong slip resistance. Drainage holes can be added for wet environments May not be suitable for all production environments.  Quiet Grip stair tread

 

Metal pan stair tread with poured concrete

Provides a solid tread surface with strong slip resistance Costly and time consuming to pour concrete. Not suitable for wet areas or areas needing frequent cleaning. Water can accumulate under treads concrete-pan

 

Bar grating stair tread

Easy to field install. Can be nonslip. Holes in tread allow drainage, so good option for areas that may frequently get wet.  Holes in treads may be large enough that items and tools may drop to below elevation.  bar-grate

 

Grip stair treads

Highly slip resistant for slippery conditions. Holes in tread allow drainage, so good option for areas that may frequently get wet.  Holes in treads may be large enough that items and tools may drop to below elevation.  grip-tread

 

Finish Options

Benefits

Disadvantages

 

Powder Coated

Durable and economical coating system Depending on the coating, may not be suitable for outdoor applications powdercoatATSb

 

Galvanized

Best for outdoor applications Higher cost and longer lead time than powder coated galvanizedATSb

 

Aluminum

Lightweight and rust resistant for rooftop and other wet environments More costly than powder coated stairs  aluminumATSb

 

Stainless Steel

Easiest to clean and highly corrosion resistant. Best for food applications.

Most expensive material option 

stainlessATSb

 

Many factors go into the right choice for metal stair design. Lapeyre Stair's representatives can help you make the right choice for your application. 

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