Industrial & Commercial Building Codes For Stairs {IBC & OSHA} (2022)

Sep 17, 2020 2:44:05 PM

This guide will help stair designers understand the many different building codes and standards for stairs. It includes a detailed summary of commercial stair code requirements, industrial stair code requirements, OSHA stair requirements, and many other standards for stairs.

Table of Contents

  • List of building codes and standards for stairs
  • Purpose of each building and stair code agency
  • OSHA stair requirements vs IBC stair requirement
  • Stair components and stair types definitions
  • Applications for different types of steep stairs
  • Stair and handrail design features
  • OSHA stair dimensions and standards
  • IBC building occupancy types for stairs
  • Commercial building code for stairs
  • Industrial building code for stairs
  • Stair fall protection, stair engineering, and slip resistance

List of building codes and standards for stairs

The various building codes and standards for stairs address the different uses, applications, building occupancy types, and design requirements for stairways. The stair standards and codes along with the application to which they apply are listed below.

Stair Code / Standard

Application(s)

International Building Code (IBC) - Chapter 10 Means of EgressStairways part of a means of egress from commercial and industrial buildings
International Residential Code (IRC) - Section R311 Means of EgressStairways part of a means of egress from residential buildings
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) - Section 1910.25 - StairwaysEquipment platforms and operational-use stairs in general industry
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) - 101 Chapter 7: Means of EgressStairways part of a means of Egress from buildings or structures
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines Chapter 5: StairwaysStairways part of an accessible means of egress from buildings
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) - ICC / A117.1 - Accesible and usable buildings and facilities - Section 504- StairwaysStairways part of an accessible means of egress from buildings
International Mechanical Code (IMC): Chapter 3: Section 306.5Access to equipment and appliances on roofs or elevated structures
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) - Subpart J: TravelwaysStairways and ladders for travelways in mines
ASTM International F1637 - Standard Practice for Safe Walking SurfacesStairways and walkways for buildings and structures

These are all the major national stair codes and standards. Other local codes may set additional standards, such as the New York City Building Code, which sets the standards for means of egress in New York City. And excluding ADA, OSHA and MSHA federal regulations, each local government chooses which codes to adopt into law.

Purpose of each building and stair code agency

Each stair code and standard has its own purpose specific to different building environments and applications.

IBC stair standards

IBC is the most widely adopted commercial building code in the United States. The International Code Council (ICC) develops and publishes the IBC code, which is updated every 3 years. The ICC is committed to meeting or exceeding the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and incorporates any updates to the ADA accessibility requirements in updates to the IBC. IBC Chapter 10 addresses stairways used as part of a means of egress from the building.

IRC stair standards

The IRC is the standard code for residential dwellings in the United States. IT serves as a comprehensive code for single-family houses, two-family houses, and buildings consisting of three or more town-house units. All the buildings within the scope of the IRC are limited to 3 stories above grade plane. Any larger or taller residential buildings, like multi-family residential complexes, fall under the IBC requirements. IRC section 311 addresses stairways used as part of a means of egress from individual dwelling units.

ADA stair standards

The United States Access Board develops and updates design guidelines known as the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), which are then used to set enforceable ADA standards that the public must follow. The ADA ensures access to the built environment for people with disabilities. The ADA Standards establish design requirements for the construction and alteration of facilities subject to the law. These enforceable standards apply to places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government facilities.

NFPA stair standards

The NFPA is a global, non-profit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. It creates and publishes the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, a standard for buildings widely adopted in the United States. Section 101B Means of Egress for Buildings and Structures addresses stairway design criteria. The folks at QRFS have a more to say about the NFPA and the ICC.

(Video) Steel Framed Stairway Design Pt 1

ANSI stair standards

Additionally, ICC maintains the ICC/ANSI A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, a technical document standard of technical requirements for making buildings accessible. This document is referenced by many federal and state laws. The IBC also references the ICC/ANSI A117.1.

Since IBC adopts both the ADA and ICC/ANSI A117.1 standards, most of the stair design requirements that these two codes set for accessible means of egress will also be incorporated into IBC stairs design. For more info, check out this useful guide on ADA stairways on ADA stairways from the United States Access board.

International Mechanical Code stair standards

The ICC also develops and publishes the International Mechanical Code which addresses the safety of HVAC systems. The code addresses access to equipment and appliances on roofs or elevated structures primarily through setting standards for design and use of platforms, ladders, and stairs to access the equipment.

ASTM stair standards

ASTM International is another standards organization that develops and publishes standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services. Section F1637 is a standard practice for safe walking surfaces including stairs, walkways, and ramps. Most of the standards in the ASTM F1637 have been incorporated into IBC and OSHA.

OSHA and MSHA stair standards

OSHA and MSHA are are both federal agencies which set regulations to ensure safe and healthy working conditions. OSHA regulations apply to general industry and construction. MSHA applies to mining operations. These agencies set standards for stairway design in areas designated in workplace areas which are not accessible by the general public. Usually OSHA stairs and MSHA stairs are used for equipment access or work platforms. OSHA and MSHA are federal agencies, and the standards they publish are enacted as federal regulations.

OSHA stair requirements vs IBC stair requirements

OSHA and IBC stair codes refer to different stair applications. The two main stair applications are

  • Means of egress (IBC Stairs)
  • Equipment access (OSHA Stairs)

Starting with means of egress stairways, IBC defines means of egress as "a continuous and unobstructed path of vertical and horizontal egress travel from any occupied portion of a building or structure to a public way. A means of egress consists of three separate and distinct parts: the exit access, the exit, and the exit discharge." Exit Stairways serve as the Exit component of the means of egress. These can be exterior or interior stairways.

Means of egress exit stairways are addressed by IBC, NFPA, ADA, and ANSI/ICC 117.1.

The ADA stair requirements apply to accessible means of egress, which is a continuous and unobstructed way of travel from any accessible point in a building or facility to a public way. It is a type of accessible route. The requirements for accessible routes in buildings can be found in IBC Chapter 11. Generally speaking, at least one or two accessible routes are required to connect each accessible story within a building.

OSHA, MSHA and IMC standards apply to equipment access stairs, sometimes simply referred to as industrial stairs. OSHA compliant stairs are the most common stairway found in general industry. MSAH and IMC apply to access to mining and HVAC equipment only. OSHA's stair design standards are more extensive than the MSAH and IMC standards and, in general, stairs designed to meet OSHA stair requirements will also meet the other two.

Stair components and definitions

The codes define many different stair components of stairways. The codes also determine how the different stair types can be used in different applications. Here is a list of definitions of stair components.

Industrial & Commercial Building Codes For Stairs {IBC & OSHA} (1)

Non-standard stairs, steep stairs, and ladders

OSHA and IBC define different types of stairways and ladders that are not classified as standard stairs. Here is a list of the different stair types.

(Video) AC 021 - Stair ADA and IBC requirements

Industrial & Commercial Building Codes For Stairs {IBC & OSHA} (2)

Allowable use of steep stairs

Non-standard stairs are only allowed to be used in certain situations. OSHA Section 1910.25 sets the allowable use of non-standard stairways.

OSHA §1910.25(b)(7) Standard stairs are used to provide access from one walking-working surface to another when operations necessitate regular and routine travel between levels, including access to operating platforms for equipment

OSHA §1910.25(b)(8) Spiral, ship, or alternating tread-type stairs are used only when the employer can demonstrate that it is not feasible to provide standard stairs.

The Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 223 states “OSHA believes that the language in the final rule gives employers greater flexibility (than the previous language.) The final rule limits the use of non-standard stairs to those circumstances where, based on specific case-by-case evaluations and demonstrations, it is not possible to use standard stairs.”

IBC allows the use of alternating tread stairs, ships ladders, and spiral stairs as a means of egress only in very specific circumstances. The table below outlines the use-cases for each type of stair and ladder.

Stair Type

IBC Allowable Use as Means of Egress

Alternating Tread StairsSection 1011.14 Alternating tread devices are limited to an element of a means of egress in buildings of Groups F, H, and S from a mezzanine not more then 250 square feet in area and that serves not more than five occupants; in buildings of Group I-3 from a guard tower, observation station or control room not more than 250 square feet in area and for access to unoccupied roofs.
Ships LaddersSection 1011.15 Ships ladders are permitted to be used in Group I-3 as a component of a means of egress to and from control rooms or elevated facility observation stations not more than 250 square feet with not more than three occupanst and for access to unoccupied roofs.
Spiral StairwaySection 1011.10 Spiral stairways are premitted to be used as a component in the means of egress only within dwelling units or from a space not more than 250 square feet in area and serving not more than five occupants, or from technical production areas in accordance with Section 410.6
Ladders

Section 1011.16 Permanent ladders shall not serve as a part of the means of egress from occupied spaces within a building.

Permanent ladders are permitted to provide access to specific work areas only.

Stair design standards for each code

That leads us to the design requirements for each code. The codes set design standards for every part of a stairway. There are 6 general features of stairways and buildings that are addressed by the codes:

  • Building Features (building occupancy limits)
  • General Stair Features (clearances, max stair height, stair angle, stair railing code requirements, stairway width, etc)
  • Tread and Riser Features (minimum tread depth, maximum riser height, tread and riser tolerances, nosing radius, riser types, etc)
  • Handrail, Stair Rail, and Guardrail Features (handrail height, handrail diameter, handrail extensions, guardrail height, etc)
  • Toe Plate Features (toe plate height, toe plate floor clearance)
  • Stair Landing Features (minimum landing width, door opening clearance, etc)
For a complete pdf checklist of all design variables for all the codes, the engineers at Lapeyre Stair have documented that into a single checklist, which you can download below.

Industrial & Commercial Building Codes For Stairs {IBC & OSHA} (3)

Industrial & Commercial Building Codes For Stairs {IBC & OSHA} (4)

OSHA stair dimensions and requirements

OSHA General stair requirements1910.25(b)

Compliant fall protection (guardrail system)
Uniform riser heights and tread depths❷❸

OSHA Requirements for standard stairs1910.25(c)

Slope between 30° and 50° from the horizontal
Maximum riser height of 9.5”
Minimum tread depth of 9.5”
Minimum width of 22”

OSHA Guardrail system requirements1910.29(b)
OSHA Handrail requirements1910.29(f)

Top edge height of top rails is 42”
Maximum baluster spacing of 19”
Handrail height between 30” and 38"
Minimum finger clearance of 2.25”

(Video) OSHA Compliant Portable Stairs Assembly

IBC building occupancy types for stairs

IBC classifies buildings according to their occupancy use. There are 3 broad categories of buildings with different IBC stair code requirements:

  • IBC Commercial stair code requirements (Assembly, offices, businesses, educational, mercantile, utility, and miscellaneous)
  • IBC Industrial stair code requirements (Factory, industrial, manufacturing, high hazard facilities, storage facilities, and prisons)
  • IBC Residential stair code requirements (hotels, apartments, dorms, and any congregate living facilities)

IBC defines the requirements and standards for all stairways used as a means of egress in any of these types of buildings.

Commercial building code for stairs

The IBC commercial building stair code is the mostly widely used stair code. The commercial code applies to all stairways except those designated under the Industrial or Residential building occupancy classifications. This means it applies to any general use commercial building:

  • Group A: general assembly buildings (churches, movie theaters, restaurants, stadiums, etc)
  • Group B: offices and businesses
  • Group E: educational facilities
  • Group M: mercantile, markets, departments stores
  • Group U: utility and miscellaneous buildings

Commercial stair code requirements

Like the OSHA standards, IBC sets standards for all the design and safety features of stairways, landings, and railings. Section 1011, Stairways, addresses the code requirements for all stairways and section 1027 addresses the exterior stairs code. Below is an outline of the different criteria for each stairway feature. Below the outlines, we provide a summary table of all the different dimensional requirements for each stair feature and building occupancy type.

Commercial stair landing code requirements

✔Minimum landing travel cross distance equal to stairway width
✔Minimum landing travel top distance equal to stairway width
✔Minimum landing travel bottom distance equal to stairway width
✔Minimum landing door swing clearance equal to stairway width÷ 2
✔Minimum landing door open clearance of 7"

Commercial stair railing code requirements

✔Minimum guardrail height of 42"
✔Maximum guardrail high opening of 4.375" sphere
✔Maximum guardrail low opening of 4" sphere
✔ Maximum bottom guardrail gap of 6" sphere

IBC handrail code requirements for commercial stairs

The IBC commercial handrail code states that each stair is provided with a separate handrail or grabrail attached to the guardrail.

Required number of handrail is 2
Handrail diameter between 1.25" and 2"
Minimum handrail wall clearance of 1.5"
Vertical height of handrail between 34"-38"
Handrail top horizontal extension of 12"
Handrail bottom horizontal extension is not required
Handrail bottom sloped extension of the depth of one tread beyond the bottom riser

Commercial stair riser code requirements

✔Closer riser (solid riser) is required
✔Maximum gap in riser of 4" (no gap allowed for ADA / accessible egress stairs)
✔Riser height between 4"-7"

Commercial stair treads code requirements

✔Solid or open tread surface is required
✔Maximum tread gap diameter of 0.5"
✔Minimum projected tread depth of 11"

Industrial building code for stairs

IBC lists exceptions for stair design requirements for certain industrial building occupancy classifications. The exceptions apply to buildings in the following occupancy classifications:

  • Group I-3: Prisons, detention centers, jails, etc
  • Group F: Factories
  • Group H: High hazard facilities
  • Group S: Storage facilities

Industrial stair code requirements

IBC industrial stair code requirements differ from the commercial stair codes by being less stringent for guardrail openings, riser openings, and tread openings. All other requirements are the same.

Industrial stair railing code requirements

✔ Maximum guardrail high opening of 21" sphere
✔ Maximum guardrail low opening of 21" sphere

(Video) Product Overview - FORTRESS® OSHA Stair System | EZ-ACCESS

Industrial stair riser code requirements

✔All open riser is ok

Industrial stair treads code requirements

✔Maximum tread gap diameter of 1.25"

IBC Stair Requirements Diagram and Chart

Industrial & Commercial Building Codes For Stairs {IBC & OSHA} (5)

TYPE OF EGRESS STAIR



INDUSTRIALCOMMERCIALACCESSIBLE COMMERCIALCOMMERCIAL RESIDENTIALEXAMPLEIBC STANDARD
Overhead Clearance80"FIG 1 ❶§1011.3
Maximum Stair Height12'FIG 1 ❷§1011.8
Stair Angle19.98° — 32.47°
19.98° — 37.78°FIG 1 ❸Implied
Required Number of Handrails2FIG 2 ❶§1011.11
Stair Width/Tread Length1Minimum 44"; Calculated based on occupancy loadFIG 2 ❷§1005.3.1; §1009.3.2; §1011.2
Minimum Unobstructed Stair Width235"FIG 2 ❸§1005.3.1; §1009.3.2; §1011.2
Handrail Wall Clearance1.5"FIG 2 ❹§1014.7
Handrail Diameter31.25" — 2"FIG 2 ❺§1014.3.1
Vertical Height of Handrail34" — 38"FIG 3 ❶§1014.2
Handrail Top Horizontal Extension12"FIG 3 ❷§1014.6
Handrail Bottom Horizontal Extension4Not requiredFIG 3 ❸§1014.6
Handrail Bottom Sloped ExtensionDepth of one tread beyond bottom riserFIG 3 ❹§1014.6
Minumum Guard Rail Height542"

36"FIG 3 ❺§1015.3(2)
Maximum Guard Rail High Opening21" sphere4.375" sphereFIG 3 ❻§1015.4(1)
Maximum Guard Rail Low Opening21" sphere4" sphereFIG 3 ❼§1015.4
Bottom Guard Rail Gap6" sphereFIG 3 ❽§1015.4(2)
Handrail Projection4.5"FIG 4 ❶§1003.3; §1014.8
Handrail Rail Clearance1.5"FIG 4 ❷§1014.4(3)
Minimum Projected Tread Depth11"

10"FIG 5 ❶§1011.5.2
Riser Height4" — 7"
4" — 7.75"FIG 5 ❷§1011.5.2
Nosing Overlap1.25"FIG 5 ❸§1011.5.5.1
Nosing Radius/Bevel1/16" — 9/16"FIG 5 ❹§1011.5.5
Vertical Nosing Angle Relief0° — 30°FIG 5 ❺§1011.5.5
Gaps in RiserAll open OK4" sphereN/A4" sphereFIG 5 ❺§1011.5.5.3
Riser Type6All open OKSolid or openSolidSolid or openFIG 6§1011.5.5.3
Tread Type6,7Solid or openFIG 6§1011.7.1
Maximum Tread Gap Diameter 1.125"0.5"FIG 6 ❶§1011.7.1
Landing Travel Cross DistanceStair widthFIG 7 ❶§1011.6
Landing Travel Top Distance8Stair widthFIG 7 ❷§1011.6
Landing Travel Bottom DistanceStair widthFIG 7 ❸§1011.6
Landing Door Swing ClearanceStair Width ÷ 2FIG 7 ❹§1011.5.7.1; §1011.6
Landing Door Open Clearance7"FIG 7 ❺§1011.5.7.1; §1011.6

1Minimum of 36" for occupacy of less than 50.§1011.2
2Accessible commercial egress minimum is 48" for unsprinklered buildings.§1007.3; 1007.2.12.2.3
3Applies to circular handrails; requirements differ for non-circular handrails.§1014.3.1
4Intermediate handrails are required as necessary to ensure handrails are located within 30" of stairs at all times.§1014.9(3)
5Minimum of 34" for some R-2 and R-3 types.§1015.3(3)
6Tread/riser tolerance is 0.375".§1011.5.7
7Maximum surface slope for tread way and cross tread is 1/48" (+/- 2%).§1011.7.1
8Not required to exceed 48" in direction of travel.§1011.6

Stair fall protection, stair engineering, and stair slip resistance

The codes also address other general safety features of stairway design.

For fall protection on a stairway, OSHA has two requirements:

  • OSHA 1910.28(b)(11)(ii) Each flight of stairs having at least 3 treads and at least 4 risers is equipped with stair rail systems and handrails
  • OSHA 1910.28(b)(11)(i) Each employee exposed to an unprotected side or edge of a stairway landing that is 4 feet (1.2 m) or more above a lower level is protected by a guardrail or stair rail system

For fall protection on a ship stair or alternating tread stair, OSHA 1910.28(b)(11)(iii) states that each ship stairs and alternating tread type stairs is equipped with handrails on both sides.

For load requirements, OSHA 1910.25(b)(6) requires that each stair can support at least five times the normal anticipated live load, but never less than a concentrated load of 1,000 pounds (454 kg) applied at any point. IBC Chapter 16 Section 1607 requires stairs to support live loads of 100 psf uniform load and 300 pound concentrated load.

For slip resistance and maintenance of safe conditions on stairways, see our guide on non slip stair treads. Most codes require stairways to have a slip resistant walking surface. OSHA removed the mention of slip resistance in the 2017 update to walking-working surfaces.

OSHA 1910.22(a)(3) requires that walking-working surfaces are maintained free of hazards such as sharp or protruding objects, loose boards, corrosion, leaks, spills, snow, and ice.

OSHA 1910.22(d)(1) requires that walking-working surfaces are inspected, regularly and as necessary, and maintained in a safe condition

Conclusion

Hopefully this guide helps you understand stair codes for commercial and industrial stair applications. If you are still confused, the folks at Lapeyre Stair can help you with any questions. After all, we are the metal stair experts.

Of course, all of Lapeyre Stair's products are guaranteed to meet the major applicable building codes, so that you don't have to worry about making sure you are designing under the right code or complying with all the design requirements. Industrial & Commercial Building Codes For Stairs {IBC & OSHA} (6)

(Video) Get Safety Compliant Stair Access Quickly With ErectaStep

FAQs

What is the code for rise and run for stairs? ›

What is code for rise and run of stairs? The 2018 IBC building code for rise and run of stairs is a maximum 7" rise and minimum 11" run (tread depth). The OSHA standard for rise and run of stairs is maximum 9.5" rise and minimum 9.5" run (tread depth). The IBC maximum rise of a single stair flight is 12.

What is the minimum height of a stair riser? ›

1009.4. 2 Riser height and tread depth. Stair riser heights shall be 7 inches (178 mm) maximum and 4 inches (102 mm) minimum. The riser height shall be measured vertically between the leading edges of adjacent treads.

What is the minimum size of a stair landing? ›

Stair Landing Length: Every landing shall have a minimum dimension of 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel. Some codes such as Florida in the U.S. require that the landing length be at least 44 inches. Stair Landing Width: The width of each landing shall not be less than the stairway served.

How many steps before a landing is required? ›

How many steps require a landing? For general access stairs a maximum allowance of 12 steps before a landing is required. With utility stairs, a maximum of 16 steps is allowed before a landing.

What is the OSHA standard for steps? ›

Riser height shall be from 6 to 7.5 inches (15.24 to 19.05 cm), stair width a minimum of 22 inches (55.88 cm) between vertical barriers, tread depth a minimum of 12±2 inches (30.48±5.08 cm), and tread nosing shall be straight leading edges. Stair landings shall be at least 20 inches (50.8 cm) in depth.

What are the building regulations for stairs? ›

The following rules must be met: The individual rise must be between 150mm and 220mm. The individual going must be between 220mm and 300mm. The Pitch of the stair cannot be greater than 42 degrees.
...
Other Restrictions:
Ind. RiseMinimum Ind. Going for 42° pitch
218 mm243 mm
219 mm244 mm
220 mm245 mm
20 more rows

Is an 8 inch step too high? ›

Building codes in many areas define maximum step height and minimum tread width, but in areas where it is not defined, Council of American Building Officials and International Code Council both recommend the rise to be no more than 7.75 inches and runs to be no less than 10 inches.

What is the maximum rise on a staircase? ›

The dimensions for maximum rise and minimum going should meet national building regulations. Private stairs should have a maximum rise 220mm and minimum going 220mm. Staircases should be accurately located and fixed with the string at the correct angle to ensure all treads are level.

What goes first riser or tread? ›

Do work at least one riser ahead before installing treads. Installing two risers is one way to ensure proper strength and performance. The important thing is to remember to install riser, tread, riser, tread or install the risers first.

How wide are commercial stairs? ›

It must be at least 36 inches wide if the occupancy of the building will be 49 people or less. Disabled-accessible stairways are more complicated. There is a 48-inch minimum width requirement – unless there are automatic sprinklers installed, then the minimum width is 44 inches.

What is the standard size of a staircase? ›

Standard Stair Dimensions

Standard straight-run stairs have dimensions of a stair width of 36 inches or 91.4 centimeters, a stair tread depth of 11 inches or 28 centimeters, a stair riser size of 7 inches or 18 centimeters, and a length from the bottom to the top of the stairs of 10 feet or 3 meters.

How thick should stair treads be? ›

According to general specifications, your stair riser thickness should be no less than ½”. In fact, many professionals recommend risers with a thickness of ¾”.

How long can a stair be without a landing? ›

The maximum distance between stair landings allowed by the International Residential Code (IRC) is not based on the number of steps/risers. It is a maximum of 147” (12'-3”) vertical rise between floor levels or intermediate landings.

Whats the difference between stairs and steps? ›

The difference between steps and stairs is that stairs (or a stairway) are a structure made up of individual steps, and the steps are the individual “risers” that we use to move up the stairway. The words are closely connected because they both refer to something we use to walk up.

What is considered 1 flight of stairs? ›

A flight of stairs is generally the height of the ceiling plus the framing and subfloor of the floor above where the stairs end. In a space with 8 feet ceilings, a flight of stairs is anywhere from 8 feet 8 inches to just over 9inches high.

What are IBC stairs? ›

Commercial Stairs Built for the General Public

The International Building Code (IBC) regulates any set of stairs used by the public, including any stairway that connects a building to a public space. These regulations must account for the safety of every type of person — including children and the elderly.

Does OSHA require handrails on both sides of stairs? ›

Reply: OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.24(h) provides: Standard railings shall be provided on the open sides of all exposed stairways and stair platforms. Handrails shall be provided on at least one side of closed stairways preferably on the right side descending.

What is the required minimum width for industrial fixed stairs OSHA? ›

Fixed stairways must have a minimum width of 22 inches. Fixed stairs must be installed at angles to the horizontal of between 30 degrees and 50 degrees. Any uniform combination of rise/tread dimensions may be used that will result in a stairway at an angle to the horizontal within the permissible range.

Does a new staircase require building regulations? ›

Installing a new staircase or relocating an existing staircase requires building regulations approval.

Do stairs require nosing? ›

Run Requirements

You are not required to have a nosing/overhang on your stair treads. But if your stairs don't have a nosing you are required to have a tread that is at least 11 inches long.

What is the best angle for staircase? ›

Stair codes and guidelines prefer an angle of around 37° for normal stairways (the green area in our illustration) and around 7° for ramps (the yellow area in our illustration). Steeper slopes or angles are permitted for stepladders in certain applications as you can see in the illustration.

What is the maximum step height? ›

The maximum riser height shall be 7¾ inches (196 mm) and the minimum tread depth shall be 10 inches (254 mm). The riser height shall be measured vertically between leading edges of the adjacent treads.

How do you make ADA compliant stairs? ›

ADA Handrail Compliance

The Americans with Disabilities Act states that stairs must have handrails on both sides of all stairs. They must also be continuous on both sides of a set of stairs. This includes stairs that have an inside handrail. The handrail must be a consistent height along a set of stairs.

How do you calculate the rise and run? ›

Rise over run formula, calculating by hand

All you need to do is calculate the difference between the two points in the vertical direction (rise) and then divide it by the difference in the horizontal direction (run). It does not seem complicated because (hopefully) it is not complicated.

Can I use 2x10 for stair treads? ›

It is acceptable and within building code guidelines to use either 2×10 or 2×12 dimensional lumber to create a set of stairs; however, a stair stringer should not be less than 3.5 inches wide at its narrowest point to provide adequate strength for the load the stairs will be supporting.

What is the standard height of a stair step? ›

In the United States, the step height standard should be between 7 or 7 ¾ inches at the most, and no less than 4 inches. You should follow other measurements if given by local building codes. In Canada, the maximum step riser height is 8 ¼ inches.

What is the maximum rise on a staircase? ›

The dimensions for maximum rise and minimum going should meet national building regulations. Private stairs should have a maximum rise 220mm and minimum going 220mm. Staircases should be accurately located and fixed with the string at the correct angle to ensure all treads are level.

The experts at ErectaStep explain the differences between commercial and industrial safety codes. Read more to make sure you’re safe and compliant.

These types of stairs are used in industrial settings, so they must be strong.. For example, stairs manufactured with a 45-degree stairway rise must have a minimum rise and tread of 8.75 inches each.. Handrails and guardrails are mandatory, but gaps are allowed between rails since children will not be using these types of stairs.. Factoring in ErectaStep’s 26-inch width gives you a solution that uses 26 square feet of floor space — which is less than half the space required by an IBC stair to access the same platform.. It takes less material to construct OSHA stairs since IBC stairs require closed risers and no gaps larger than four inches between handrails and guards.. Both OSHA and IBC require landings at the top and bottom of the stairs, although IBC landings are larger, typically 4′ square.. Regulation Reference:Risers & Tread – OSHA stair tread requirements 90 | IBC stair width 50 | OSHA stair maximum riser height 70 | OSHA stair riser height 70 Stair Width – OSHA stair tread requirements 90 Railings and Guardrails – OSHA handrail requirements 390 | IBC handrail 320 Balusters – OSHA 1910.29(b)(2)(iii)

When it comes to commercial stair standards, the International Building Code (IBC) establishes the minimum requirements for stairs to insure a level of safety to the public. Several components are looked at such as stair width, headroom, riser and tread heights.

When it comes to commercial stair standards, the International Building Code (IBC) establishes the minimum requirements for stairs to insure a level of safety to the public.. Unlike residential stairs per the IRC, where the width is just a given measurement, commercial stair width per the IBC is based on capacity.. In order to determine this the code refers us to Section 1005.1, but before we look at this section the code does say that the minimum width shall not be less than 44 inches.. It states that the means of egress for stairs is calculated by multiplying the occupant load served by the stairs by a factor of 0.3 inch per occupant.. Exception 1 in Section 1011.2 allows for a width of not less than 36 inches when a stairway is serving an occupant load of less than 50.. With the above example we had to calculate the stair width, but with this exception you can have the stairway width be as small as 36 inches as long as the occupant load it is serving is less than 50.. For example if the width of a stairway is 44 inches, the landing shall be a minimum 44 inches in depth but if a stairway is 60 inches in width, the landing shall only need to be a minimum 48 inches in depth.. Minimum width for stairways is determined by using a factor of 0.3 inch per occupant for non-sprinklered buildings or a factor of 0.2 inch per occupant for buildings equip with sprinklers and alarms, but shall at no point be less than 44 inches.. Maximum 7 inch stair riser height and minimum 4 inch stair riser height.

1910.25(a)

This section covers all stairways (including standard, spiral, ship, and alternating tread-type stairs), except for articulated stairs (stairs that change pitch due to change in height at the point of attachment) such as those serving floating roof tanks, stairs on scaffolds, stairs designed into machines or equipment, and stairs on self-propelled motorized equipment.. 1910.25(b)(2). Vertical clearance above any stair tread to any overhead obstruction is at least 6 feet, 8 inches (203 cm), as measured from the leading edge of the tread.. 1910.25(b)(8). Spiral, ship, or alternating tread-type stairs are used only when the employer can demonstrate that it is not feasible to provide standard stairs.. Angle to horizontalRise (in inches)Tread run (in inches)30 deg.. 1910.25(d)(3). Have a minimum headroom above spiral stair treads of at least 6 feet, 6 inches (2 m), measured from the leading edge of the tread;. 1910.25(d)(4). Have a minimum tread depth of 7.5 inches (19 cm), measured at a point 12 inches (30 cm) from the narrower edge;. From 70 degrees to 50 degrees show for Alternating Tread-Type Stairs.. From 70 degrees to 50 degrees show for Ship Stairs.. From 50 degrees to 30 degrees show for Standard Stairs.

Whenever you see a set of stairs, you can be assured its construction was carefully considered. Each set has to meet certain standards before it’s made available for use. But with so many types of stairs, how can you tell which standards yours need to follow? Stairs can be designed to comply with different regulations depending

These types of stairs are used in industrial settings, so they must be strong.. For example, stairs manufactured with a 45-degree stairway rise must have a minimum rise and tread of 8.75 inches each.. Handrails and guardrails are mandatory, but gaps are allowed between rails since children will not be using these types of stairs.. Factoring in ErectaStep’s 26-inch width gives you a solution that uses 26 square feet of floor space — which is less than half the space required by an IBC stair to access the same platform.. It takes less material to construct OSHA stairs since IBC stairs require closed risers and no gaps larger than four inches between handrails and guards.. Regulation Reference:Risers & Tread – OSHA stair tread requirements 90 | IBC stair width 50 | OSHA stair maximum riser height 70 | OSHA stair riser height 70 Stair Width – OSHA stair tread requirements 90 Railings and Guardrails – OSHA handrail requirements 390 | IBC handrail 320 Balusters – OSHA 1910.29(b)(2)(iii)

With ErectaStep's 5 components; Aluminum Steps, Work Platforms, Industrial Handrails, Aluminum Ladders & Towers, our metal stairs work for any scenario.

Stairs must have at least 80″ of head height measured off the tread nosings and it needs to be maintained for one additional riser depth at the bottom of the stairs.. Stair landings a required for 12′ vertical stairs inclines and must be at least as deep as the stairs are wide (up to 4′-0″).. Stair handrails need to be on both sides of the stair and can’t project more than 4.5″ into the stair width on each side.. This section covers all stairways (including standard, spiral, ship, and alternating tread-type stairs), except for stairs serving floating roof tanks, stairs on scaffolds, stairs designed into machines or equipment, and stairs on self-propelled motorized equipment.. Vertical clearance above any stair tread to any overhead obstruction is at least 6 feet, 8 inches (203 cm), as measured from the leading edge of the tread.. Stairway landings and platforms are at least the width of the stair and at least 30 inches (76 cm) in depth, as measured in the direction of travel;. Spiral, ship, or alternating tread-type stairs are used only when the employer can demonstrate that it is not feasible to provide standard stairs.. Minimum tread width 22 IN (56 CM), Minimum Tread Depth 9.5 IN (24 CM), Maximum Riser Height 9.5 IN (24 CM).. Have a minimum headroom above spiral stair treads of at least 6 feet, 6 inches (2 m), measured from the leading edge of the tread;. Have a minimum tread depth of 7.5 inches (19 cm), measured at a point 12 inches (30 cm) from the narrower edge;. Have a minimum tread width of 7 inches (18 cm), measured at the leading edge of the tread ( i.e. , nosing).

The International Business code (IBC) is critical for architects and designers to understand when it comes guardrails building codes.

Guardrails and handrails are often used together, with handrails being used for support, whereas guardrails offer life-saving protection.. The International Building Code (IBC) is a model code for commercial construction that provides minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety, and general welfare of the occupants of new and existing buildings and structures.. The IBC clearly defines the various requirements for commercial handrails and guardrails in commercial buildings.. Since its first publication, the International Building Codes have formed the basis of all guardrail requirements.. Now, let’s discuss the four essential IBC code requirements that relate to guardrails.. As per IBC Section 1015.2, guards must be installed along open-sided walking surfaces, including stairs, ramps, aisles, and landings that are located at a height greater than 30 inches measured vertically from the floor or a grade below 36 inches horizontally towards the edge of an open side.. Apart from IBC, OSHA also has minimum strength requirements for guardrails.

Exterior stairs codes and egress requirements for metal stairways. IBC and IRC code requirements for exterior steps.

The 2018 international building code for exterior stairs is found in two sections of the IBC, Section 1011 Stairways and Section 1027 Exterior Exit Stairways and Ramps.. The IBC building code for outdoor stairs includes all the general requirements for stairways found in Section 1011 plus additional criteria for outdoor stair design, construction, and use.. An exterior exit stair is an egress stair that is open to the outdoors and leads directly to the exterior of the building.. IBC Section 1027 addresses the use, location, and separation from the building for exterior exit stairways.. IBC Section 1027.3 states that exterior exit stairways and ramps serving as an element of a required means of egress shall be open on not less than one side, except for required structural columns, beams, handrails, and guards.. IBC section 1027.5 states that exterior stairways and ramps shall have a minimum fire separation distance of 10 feet measured at right angles from the exterior edge of the stairways or ramps including landings to: adjacent lot lines, other portions of the building, other buildings on the same lot unless the adjacent building exterior walls and openings are protected in accordance with Section 705 based on fire separation distance.. Exterior stair handrails must comply with all the general IBC handrail requirements found in section 1014 Handrails and section 1011.11 Handrails.. The IBC exterior stair landing code requirements are also found in IBC section 1011.7.2 as part of the stair walking surface for outdoor use.. The 2018 IRC code for exterior stairs is found in Section R311 Means of Egress.. Outdoor stair treads must comply with all the general stair tread requirements found in IRC section R311.7.5.2 Treads.. Additionally, under section R311.7.5.4 plastic composite exterior stair treads shall comply with the provisions of this section and Section R507.2.2, which states that plastic composite exterior deck boards, stair treads, guards, and handrails shall comply with the requirements of ASTM D7032 and this section.. Outdoor stair handrails must comply with all the general IRC handrail requirements found in section R311.7.8 Handrails.. Section R311.7.8.6 states that plastic composite handrails shall comply with the requirements of section R507.2.2, which requires that plastic composite handrails comply the requirements of ASTM D7032.. Outdoor landings must comply with the requirements of section R311.7.6 Landings for stairways.. As a means of egress, outdoor stairs must meet all the requirements set forth in IRC section R311.7.1 Width.

The International Business code (IBC) is critical for architects and designers to understand when it comes to handrails and guardrails building codes.

Where a pair of intermediate handrails are provided within the stairway width without a walking surface between the pair of intermediate handrails and the distance between the pair of intermediate handrails is greater than 6 inches (152 mm), the available egress width shall be reduced by the distance between the closest edges of each such intermediate pair of handrails that is greater than 6 inches (152 mm).. CODE REFERENCE: IBC Section 1014 Handrails: 1014.9 Intermediate Handrails. Handrail height: 34”-38” Maximum project of railing from wall: 4.5” Maximum hand clearance from wall: not below 1.5” The minimum distance between two railings: <30” Handrail diameter: 1.25”-2” Handrail top horizontal extensions: 12” Handrail bottom extension horizontal distance should be equal to one tread depth beyond the nosing of the last riser Required handrails for commercial buildings: 2. IBC 1011.11: Stairways shall have handrails on each side IBC 1011.11: Stairways shall have handrails on each side that comply with section 1014.. IBC 1014.2: Handrail height, measured above stair tread nosing’s, or finish surface of ramp slope, shall be uniform, not less than 34” and not more than 38” IBC 1014.3.1 Part 1: Circular handrails shall have an outside diameter of not less than 1.25” and not greater than 2” IBC 1014.3.1 Part 2: Where the handrail is not circular, it shall have a perimeter dimension of not less than 4” and not greater than 6.25” inches with a maximum cross-sectional dimension of 2.25” and the minimum cross-sectional dimension of 1” IBC 1014.4: Handrail gripping surfaces shall be continuous, without interruptions by newel posts or other obstructions (Handrails within dwelling units are permitted to be interrupted by a newel post on turns and landings) IBC 1014.4 Key Exception: Handrail brackets or pickets attached to the bottom of the handrail that do not project horizontally beyond the sides of the handrail within 1.5” of the bottom of the handrail shall not be considered obstructions IBC 1014.7: Clear space between a handrail and a wall or other surface shall be not less than 1.5” IBC 1014.8: Handrail Projections, Guidance provided regarding obstruction in required egress for intermediate handrails IBC 1014.9: Intermediate Handrails, Stairways shall have intermediate handrails located in such a manner that all portions of the stairway minimum width or required capacity are within 30 inches (762 mm) of a handrail.. IBC 1607.8.1: Handrail shall be designed to resist a linear load of 50 pounds per linear foot IBC 1607.8.1.1: Handrail shall resist a concentrated load of 200 pounds IBC 1607.8.1.2: Intermediate rails, pickets, and posts shall be designed to resist a concentrated load of 50 pounds

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