Fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders


AS 1657-1992 Fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders - Design, construction and installation


  • SCOPE This Standard sets out requirements for the design, construction, and installation of fixed platforms, walkways, stairways, and ladders which are intended to provide means of safe access to and safe working at places normally used by operating, inspection, maintenance, and servicing personnel. The Standard does not apply to situations where special provision is made in appropriate building or other regulations, e.g. means of escape from fire. Requirements for portable ladders are not included in this Standard.
  • 2 APPLICATION The design, construction, and installation of a platform, walkway, stairway, or ladder shall comply with the appropriate requirements of Section 2 and the specific requirements for the type of structure, as follows: (a) Platforms and walkways: Section 3. (b) Stairways: Section 4. (c) Fixed ladders: Section 5. The application of the relevant Sections and the limits of slope are illustrated in Figure 1.1. Where it is not reasonably practicable to meet the full requirements of this Standard, advice should be sought from the regulatory authority.
  • 1 DESIGN 2.1.1 General The design of the structural work comprising the platform, walkways, stairways, ladders, and guardrailing shall comply with the relevant requirements of the following Standards: (a) For aluminium: AS 1664. (b) For concrete: AS 3600. (c) For masonry: AS 3700. (d) For timber: AS 1720.1. (e) For steel: AS 1538, AS 3990(Int) or AS 4100. 2.1.2 Design loadings Floors Floors shall be designed for the dead load of the structure plus a superimposed live loading of not less than 2.5 kPa uniformly distributed, or a concentrated loading of not less than 1 kN at any point, whichever produces the most adverse effect. Where the floor of the platform or walkway or landing is likely to be loaded in excess of the above requirements, the design loading shall be based on the requirements of AS 1170.1. In special cases, where large floor areas or concentrated loads (or both) have to be considered, variation of the design load specified above may be referred to the regulatory authority.
  • 1.2.2 Guardrails The guardrailing shall be designed to withstand whichever of the following live loadings produces the most adverse effect: (a) A force of 550 N acting outwards or downwards at any point on the top rail, edge or post. (b) A force of 330 N per linear metre acting outwards or downwards on the top rail or edge. Where appropriate, wind loadings in accordance with AS 1170.2 shall be added to the above live loadings. Where extra severe loading conditions are likely to be encountered, i.e. at points of assembly or where mechanical equipment is used, the guardrailings shall be designed in accordance with the loading conditions set out in AS 1170.1 and AS 1170.2.