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RE: OSHA stairs

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I consulted our local OSHA safety guru.  OSHA has a web site that can be
used to pose questions such as this.  I did not go through that, but our
guru said that paragraph (a) limits the scope and excludes egress stairs.

To say that the paragraph is ambiguous is an understatement.  You could make
the case that the 1000 pound load is over a 3'-6" square area making the 100
psf case govern.  You could also make the case that paragraph c is headed by
"Stair strength" and take it to ultimate.  You could also claim that any of
these stairs are for emergency egress and technically dodge this bullet.

(Help me!  I am sounding like a lawyer!)

As many industrial stairs as I have designed, I have never designed for the
OSHA provision that you have sited.  

Any other structural industrial types care to wade in? 

Harold Sprague
The Neenan Company

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Sherman [mailto:SHERMANWC(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, December 14, 1998 1:06 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: OSHA stairs

For fixed industrial stairs, OSHA requires in paragraph 1910.24-(c): "Fixed 
stairways shall be designed and constructed to carry a load of five times
the normal live load anticipated but never of less strength than to carry
safely a moving concentrated load of 1,000 pounds."  UBC requires exit
stairways to be designed for 100 psf or a concentrated load of 300-pounds.
If you are installing a stair in an industrial building which could also act
as an exit stairway, how is OSHA to be applied?   
Are the loads given by OSHA to be applied as "working loads" at basic 
allowable stress or to be compared to yield or ultimate strengths?  For a
live load of 100 psf, do they really mean to design the stair for 5 times
100 psf?  
If the stair is not an exit stair, what does "normal live load anticipated 
mean"?  I find the inconsistency in these provisions rather confusing and 
difficult to apply.