Access Technology

Fixed Ladders

Fixed ladders are used to access workplaces that are located either high up or low down. They are permanently installed and offer a space-saving method of moving between different levels. However, it is not possible to transport materials via a fixed ladder as you need both hands to go up and down safely.

Different types of fixed ladders are available depending on where you plan to implement them. Each type is subject to different requirements. These are the most common types:

  • Fixed vertical ladders for building structures
  • Fixed ladders for accessing mechanical equipment
  • Emergency ladders
  • Ladders for shafts
  • Fixed ladders for processing plants

Fall protection solutions for vertical ladder systems

As a rule, you need to have a fall protection system in place from a height of 3 m upwards. There are different ways of handling this. The most common solution is to use a cage. A fixed ladder fitted with a cage can also be used by individuals who have not been specially trained in the use of personal fall protection equipment. The big disadvantage is that the cage does not actually protect the user from falling - only from falling backwards. Therefore, there is high potential for injury in the event of a fall. In order to reduce the fall distance, a fixed ladder system fitted with a cage must consist of multiple sections - a new section at least every 10 m. If, in the event of a fall, the user’s body gets caught up in the cage, it is almost impossible to rescue this person quickly. Therefore, a vertical lifeline should take preference over a cage solution.

It is a completely different situation, if a vertical lifeline is used. In this case, the user wears a safety harness to which a guided type fall arrester is attached. This, in turn, is attached to a fixed anchor line. This might consist of either a cable or rail system attached to the ladder. In this case, however, appropriate instruction on how to use personal fall protection equipment is required. Using this method, a fall can be arrested within an extremely short distance. In the best case, the individual concerned does not suffer any injury at all and can continue to climb on up without help. In the worst case, the individual concerned can be rescued from the ladder by a colleague with the right equipment. This also requires appropriate instruction and materials.

Fixed Ladder Designs

There are single upright and double upright ladders. Double upright ladders are designed like everyday ladders - with one upright on the left and one on the right. The rungs are fitted in between these two uprights.  A single upright ladder only has one central upright with the rungs attached to the left and right of this upright. Such fixed ladders are often equipped with a rail-based vertical lifeline integrated directly into the upright.

Related products

Fixed vertical ladder systems - fitted with either a safety cage or a rigid guide