Stair and Walk Surface Glossary of Terms

Table of Contents

Definitions of terms used in OSHA Standards – 29 CFR 1910 Subpart D

Floor hole

The floor hole: an opening that’s perfect for materials but not for people to fall through. Whether you’re looking for a belt hole, pipe opening, or slot opening, the floor hole is just what you need. It’s less than 12 inches but more than 1 inch in its least dimension, making it great for all sorts of applications.

Floor opening

Floor opening is considered an opening measuring 12 inches or more in its least dimension in any floor, platform, pavement, or yard through which persons may fall; such as a hatchway, stair or ladder opening, pit, or large manhole. Floor openings occupied by elevators, dumb waiters, conveyors, machinery, or containers are excluded from this subpart.

Handrail

A handrail is a single bar or pipe supported on brackets from a wall or partition, as on a stairway or ramp, to furnish persons with a handhold in case of tripping.

Platform

Platforms are ideal for both industrial and commercial applications. A platform can provide a safe and sturdy area for workers to operate machinery in an industrial setting. In a commercial setting, platforms can be used as display areas, stage areas, or even as spaces for guests to stand and mingle.

Runway

Our selection of quality runway systems are ideal for any indoor or outdoor setting, and are perfect for both commercial and residential applications. Our runways are made from durable materials that can withstand heavy foot traffic and are available in a variety of sizes and styles to suit your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for a sleek and modern walkway to connect two buildings, or a sturdy and stylish solution for awkward footing situations, we’ve got you covered.

Standard railing

Standard railings are a necessary safety measure to prevent falls at exposed edges of floor openings, walls, ramps, platforms, and runways. They are an important part of any safety plan and should be installed where needed to protect workers, guests, and others. In addition to their safety function, standard railings can also enhance the look of a space and add to its overall design. Whether you need them for safety or aesthetic purposes, standard railings are a smart investment for any business or home.

Standard strength and construction

When it comes to safety and durability, you can’t go wrong with standard strength and construction. This construction method meets the requirements of the OSHA 1910.23 safety standards, so you can rest assured that your railings, covers, or other guards are up to code. Not only that, but this construction is incredibly strong and built to last, ensuring years of safe usage. Whether you’re looking for peace of mind or a long-lasting investment, standard strength and construction are the way to go.

Stair railing

A stair railing is a vertical barrier erected along the exposed sides of a stairway to prevent falls. It is an important safety feature in any home or business, and our stair railings are designed to provide maximum protection against accidental falls. When OSHA inspectors come around, stair railing height is an important consideration. No handrail should ever be too tall or short; it must be just right to ensure the safety of workers and anyone else moving around the area. To comply with handrail height regulations, look no further than OSHA’s guidelines when installing a handrail for your facility – with railings installed to the required height, people can walk up and down stairs without worry.  Our railings are made from high-quality materials and are available in a variety of styles to suit your specific needs. We also offer custom-made railings to ensure a perfect fit for your staircase.

Toeboard

Toeboards are an essential safety measure for any business or property that has exposed edges at the floor level of a floor opening, wall opening, platform, runway or ramp. By erecting a toeboard around these edges, you can help prevent falls of materials and protect people from injury. At the same time, toeboards also provide a visual barrier that can help increase safety awareness in your workplace or home.

Wall hole

Wall holes provide an efficient way to ventilate a room or to allow drainage in the event of a leak. They are commonly found in homes and commercial buildings and are an essential part of any plumbing system. Wall holes come in a variety of sizes and can be customized to fit your specific needs.

Wall opening

When it comes to wall openings, safety is paramount. That’s why our wall openings are designed to be at least 30 inches high and 18 inches wide to help prevent accidental falls. We’ve got you covered whether you’re looking for a simple doorway or a more complex chute opening. Our team of experts can help you find the perfect solution for your needs, so you can rest assured that your space is safe and compliant with all applicable codes and regulations.

Definitions of terms used in OSHA Standards – 1910.24 Subpart D

Handrail

A handrail is a single bar or pipe that is supported on brackets from a wall or partition and provides a continuous handhold for persons using a stair. It is an essential safety feature for any staircase, and our handrails are made from the highest quality materials to ensure durability and longevity.

Nose, nosing

The nose, or nosing, is the portion of a tread that projects beyond the face of the riser immediately below. This important feature helps to ensure traction and prevent slips, making it an essential part of any staircase.

Open riser

An open riser staircase is defined as a stairway without upright members (risers) between the treads. It’s safer than a traditional staircase because there are no small spaces for little feet to get stuck in.

Platform

A platform is an extended step or landing that breaks a continuous run of stairs. It can be used to provide extra stability when climbing or descending stairs.

Railing

When it comes to preventing falls and providing a safe environment, railings are an essential piece of equipment. Our railing is made from durable materials that can withstand high-traffic areas and provides a vertical barrier to help prevent falls. The top member of our railing also serves as a handrail, making it easy and safe to grip.

Rise

Rise is the vertical distance from the top of a tread to the top of the next higher tread and gives you exactly what you need in terms of functionality.

Riser

The riser is the upright member of a step that provides support and stability. It is usually located at the back of a lower tread and near the leading edge of the next higher tread. This product is essential for any staircase, providing both function and safety.

Stairs, stairway

Stairs and stairways are an essential part of many buildings and structures. They provide a means of moving between different levels or floors, and can also be used to access pits, platforms, crossovers, boiler rooms, or around machinery and equipment. A series of stairs and landings with three or more risers are considered a staircase.

Tread

Tread is the horizontal member of a step that makes direct contact with the foot. It is an important safety feature in any staircase, and its primary purpose is to provide a safe and stable surface for walking.

Tread run

The tread run is a horizontal distance from the leading edge of a tread to the leading edge of an adjacent tread.

Tread width

Tread width is an important measurement to take into account. This is the horizontal distance from front to back of the tread, including the nosing. Choosing a flooring option with the right tread width is important for your needs, as this can impact safety.

Definitions of terms used in OSHA Standards – 1910.25 Subpart D

Ladders

Ladders are appliances usually consisting of two side rails joined at regular intervals by crosspieces called steps, rungs, or cleats. Ladders provide a way for people to ascend or descend in a manner that is often safer and more efficient than using their bare hands or feet.

Stepladder

Stepladders are self-supporting and portable, making them perfect for a variety of tasks. With flat steps and a hinged back, they are easy to use and offer a safe and sturdy platform. The non-slip steps and hinged back provide added safety and stability.

Single ladder

The single ladder and its non-self-supporting design and nonadjustable length make it perfect for a variety of tasks around the home or office. Plus, its compact size makes it easy to store away when not in use.

Extension ladder

The Extension Ladder is made from high-quality materials that ensure it can withstand even the most demanding applications. It features two or more sections that can be adjusted to the desired length, making it perfect for any job. Plus, the non-self-supporting design makes it easy to transport and set up.

Sectional ladder

A sectional ladder is a great choice for anyone who needs a portable ladder that can be adjusted to different lengths. This type of ladder is made up of two or more sections, which can be combined to create a single, extended ladder. Sectional ladders are perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.

Trestle ladder

Trestle ladders are self-supporting and non-adjustable in length, consisting of two sections hinged at the top to form equal angles with the base. The size is designated by the length of the side rails measured along the front edge. Trestle Ladders are easy to transport and perfect for a variety of applications.

Extension trestle ladder

The extension trestle ladder is self-supporting and can be adjusted to the desired length, making it perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. The single ladder can be easily locked into place, ensuring a sturdy and safe climbing experience. With a variety of sizes available, you’re sure to find the perfect extension trestle ladder for your needs.

Special-purpose ladder

Special-purpose ladder: This is a portable ladder that represents either a modification or a combination of design or construction features in one of the general-purpose types of ladders previously defined, in order to adapt the ladder to special or specific uses.

Trolley ladder

Our trolley ladder is made of high-quality materials and is built to last. It’s also very easy to use – simply attach it to an overhead track, and you’re good to go! Plus, its compact design means it won’t take up too much space in your home or workplace.

Side-rolling ladder

This side-rolling ladder is perfect for use in tight spaces. The nonadjustable length makes it easy to use, and the attachments to the guide rail keep it stable while you work. With its semifixed design, this ladder is a great choice for anyone looking for an easy-to-use option that doesn’t require any adjustment.

Wood characteristics

Wood is a natural material with many distinguishing features. By their extent and number, wood characteristics determine the quality of a piece of wood.

Wood irregularities

Wood irregularities are natural characteristics in or on wood that may lower its durability, strength or utility. While these features do not affect the structural integrity of the wood, they may cause some cosmetic issues.

Cross grain

Cross grain is a deviation of the fiber direction from a line parallel to the sides of the piece. This occurs when the growth of the tree is not perfectly symmetrical, leading to a slope of grain.

Knot

Knots are classified according to size, quality, and occurrence. The size of the knot is determined as the average diameter on the surface of the piece. Lumber-graded knotty has a higher percentage of knots than lumber graded clear. Knots are caused by imperfections in the growth of the tree and are removed during manufacturing.

Pitch and bark pockets

Pitch and bark pockets are openings that extend parallel to the annual growth rings in a tree. They can contain either solid or liquid pitch, or bark. Having either of these features in your tree can be helpful for identifying it and determining its age.

Shake

A shake is a separation of the wood fibers along the grain. It most often occurs between the growth rings of annual growth.

Check

This check is a lengthwise separation of the wood, most of which occurs across the rings of annual growth. It is an eco-friendly product that is made from sustainable materials.

Wane

Wane is bark, or the lack of wood from any cause, on the corner of a piece, which gives it a rustic and natural look.

Decay

Decay is a process of disintegration of wood substance due to the action of wood-destroying fungi. It is also known as dote and rot.

Compression failure

Compression failure is a deformation of the fibers that occurs when there is excessive compression along the grain.

Compression wood

Compression wood is a highly variable type of wood that can be found in softwood species. It is characterized by high density, high longitudinal shrinkage, and lower stiffness and tensile strength compared to normal wood.

Low density

Low density wood is a type of wood that is exceptionally light in weight and usually deficient in strength properties for the species.

Definitions of terms used in OSHA Standards – 1910.26 Subpart D

Ladder

A ladder is an appliance that helps you reach high places. It usually consists of two side rails joined at regular intervals by cross-pieces called steps, rungs, or cleats. This allows a person to ascend or descend safely and easily.

Step ladder

This step ladder is a self-supporting, portable ladder that is nonadjustable in length. It has flat steps and a hinged back. The size of the step ladder is designated by the overall length of the ladder measured along the front edge of the side rails.

Single ladder

This step ladder is perfect for any job that requires a little extra height. With a sturdy build and flat steps, this ladder is safe and easy to use. Thanks to its hinged back, the ladder folds up easily for storage or transport.

Extension ladder

Our extension ladder is made of high-quality materials and is adjustable in length, so you can tailor it to your needs. It’s also equipped with guide brackets and non-slip feet for maximum safety.

Platform ladder

The platform ladder is perfect for a variety of applications. It can be used as an extension ladder, as a stairway ladder, or as a platform ladder. The platform provides a safe and stable work surface, making it perfect for accessing high areas.

Sectional ladder

This ladder is made up of multiple sections, so it can be shortened or lengthened to fit the needs of the job. It is also non-self-supporting, meaning that it does not stand on its own and must be leaned against a wall or other surface for support.

Trestle ladder

The Trestle Ladder is a self-supporting, portable ladder that is non-adjustable in length. It is made up of two sections that are hinged at the top to form equal angles with the base. This ladder size is designated by the length of the side rails measured along the front edge.

Extension trestle ladder

This extension trestle ladder is perfect for any professional who needs a reliable and adjustable ladder. The trestle base provides stability, while the single ladder can be adjusted to the desired length. The locking mechanism ensures that the ladders stay together, providing a safe and sturdy working platform.

Special-purpose ladder

This special-purpose ladder is perfect for any job that needs a little extra height. With its combination of design and construction features, it can be adapted to fit any need you may have. It`s also portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go.

Definitions used in 1910.27

Ladder

A ladder is an appliance that helps you reach high places. It usually consists of two side rails joined at regular intervals by cross-pieces called steps, rungs, or cleats. This allows a person to ascend or descend safely and easily.

Fixed ladder

Fixed ladders are a great solution for businesses that need a safe, reliable way to access high areas. They are permanently attached to the structure and provide a stable platform for climbing. This makes them ideal for factories, warehouses, and other industrial settings.

Individual-rung ladder

An individual-rung ladder is a great choice for accessing areas that are difficult or dangerous to reach with a traditional extension ladder. Each rung is attached to the structure independently, so the ladder can be adjusted to fit any height or angle. This also makes it easier to move and store than a traditional ladder.

Rail ladder

A rail ladder, also known as a fixed ladder, is a type of ladder that consists of side rails joined at regular intervals by rungs or cleats. This type of ladder is fastened in full length or in sections to a building, structure, or equipment. It provides a safe and easy way to ascend and descend from elevated surfaces.

Railings

Railings provide a barrier between an individual and a hazardous drop off, preventing falls and potential injuries. Our railings are constructed in accordance with OSHA 1910.23 standards to ensure safety and compliance. We offer a variety of railing options, including standard vertical railings, horizontal railings, and custom designs to meet your specific needs.

Pitch

Pitch is the angle between the horizontal and the ladder, measured on the opposite side of the ladder from the climbing side. This measurement is important for ensuring safe ladder use, as it helps you determine how far away from the wall your ladder should be when set up.

Fastenings

Fastenings are an essential part of ladder safety. They provide a secure connection between the ladder and the structure, making it less likely that the ladder will slip or fall.

Rungs

Rungs are an essential safety item for ladder users. They provide a flat, stable surface on which to place your feet, making it easier and safer to climb the ladder. Rungs are available in both circular and oval cross-sections, so you can choose the shape that best suits your needs.

Cleats

Cleats are perfect for safely ascending or descending ladders. They have a rectangular cross-section and are placed on the edge so that you can step in them easily.

Steps

Steps are an essential part of any ladder and provide a stable surface on which to step when ascending or descending.

Cage

Cage is a guard that fastens to the side rails of the fixed ladder or to the structure to encircle the climbing space of the ladder, providing safety for the person who must climb.

Well

A well is a permanent enclosure that surrounds the ladder and provides the same level of protection as a cage.

Ladder safety device

A ladder safety device is a device that helps prevent falls while using a ladder. It may incorporate features such as life belts, friction brakes, and sliding attachments. This allows the user to feel safe and secure while reaching higher areas.

Grab bars

Grab bars provide a safe and sturdy handhold when accessing an area beyond the ladder. They are individual handholds, typically placed adjacent to or as an extension above ladders. This allows for safe access to areas that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Through ladder

A through ladder is a type of ladder that allows a person getting off the top to step through the ladder and reach the landing without having to jump.

Side-step ladder

The side-step ladder is a ladder that has been designed with a side-step feature, which allows the user to step sideways off the ladder in order to reach the landing

Definitions of terms used in OSHA Standards – 1910.28 Subpart D

Bearer

Bearer is a horizontal scaffold member that provides support for the platform and may be supported by ledgers.

Boatswain’s chair

The boatswain’s chair, also known as a bosun’s chair, is a seat supported by slings attached to a suspended rope. It is designed to accommodate one workman in a sitting position and provides him with a safe and comfortable place to work.

Brace

A brace tie is the perfect solution for scaffolders who need to keep their members in a fixed position with respect to each other.

Bricklayers’ square scaffold

The Bricklayers’ square scaffold is perfect for light and medium duty tasks. It is a scaffold composed of framed wood squares which create a stable platform.

Carpenters’ bracket scaffold

This Carpenters’ bracket scaffold are made of sturdy wood or metal brackets. The platform is supported by them, making it a safe and secure option.

Coupler

Coupler is a device used to connect the component parts of a tubular metal scaffold. It is made from a sturdy material, such as drop-forged steel, malleable iron, or structural grade aluminum, to ensure a safe and secure connection. The use of gray cast iron is prohibited.

Crawling board or chicken ladder

The crawling board or chicken ladder is a plank with cleats spaced and secured at equal intervals, designed to provide a safe surface for workers on roofs. It is not designed to carry any material.

Double pole or independent pole scaffold

A double pole scaffold is a type of scaffold supported from the base by a double row of uprights, independent of support from the walls. This scaffold is constructed of uprights, ledgers, horizontal platform bearers, and diagonal bracing.

Float or ship scaffold

The float or ship scaffold is a type of scaffold that is hung from overhead supports by means of ropes. This scaffold consists of a substantial platform that has diagonal bracing underneath, resting upon and securely fastened to two parallel plank bearers at right angles to the span.

Guardrail

Guardrail is a rail system that is secured to uprights and erected along the exposed sides and ends of platforms. This product helps protect employees and customers from potential accidents or injuries.

Heavy duty scaffold

This heavy duty scaffold is designed and constructed to carry a working load not to exceed 75 pounds per square foot. It is perfect for use in a variety of constructions.

Horse scaffold

The horse scaffold is a scaffold designed for light or medium duty. It is composed of horses that support a work platform.

Interior hung scaffold

The interior hung scaffold is a suspension scaffold that hangs from the ceiling or roof structure.

Ladder jack scaffold

The ladder jack scaffold is a light duty scaffold that is supported by brackets attached to ladders.

Light duty scaffold

A light duty scaffold is a scaffold that is designed to carry a working load of no more than 25 pounds per square foot.

Manually propelled mobile scaffold

The scaffold is made of durable steel and supported by four casters, making it easy to move around. It’s perfect for reaching high places.

Masons’ adjustable multiple-point suspension scaffold

The Mason’s adjustable multiple-point suspension scaffold is a type of scaffold that has a platform supported by bearers. These bearers are suspended by wire rope from overhead supports, allowing the platform to be raised or lowered as needed.

Maximum intended load

The maximum intended load is the total of all loads, including the working load and the weight of the scaffold. Other loads may be anticipated, but should not exceed the maximum intended load.

Medium duty scaffold

A medium duty scaffold is a scaffold designed to carry a working load of up to 50 pounds per square foot.

Mid-rail

Mid-rail is a rail that is placed approximately midway between the guardrail and platform. It is used when required and secured to uprights that are erected along the exposed sides and ends of platforms.

Needle beam scaffold

A needle beam scaffold is a light duty scaffold that consists needle beams supporting a platform.

Outrigger scaffolds

Outrigger scaffolds are supported by outriggers or thrust-outs projecting beyond the wall or face of the building or structure. The inboard ends of outrigger scaffolds are secured inside of such a building or structure.

Putlog

Putlogs are scaffold members that the platform rests upon.

Roofing bracket

A roofing bracket is a bracket used in sloped roof construction, which has provisions for being fastened to the roof. It can also be supported by ropes that are fastened over the ridge and secured to some suitable object.

Runner

Runner is a lengthwise horizontal bracing or bearing members or both that helps to stabilize the structure.

Scaffold

Scaffolds are temporary elevated platforms used to support workmen or materials.

Single-point adjustable suspension scaffold

This single-point adjustable suspension scaffold is perfect for light-duty use. It’s manually or power-operated, and supported by a single wire rope from an overhead support. This allows you to raise or lower the platform to your desired working position quickly and easily.

Single pole scaffold

A single pole scaffold is a platform that rests on putlogs or crossbeams. The outside ends of the platform are supported by ledgers, and the inner ends are supported by a wall.

Stone setters’ adjustable multiple-point suspension scaffold

The stone setters’ adjustable multiple-point suspension scaffold is a swinging-type scaffold with a platform supported by hangers suspended at four points. The platform can be raised or lowered to the desired working position by using hoisting machines.

Toeboard

Toeboards are barriers secured along a platform’s sides and ends. They help to prevent materials from falling off of the platform.

Tube and coupler scaffold

Tube and coupler scaffold is an assembly consisting of tubing which serves as posts, bearers, braces, ties, and runners. The base supports the posts while special couplers serve to connect the uprights and join various members.

Tubular welded frame scaffold

Tubular welded frame scaffold is a sectional, panel, or frame metal scaffold that is substantially built up of prefabricated welded sections. These sections consist posts and horizontal bearers with intermediate members. Panels or frames are braced with diagonal or cross braces.

Two-point suspension scaffold (swinging scaffold)

A two-point suspension scaffold is a type of scaffolding that has a platform supported by hangers at two points. The platform can be raised or lowered to the desired working position by using a tackle or hoisting machine.

Window jack scaffold

A window jack scaffold is a scaffold with a platform that’s supported by a bracket or jack. The bracket or jack projects through a window opening.

Working load

The working load is the load imposed by men, materials, and equipment.

Definitions of terms used in OSHA Standards – 1910.29 Subpart D

Bearer

Bearers are horizontal members of a scaffold that the platform rests on. They can be supported by ledgers.

Brace

The brace is a tie that is used to hold one scaffold member in a fixed position with respect to another member.

Climbing ladder

A climbing ladder is a separate ladder with equally spaced rungs attached to the scaffold structure, used for climbing and descending.

Coupler

A coupler is a device used to lock together the components of a tubular metal scaffold. The coupler must be designed and used to safely support the maximum intended loads.

Design working load

The design working load is the maximum intended load, which includes the weight of men, materials, equipment, and platform.

Equivalent

Equivalent is the alternative design or features that can provide equivalent levels of safety, giving users the same assurance and confidence in their experience.

Guardrail

Guardrail is a barrier designed to prevent falls from platforms. Guardrail is secured to uprights and erected along the exposed sides and ends of platforms.

Handrail

Handrails provide an important safety measure for ladder stands, allowing users to ascend and descend with added security. These sturdy fixtures parallel the slope or top step of a ladder structure, giving extra stability as you climb up towards your destination.

Ladder stand

A ladder stand is a mobile, self-supporting ladder that is fixed in size. It consists of a wide flat tread ladder in the form of stairs, and may include handrails.

Ledger (stringer)

The ledger is a horizontal scaffold member that extends from post to post and supports the bearer. It forms a tie between the posts.

Mobile scaffold (tower)

Mobile scaffolds (tower) are scaffolds that are mounted on casters or wheels. They can be light, medium, or heavy duty.

Mobile

“Manually propelled.”

Mobile work platform

A mobile work platform is a frame on wheels or casters, usually one level high, with diagonal bracing from the platform to the vertical frame.

Runner

A runner is a horizontal bracing or bearing member.

Scaffold

Scaffolds are temporary elevated platforms used to support workmen and materials. Scaffolds must have vertical, diagonal, and horizontal members to be stable.

Toeboard

Toeboard is a barrier erected along the exposed sides and ends of a scaffold platform to prevent falls of materials.

Tube and coupler scaffold

Tube and coupler scaffold is an assembly consisting of tubing which serves as posts, bearers, braces, ties, and runners. It has a base supporting the posts and uprights. The assembly is used in fixed locations.

Tubular welded frame scaffold:

Tubular welded frame scaffold is a sectional, panel, or frame metal scaffold that is substantially built up of prefabricated welded sections. These sections consist of posts and bearers with intermediate connecting members. The scaffold is braced with diagonal or cross braces.

Tubular welded sectional folding scaffold

Tubular welded sectional folding scaffold is a sectional, folding metal scaffold either of ladder frame or inside stairway design. It is substantially built of prefabricated welded sections, which consist of end frames, platform frames, inside inclined stairway frames, and braces. The scaffold can be folded into a flat package when the scaffold is not in use.

Work level

The work level is an elevated platform that provides a safe and stable surface for workers and their materials. The platform is made up of vertical, horizontal, and diagonal braces to provide maximum support, as well as guardrails and a ladder for easy access. With a work level, workers can complete tasks with ease and safety.