CUSTOM LADDER FABRICATION

There are instances where a standard aluminum fixed access, ship, or cage ladder is not enough to do the job. This is especially true in agricultural or manufacturing facilities, water treatment plants, industrial applications, transportation hubs, wineries, distilleries, and more. Because these facilities have specific functions and specialty equipment, everything they need to maneuver in the space – whether it’s platforms, stairs, fixed ladders, ramps, catwalks, crossovers, etc. – have to be custom fabricated.

Especially when maintaining sterile environments are key (such as pharmaceutical laboratories, wineries, distilleries or food processing centers, water treatment plants, etc.) aluminum ladders are a great alternative to steel ladder fabrication because the contact washing, sterilizing, etc. of catwalks, ramps, platforms, etc. will not hurt the material – unlike steel that is prone to corrosion. For a steel ladder to be resistant, it will have to be made with stainless steel or galvanized – adding to its cost.

With over 80 years of experience, O’Keeffe’s can custom fabricate any aluminum ladder, platform, catwalk, ramp, stair, etc. based on your exact specifications. Whether you’re looking for a custom access ladder to improve operations or need something for a special project, we’ve got you covered. With 80 years of design, engineering, and manufacturing experience, our dedicated team can assist you from concept to completion.

Below are some examples of our custom fabrication services. If you need assistance with a current or upcoming project, please contact Adam Watson at adamw@safti.com or call 415 230 6724 to speak to our custom fabrication team to request a quote. We look forward to turning your idea into reality!

Custom Aluminum Rolling Stairs with Hand Rails

This custom rolling stair was supplied to San Francisco International Airport to help maintenance staff access and clean the roof top skylight.

Because the custom rolling stair goes across a skylight, it had to be both lightweight and high-strength – which aluminum is. The proximity to the salty air near San Francisco Bay and its exposure to the elements meant aluminum was chosen for its corrosion-resistant properties as well.

Custom Aluminum Crossover Ramp

This custom crossover ramp was used to “cross over” mechanical equipment such as air ducts and piping without the worry of tread steps. This becomes useful when moving equipment around using the ramp. Side rails are placed on both sides for safety standards and comply with OSHA and ANSI safety standards pertaining to restricted walkways. This application also takes advantage of aluminum’s lightweight yet high strength properties, and its natural ability to resist corrosion assures its durability for years to come even if it’s exposed to the elements.

Custom Aluminum Platforms & Catwalks

Below are renderings of actual custom platforms that we’ve supplied to various projects.

The Brownsville Public Utilities Board Service Yards needed a safe and accessible way for the maintenance staff to wash their service trucks. The customer designed a custom ship ladder with a platform that extended 34.5 feet for the wash bays. Diamond plate was used for the platform for maximum foot traction and a handrail was placed on the side as additional safety features.
In this case, aluminum was the material of choice because this is a very wet and constantly damp environment that would have easily and quickly corroded unprotected steel.


This pharmaceutical laboratory in the Bay Area needed a custom platform to access equipment safely. It also needed to be 48 in. off the ground to clear pipes and other equipment on the floor. O’Keeffe’s supplied a custom ship ladder with a 30” wide platform that extends 30 ft. Guardrails are installed on both sides for added safety.

Because this was in a sterile environment, aluminum was the ideal material due to the frequent washing & sanitizing performed on all the surfaces in the lab, and helps the laboratory to meet OSHA and ANSI safety standards.