Ship Ladders

Customizable Aluminum Ship Ladder Models

  • 60° or 75° standard slope with other slopes available upon request
  • Lightweight, corrosion-resistant, low maintenance aluminum
  • Non-spark, high strength aluminum
  • All stainless steel hardware
  • Serrated treads for maximum strength and safety
  • Standard mill finish with anodized, painted or powder coated finishes available at additional cost

Ship ladders or ship stairs are also sometimes known as crossover ladders because they can be configured to “cross over” mechanical equipment instead of just accessing a roof or mezzanine. It is common to see our aluminum ship ladders in water treatment plants, wineries, breweries, laboratories, food processing facilities and other environments are either exposed to weather or require frequent washing or sanitation.

Our aluminum ship ladders can also be configured to connect two separate buildings or to cross over an expansion joint. In these cases, our ship ladders can be supplied with a seismic bracket that allows for 1” movement.


To meet any project requirement, we offer a full line of aluminum ship ladders. We offer 60° or 75° standard angles, with other angles available upon request. We can provide a platform, return, or roof hatch to match. Below are our standard ship ladder models. If you need something more custom, we are happy to accommodate upon request.

520 Ship Ladder

Ship Ladder (75°)

520A Ship Ladder

Ship Ladder (60°)

521 Ship Ladder

Ship Ladder with Platform (75°)

521A Ship Ladder

Ship Ladder with Platform (60°)

522 Ship Ladder

Ship Ladder with Platform and Return (75°)

522A Ship Ladder

Ship Ladder with Platform and Return (60°)

523 Ship Ladder

Ship Ladder with Access to Roof Hatch (75°)

523A Ship Ladder

Ship Ladder with Access to Roof Hatch (60°)

How are O’Keeffe’s Aluminum Ship Ladders Constructed?

Similar to our fixed access and cage ladders, our ship ladders are constructed with lightweight, high strength, non-spark, corrosion resistant and maintenance-free aluminum. Our ship ladders are supplied with code compliant handrails and serrated treads for maximum strength and safety. We offer a standard mill finish for our ladders, and we anodize or powder coat to any color or finish specified for an additional cost.

Click here to learn more on the many benefits of using aluminum over steel in commercial and industrial ladder applications.

What are the Safety Standards for Ship Ladders?

OSHA requirements for ship ladders appear in Section 1910.25 (Stairways). In this section, OSHA states that a “spiral, ship, or alternating tread-type stairs are used only when the employer can demonstrate that it is not feasible to provide standard stairs.” All the general requirements for this section are outlined in Paragraph B.
Paragraph E of Section 1910.25 outlines the requirements for ship stairs specifically. In addition to meeting requirements in Paragraph B (need for handrails or guardrails in accordance with Section 1910.28, vertical clearance of at least 6’8”, uniform riser heights and tread depths between landings, supports 5X the normal anticipated live load but never less than a concentrated load of 1,000 lbs., etc.), OSHA states that the employer must ensure that ship stairs:

  • are installed at a slope of 50° to 70° from the horizontal
  • have open risers with a vertical rise between tread surfaces of 6-1/2" to 12" (165 mm to 304 mm)
  • have minimum tread depth of 4" (101 mm)
  • have a minimum tread width of 18" (457 mm)
  • Additionally, Figure D-10 in Section 1910.25 shows the angles for stairs, ramps and ladders:

    Angle Type
    ≤ 30° Ramps
    30° - 50° Standard Stairs
    50° - 70° Ship Stairs
    50° - 70° Alternating Tread-Type Stairs
    60° - 90° Ladders

    Note that you should always check OSHA for the most current requirements as well as local codes to ensure compliance.

Custom Designs and Applications

O’Keeffe’s offers custom designs for your aluminum ship ladder, ship stair or crossover. For more information to request a custom quote from our knowledgeable sales staff, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 888-653-3333. We look forward to hearing from you!