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Telescoping Stair Module

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000085278D
Publication Date: 2005-Mar-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 95K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A vertically telescoping stair module used to rig up a temporary staircase is described herein. The stair module is designed to be light weight and space saving when being transported. Multiple modules can be stacked to effectively obtain a normal staircase up to elevations exceeding 100 feet.

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Telescoping Stair Module

A vertically telescoping stair module used to rig up a temporary staircase is described herein. The stair module is designed to be light weight and space saving when being transported. Multiple modules can be stacked to effectively obtain a normal staircase up to elevations exceeding 100 feet.

Existing methods for temporary access between various elevations include: ladders, spiral staircases, powered man-lifts, portable stairs, and portable elevator systems. The device described herein is intended to be able to be efficiently utilized in place all of those methods. Addressing each method in turn:

Ladders: For large elevation changes (approaching 100 feet) ladders are not the safest device and can be construed as completely unsuitable, depending on the interpretation of OSHA or other international regulations. Even with the application of fall protection devices, the risks of repeatedly climbing tall portable ladders are very high. Another issue is the structural integrity and stability of ladders greater than 60 feet in length.

Spiral Staircases: Although convenient for some low elevation applications, spiral staircases must be of very large outer diameter to provide the minimum inside tread width (6 inches) required by OSHA. Even this provides only minimal space for a person's heel when descending such stairs. Many spiral staircases are in violation of OSHA regulations simply because the required outer diameter is much greater than what is practical. Another issue is the vertigo experienced by some persons when climbing or descending tall spiral staircases. Also, since the main structural element of a spiral stair is a relatively small central post, taller rig-ups can have structural and stability problems.

Powered man-lifts: Typically designed for just one or two persons, man-lifts can reach relatively high elevations with safety. However, since they are powered devices, failure of the power supply renders them useless until repair or replacement can be made. In addition, utilization near oil or gas wells is typically prohibitive since there are few (if any) rated for use within the hazardous areas defined around oil and gas wells. They are also poor for emergency egress as they operate slowly and may not be located at the right place at the right time.

Portable Stairs: Seemingly similar to the disclosed device, fixed stairs and stair modules are often heavy and suffer from the large space they consume when transporting.

Portable Elevator Systems: As with the manlifts, powered devices may be less then desirable if they are the primary access to higher elevations. Any emergencies on-site (such as small explosions, fires, etc) can disable the elevator or make is unsafe for operations. In addition, such systems are expensive, take considerable time to rig up or rig down for transport, and are not usually portable on-site once erected.

A telescoping stair module would provide alternative means to provide ve...