Nine Compliance Hurdles Architects Need to Know – #8 The 2m Walk-Off Rule for Ladders

In virtually every ladder description and image in the NZBC (or AS/NZS 1657, for that matter), there’s no specification for ladder walk-offs. Does that mean you don’t need to allow walk-offs at all?

The answer is a definite no. While the NZBC and 1657 don’t specify a clearance for ladder walk-offs, NZBC does require an 1800mm landing to arrest falling users in D1 4.3.6(c).

However the industry standard – passed down from the older ‘3m drop/2m back’ rule – is to allow a minimum of 2m from the ladder base before any obstruction or railing.

Since it’s a long-established standard, 2m is the rule for most inspectors. In any case, a greater clearance for safety is best, for much the same reason as the idea that ladders need cages behind them.

Should the worst happen and someone or something fall from a ladder, the 2m puts them away from any obstruction that might cause more damage. Think safety and adopt the best practice with a 2m clearance.

Designing the best buildings can mean jumping through a lot of hoops, so download our full ebook to make sure you know your stuff when comes to architecture compliances.

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