Ladder rungs and covers form strong, slip-resistant steps on metal, wooden, and fiberglass ladders. With fixed ladders, the ladder rungs are spaced equally apart and are often cylindrical in shape. With step ladders, the ladder rungs are usually bar-shaped. Ladder covers for industrial applications are sometimes welded onto existing ladder rungs to provide a sturdy, slip-resistant surface. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines regulatory standards for the slip-resistant ladder rung covers used in the food, beverage, chemical, and petrochemical processing industries. OSHA-compliant ladder rungs and covers are also used in steel mills and foundries; at plants, factories, and warehouses; and with manholes and emergency vehicles. Most ladder rungs and covers are lightweight, anti-slip, and corrosion resistant.
There are many different types of ladder rungs and covers. Generally, however, ladder rungs are defined by their materials of construction. Choices include aluminum ladder rungs, steel, ladder rungs, and stainless steel ladder rungs. These metal ladder rungs may be milled, painted, hot dipped, or galvanized. Fiberglass ladder rungs and wooden ladder rungs are also available. Specifications for all types of ladder rung covers include method of attachment. Some products are designed to slide over the rungs of existing ladders and provide a slip-resistant surface. Others have 1, 2, 3 or 4 holes for attachment with a drill and fasteners. Product specifications for ladder rungs and covers also include the shape and diameter of the rung, the length and width of the ladder rung cover, and size or finish-related customization.
Some ladder rungs and covers have special safety features such as small, channel-shaped sections with dimples. Using a cold forming process, the web of the channel is perforated with these evenly-spaced dimples to provide strong slip-resistance in all directions along with good adhesive friction. The cross-sectional design of these ladder treads or safety treads, as they are sometimes known, also increases the rung’s load-carrying capacity. On the edge of each ladder’s rung, the first row of dimples provides slip resistance from any angle. This is especially important in food and beverage processing facilities, oil and gas processing facilities, and other settings where employees who climb ladders may walk through oily, greasy, icy, wet, or slippery substances.