ACS Australia was tasked to develop a portable, light-weight, composite stair system for use by rail personnel who have to climb up ballast to reach tracks in order to attend train breakdowns, derailments or need to perform in-field maintenance.

The project involved the development of concepts, from which one was down selected, and a detailed functional design developed which met the performance targets and requirements set by relevant AS 1657 Australian Standards for stairways.

Using the developed design, a prototype composite ballast stair was manufactured by ACS Australia and delivered to the customer for field evaluation purposes. The ballast stairs were found to work well with further refinements identified for future prototypes.

Light-weight Composite Stairs are designed and manufactured to be compliant with the following Australian Standards:

– AS 1657 Fixed platforms, walkways, stairways and ladders

– AS/NZS 1576 Scaffolding General requirements

– AS 1892 Portable Ladders Requirements

In this short video showing the composite stairs we look at the benefits it has in reducing risk to injury for rail workers. It is reported that ~10% of all rail worker injuries are due to slips, trips and falls (US DOT 2019).


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