This spring I purchased the Mighty Step 38 inch wide steps.
Here is the ad from the website:
The Mighty Step for above-ground pools feature wide, non-slip steps and two easy-to-grab hand rails with deck mounting brackets for safety and stability. A new design leaves the side panels open to be filled with sand keeping the steps in place, and flow through side panels to prevent algae growth. The steps have been designed for flat bottom pools with 48 or 54 inch walls and are available in two sizes. Includes steps, two hand rails with mounting brackets, hardware and installation instructions. •For use in above ground pools with flat bottoms
•Wide, textured safety steps
•Straight forward installation, sturdy construction
•Optional deck attachment included
•Ships quickly, no delivery appointment required
These steps had to be assembled when they arrived. The assembly wasn't too bad, except the material that the steps are made with doesn't seem like it is very durable and sturdy. The steps are rated as a 400 lb capacity. Since I am not a small woman (I weigh almost 300) and some of the guys will top 200 pounds, I figured these would be ideal.
Boy, was I wrong. When using the steps you could feel the steps "giving" and "flexing" when entering and exiting the pool. A week ago my kids were over swimming. My son (weighs about 200 pounds) was entering the pool with his toddler (turned a year old in Feb.) when the top step buckled and caved in. This could have led to disaster, but thankfully the baby wasn't hurt as he was able to deflect most of the fall from the baby. My son took the brunt of the fall when he went through. His ankles swelled up and turned purplish bruised. Nothing was broken, but he couldn't wear shoes for several days and his ankles are still bothering him.
I need some good ideas how to modify these steps so that they will not do this again. I need to find something to weigh them down and have thought about running some pvc pipe in through the side slots at the bottom and setting a 5 gallon bucket of sand (sealed up) on the pvc pipe. We had sand in the sides with the recommended water but when the steps were taken out some of it leaked out and it was so gross I have emptied the sides of the sand and water -- I think part of our problem getting our pool cleared may have been the algae growth from the steps.
Any help or ideas is appreciated.