What is happening?
Product standards for portable ladders have changed – the single British & European product standard covering all types of portable ladders has been substantially revised. Under the new standards there will be two EN131 classifications, Professional and Non-Professional. These have replaced the previous Class 1 standards. Under new EN131 standards any leaning ladder over 3m will require a stabiliser bar. Testing on the new ladders have also changed, details of this can be found below in the summary.
What about other products covered by the British Standards?
Class 1 lightweight stagings and trestles will still be available as certified products.
Can I still use my existing ladders?
YES, product standards do not apply retrospectively. If your ladders are in good condition there is no immediate requirement to change your existing ladders just because the product standards are revised or withdrawn.
What is the Ladder Association’s guidance?
During the transition period you will still be able to buy ladders certified to BS 2037, BS 1129 and the superseded EN131 as suppliers clear their existing stocks and, whilst this is perfectly acceptable, this will diminish over time as supplies are exhausted.
Once supplies are exhausted there is still no immediate need to purchase new ladders if your existing ladders are in good condition. If your ladders conforming to the old standard do become damaged or unfit for use you should then purchase new ladders conforming to the new revised EN131 standard.
Summary Of The Changes
The Class 1 classification for portable ladders is being replaced by EN131 Professional.
- Stagings and trestles will still be available as Class 1 certified products.
- All ladders that are 3m or longer that can be used as a leaning ladder are required to have a base stabiliser under the new standards.
- The stiles are now tested to hold a load of 2,700N (Professional) or 2,250 (Non-Professional).
- New Standards test the feet of the ladder, the test weight is applied and the ladder mustn’t move no more than 40mm within 1 minute.
- Torsion tests are carried out on both step ladders and leaning ladders.