Fake Britain - Don-t Get Caught Out By The Frauds

Fake Britain - Don-t Get Caught Out By The Frauds

03rd February 2016

In a recent episode of the popular TV series Fake Britain starring Matt Allwright the TV audience was made aware of the dangers of counterfeit products, namely fake ladders.  By fake ladders we don’t mean other access equipment fraudulently posing as ladders, we mean counterfeit ladders that are not fit for purpose.  The programme revealed that even the large, reputable wholesalers and suppliers of ladders can be duped into believing that the ladders and stepladders they have on offer comply with all the relevant health and safety standards and are therefore safe to use and fit for purpose. 

The programme highlighted how ladders claim to meet specific standards which, when independently tested by the British Standards Institution (BSI) fail to do so in dramatic fashion.  The European standard for ladders is EN 131 (published in the UK as BS EN 131) with BS 2037 and BS 1129 setting the standards here in the UK for heavy duty and domestic ladders and stepladders in both timber and aluminium.  IN order to comply with these standards a ladder must meet all of the applicable requirements of the relevant standard – if a ladder fails to do so it should not be offered for sale or purchased. 

Fake Britain tested a number of different ladders that claimed to meet specific standards and after having them tested by the BSI made some shocking revelations.  One of the stepladders which was purchased online was tested and failed immediately when the bottom rung buckled on first use!  The user explained that he could easily have broken his ankle which would have meant that he would be unable to work for quite some time – which would have a serious impact on his livelihood. 

The Ladder Association advised that wholesalers and retailers need to satisfy themselves that all the ladders they offer for sale do actually comply with the relevant product standards.  Anybody importing or purchasing ladders should ask the manufacturer for a certificate of compliance from an accredited, independent third party test organisation.  However, that certificate may not be enough in light of the discoveries made by Fake Britain.  It’s then necessary to get in touch directly with the third party test organisation to check that the certificate is genuine.  If applicable requirements of the standard are show on a test report as “not tested” that may indicate that the ladder does not meet the standard.

According to the Ladder Association’s Technical Manager, Don Aers, you should only buy ladders and stepladders that are produced by reputable manufacturers and sold by experienced and knowledgeable suppliers who operate an ISO quality management system.  When selecting and buying a ladder, reliability, quality and safety should always be the top priorities.  Ladders are safety critical items of equipment and the risks involved with using a deficient or unsafe product are potentially huge and far reaching, not just for the user but foe everybody involved in the supply change.

Here at Safety Fabrications, we produce CE Marked Fabrications and all of our products are manufactured in accordance with BS EN ISO 3834-2:2005 and BS EN 1090-2:2008 – we make sure our customers can rely on us and rely on our ladders.