New Ladder Standards – Frequently Asked Questions

New Ladder Standards – Frequently Asked Questions

22nd November 2018

As we reported earlier this year, the European Committee for Standardisation issued some new standards that were designed to reduce the number of ladder related accidents and establish new testing and design requirements to ensure that ladders comply with stringent criteria for stability and load bearing capacity.   We did publish some information on the changes and what they would mean for anybody using ladders, especially those working in the construction sector here in the UK.  Today, we’ve put together a list of some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) that have arisen as a result of these changes so that our readers have a handy checklist to refer to.

When will the new EN131 come into effect?

The revised EN131 Ladder Standards have already been published and the sections of the British Standards, BS1129 and BS 2037, which cover ladders and stepladders have been withdrawn as they conflict with the European Standards.  Revisions are being prepared for the remaining content for trestles and staging and this should be completed and published in 2019.  Although the old standards no longer apply to ladders and stepladders, it’s okay to continue using ladders and stepladders that are in good condition.

Has the load changed on a new EN131 ladder?

Ladders are designed and tested to take a maximum total load of 150kg (this includes the users, tools, equipment and any other materials).

What’s the difference between EN131 professional and non-professional ladders?

Ladders approved to the revised EN131 carry the same load rating but professional ladders are subject to tougher durability requirements because they are expected to undergo more frequent and onerous use.

What do I need to do about ladders used for work purposes?

Make sure that your procurement policies are updated to make sure any new or replacement ladders you buy in future comply with the revised EN131 Standard.

Do I need to get rid of existing ladders?

If your existing ladders are still in good condition and are inspected and maintained on a regular basis, you can continue using them.  However, we do recommend that you inspect them thoroughly on a regular basis.

What about trestles and stagings?

The specifications for trestles and stagings in BS1129 and BS2037 are still current and valid although work is being carried out on revising these standards, so look out for the revisions which will be completed and published at some point during 2019.

Obviously, as your friendly ladder experts, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the news and will bring you the information you need on the revisions that related to trestles and stagings as soon as they’re published.  If you want to make sure you’re up to date with this, why not follow us on Facebook and Twitter so that you’re notified as soon as we have the updates you need?