This is the first change to EN 131-2 since 1993 and specifies the general design features, requirements, and test methods for portable ladders and steps. It does not apply to step stools or certain specialist ladders such as fire brigade ladders and roof ladders for example.
The primary changes to the standard include an increase in the strength test loads applied to the stiles of ladders. The platform-loading test on a stepladder has also been modified in order to improve stability. A kick-up test of the platform has been added, along with a ‘feet pull’ test, a test on the hand and knee rails as well as a new torsion test.
Fibreglass ladders now have a comprehensive set of tests to determine the heat resistance, UV stability, and electrical properties.
The standard is intended to be use in conjunction with EN 131-1 (Sizes), EN 131-3 (Safety Instructions) and EN 131-4 (Multiple hinge ladders).The draft of EN131-3:2011 that relates specifically to user information and safety instructions is currently being reviewed and is expected to be ratified by the end of the year.