If your ladder suddenly collapses underneath you, then you may have a product that does not meet the safety requirements required by law. A test of ten aluminium steps and ladders, by the Danish Labour Inspectorate found eight of the ladders tested did not meet safety requirements. This was despite the fact they bore the CE and DS/EN 131 standards, which should guarantee they meet minimum requirements. Two ladders were so dangerous that inspectors demanded their immediate withdrawal from sale.
Labour Inspectorate Chief Supervisor Charlotte Friis said, “The result is quite simply appalling. We have very clear rules on which loads a ladder must comply before it can be sold in stores. Now it turns out a lot of ladders on shop shelves look ok, but in fact do not meet the standard requirements.”Tests found ladders collapsed under a weight far lower than they should be able to endure exposing both householders and tradesmen to injury.
“The ladder must withstand a load of 150kg, however some broke down at 78kg. Such a failure makes them decidedly dangerous to climb on, and should never have been on sale,” said Charlotte Friis. She stresses there are many more models in the market that we have not tested, and therefore do not know whether they are safe.
ANEC the European consumer voice in standardisation complained, “In 1999, the EU Commission set requirements that safety improvements for ladders were necessary. After ten years, the manufacturer’s technical committee have still not found a mutually agreeable solution that could increase safety.” said engineer Tania Vandenberghe.
In 2009, the Commission renewed pressure on manufacturers, but the new standard improvements have still not been negotiated. Engineer and expert in product safety Helen Amundsen from the Consumer Council said, “The weak control means that there are a lot of free riders claiming to meet safety standards. They buy a container full of product they do not know is safe. They’ll get it sold in three months and then they are off the market again.” she explains
Retailers need to be vigilante and ensure their suppliers testing claims are valid and up to date. The EU Commission is preparing regulation that places greater demands on the authorities in different EU countries to turn up the market controls on products sold to consumers.
Bob Baldock General Manager at TB Davies the UK agent for Xtend+Climb telescopic ladders said, “It was great news to see Xtend & Climb pass the test where others failed. As a business. we have been warning about the danger of fakes and ladder copies for some time. It is essential that both consumers and retailers need to choose their ladder brand carefully.”
Xtend & Climb is an international telescopic ladder brand and employ London patent attorneys Forresters to vigorously defend their patented technology. Xtend & Climb is manufactured to the highest standards and are independently tested to EN131.
Cardiff, Wales January 3rd, 2012
Original quotes are in Danish and sentence structure has been amended during translation with care not to alter the meaning.
- Family firm established in 1945 by T. Bryn Davies, Great Grandfather of current Director, David Gray
- One of the largest independent manufacturers and distributors of access equipment in the UK – ladders, steps, towers, podiums, safety accessories, training etc
- Route to market – national merchants, independent tool merchants and industrial mail order
- Manufacturer of customised and specialist access equipment for bespoke projects, including Ministry of Defence, British Airways and Rolls Royce amongst others
- Members of the Ladder Association