Ladder standards are changing on December, 31st 2018.
The British BS 1129 Class 1 and BS Class 1 and BS 2037 Class 3 standards are all retiring at the end of this year. From January 1st, 2019 the new standards, EN131 Professional and EN131 Non-professional will come into force. The revised standards are designed to make it easier to distinguish between ladders and steps fit for use in industry and those fit for use by domestic homeowners.
The improved standards are an effort to make ladders and steps safer to use and specify changes to both design and testing. The most noticable difference is the width of ladders that are 3m or extend to over 3m in length. These will now have a splayed base or a stabilising bar that must be attached before using for the first time. The stabiliser is then expected to remain on the ladder for its lifetime. The splayed base or stabiliser bar makes the ladder much more stable and less prone to sideways movement, which should lead to less falls from ladders and steps. At TB Davies, we have a wide range of ladders with both stabilising bars e.g. our combination ladders and splayed base, e.g. the Little Giant Ladders range, and have had for the last few years.
The max load capacity of ladders and steps is the second major change and the capacity is now set at 150kg. Previously the BS standards rated ladders at either 175kg or 110kg depending on whether they were in Class 1 or 3. Manufacturers may chose to test ladders at weights exceeding 150kg, but the capacity shown cannot be higher than 150kg.
European companies changed over to the new standard at the beginning of this year, whereas UK companies were given longer to complete the process. In the UK this date is coming up, the 31st of December is when BS 2037 and BS1129 will be discontinued and the new EN131 Professional and EN131 Non-professional standards will come into force. TB Davies already has a full range of EN131 Professional ladders and steps in place – for more details please visit our product pages.
How Does this Affect Me?
It won’t affect ladders and steps that are in good condition and in use. However, at end of life these should be replaced with steps and ladders that conform to EN131 Professional for use in industry and the trade. TB Davies has a wide range of product to chose from, and our team are fully qualified to answer your questions on the most appropriate steps or ladders to chose from.
Our PDF on the EN131 Changes is a short guide that explains the most important elements but should you wish to get more details, follow this link to download our White Paper on the changes. Alternatvively, call our team on 029 2132 0000 and they will be happy to answer your questions.