According to the EN131 standard, fibreglass ladders that have passed the dielectric test are considered safe for use around electricity up to a voltage of 1,000 volts (1 kV). The dielectric test evaluates the ladder’s electrical insulation properties. It ensures its safety when used in environments with voltages below 1,000 volts.
Fibreglass ladders are commonly used when electrical insulation is required, as fibreglass is a non-conductive material. However, it is advisable to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations, relevant safety guidelines, and applicable regulations specific to your activity.
How is my ladder tested?
Here is a summary of the test procedure for testing fibreglass ladders according to the EN131 standard:
- Preparation: The fibreglass ladder is set up in a stable position according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Test Voltage Calculation: The test voltage (Um) is determined based on the distance (d) between two adjacent rungs or steps, using the equation Um = 1,000 × d/300. Um is expressed in volts, and d is measured in millimetres.
- Test Voltage Application: The test voltage is gradually increased from 0 to Um at 1,000 volts per second. The voltage is an alternating current between 40 Hz and 62 Hz.
- Test Duration: The test voltage is maintained for 1 minute.
The ladder rungs (treads) are observed during the test for any flashover, puncture, or significant temperature rise greater than 5 °C. Flashover refers to a disruptive discharge or spark-over between the electrodes. Puncture indicates a breakdown of electrical insulation. The temperature rise is monitored to ensure it remains within an acceptable range (usually 5 degrees Celsius or less) on the ladder rungs.
The test is considered passed if no flashover, puncture, or significant temperature rise beyond the defined threshold occurs on the ladder rungs during the application of the test voltage.
The testing is carried out by authorized third-party accredited laboratories, with products only achieving certification on successfully passing all tests.
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