At this year’s Ladder Association Annual Members Meeting in Leicester, the Technical Committee Report, chaired by Francis Camilleri, Business Development Director at TB Davies, meticulous scrutiny of ladder standards continues. The Committee’s representation at the British Standards Institution (BSI) committee B512 continues, with a call for revising BS 8634 Roof ladders on the British national ladder standards front. The Association’s Technical Manager, Don Aers, also holds a key role in CEN TC93, the European ladder standards technical committee, overseeing various working groups evaluating standards such as EN 131 (Ladders), EN 14975 (Loft Ladders), and EN 14183 (Step Stools).
An essential development relates to EN131 Part 8 (Ladders with a Working Platform), the first part of EN131, to undergo the audit process for listing in the Official Journal of the European Union. After a substantial five-year endeavour, the audit has finally passed, paving the way for the standard’s formal vote and publication. This achievement underscores TC93’s aspiration for all parts of EN 131 to undergo a similar process, albeit potentially time-consuming.
Furthermore, the report highlights the Committee’s vigilant monitoring of developments in other sectors and standards organisations, exemplified by their concerns over the revision of EN 50528 (Insulating Ladders), which has drawn objections due to its deviation from the base width requirements outlined in EN 131.
The Association’s active participation in an ISO standards committee for glass fibre telescopic ladders raises questions, as the draft aims to reintroduce ladder classes based on different load capacities, a departure from the established European standard EN131-6 (Telescopic Ladders).
As a comprehensive endeavour, the Technical Committee has concluded its initial draft of a substantial 46-page review on roof ladder usage. The eagerly awaited report, which bears significant recommendations for roof ladder utilisation, will see publication upon approval by the Association’s Council.
Finally, the Committee showcased a new set of graphics designed to promote the Ladder Association and its training courses. These graphics will feature prominently on ladders manufactured by Association members, in EN131 user instructions, marketing materials, data sheets, and across manufacturing and supplier members’ websites. These visual aids will steer individuals toward invaluable guidance on the safe use of ladders, further reducing ladder-related accidents.
In conclusion, as outlined above, the 2023 Ladder Association Technical Committee Report is a testament to the Committee’s dedication to enhancing ladder safety standards while exploring novel avenues to disseminate safety information to the broader public.