ladder learning against wall

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you should know all about the recent changes to UK ladder standards. No? Well, no need to worry. Here is everything you need to know about what the latest changes mean for you and your ladders.

What’s changing, and why now?

Back in 2018, a new legislation was passed in the UK specifying changes to the way in which UK ladders are classified. Since then, a 12-month grace period giving ladder manufacturers time to introduce the new regulations has come and gone, meaning that the changes are now being implemented more and more.

The legislation was originally passed as a result of the European Commission being dissatisfied with the ladder standards as they were. EN131 ladders – the minimum British and European governing standard for portable steps and ladders – have undergone a number of changes in order to improve overall ladder safety. Here is a quick rundown of what those changes entail:

1. Category clarification.

Prior to the new legislation coming in, there were three standards for ladders in the UK. These were:

  • EN131. For trade and light industrial use.
  • BS2037 / BS1129 Class 1. For heavy duty and industrial use.
  • BS2037 / BS1129 Class 3. For domestic use.

These have now been simplified into two classifications:

  • EN131 Professional.
  • EN131 Non-Professional.

This change was brought in to make ladder choice clearer and simpler for consumers, giving them the ability to easily identify which ladder is best-suited to their specific needs.

2. Additional testing on ladders and steps.

Another of the changes brought in has meant that UK ladders now undergo additional performance tests before they’re put on the market. These tests particularly involve analysing a ladders’ stability, overall durability and relative strength in position of use.

Changes have also been made to existing tests in order to ensure efficient ladder safety. This has been aimed at minimising the risk of falls from height and workplace accidents – a particularly common cause of injuries and deaths in the UK.

3. No need to replace your current ladder!

If you’re reading this and are worried that you now need to replace all your existing ladders, you don’t. The changes that have been brought in mainly affect manufacturers instead of users, so put your wallet away – there’s no need to go and splash out on new ladders.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t be kept in the know though and it’s worth updating procurement policies at the earliest practical opportunity to be ready for EN131 implementation. It’s also worth knowing about the changes to ladder classification for whenever you do eventually need to buy a new one.

Trust in us

You can rest assured that the ladders we provide here at Precipitous are a market-leading standard, having been built to fulfil maximum safety, convenience and utility standards. We stock a huge selection of ladders to choose from, so simply click here to see the full range we have to offer.

If you have any questions, queries or concerns as to what these new changes mean for you, please feel free to get in touch with us – we’d be more than happy to put your mind at ease.