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Simple. Sensible. Safety.
14th November 2017
Ladder regulations: step up to
the new standards.
New quality standards for portable ladders will apply from 1st Jan 2018. The changes include physical improvements plus it will be simpler to understand whether a ladder is fit for the application you have in mind.
Tip: The new standard covers all portable stepladders,
extending ladders and combination ladders.
The current Class 1 standard remains the same. This class covers heavy industrial ladders and steps perfect for commercial use.
The current Class 3 remains the same. This class covers simple and lightweight ladders and steps perfect for domestic use and light DIY.
The change occurs in the current middle Class: BS EN 131 that applies to heavier duty items that can be used in the workplace or at home.
This class is now sub-divided to make it easier to choose the right steps or ladders.
NEW - Class EN131 Professional product - for use in the workplace. These are built to a sturdier standard than the home products.
NEW - Class EN131 Non-Professional product - for use in the home. These are less robust than the industrial products.
The new standards include dimensional changes to improve stability, plus new requirements for increased strength tests and durability. So all portable ladders will need to have a load capacity of 150kg as a minimum (this compares with the previous domestic grade at 90kg).
Tip 1. There will be a transition period, during which retailers can clear old stock.
Tip 2. If purchasing new ladders from now on, it makes sense to choose the newer standard.
Tip 3. Bear in mind that there are fakes out there and these changes may provide an opportunity for the scammers to take advantage of any confusion. One obvious sign of a fake is that it has a CE mark. If you see one, don’t purchase as this marking doesn’t apply to ladders!
Shabbir says: Although the standards are changing this doesn’t mean you’ll need to dispose of your current steps and ladders if they are still in good condition! Remember to formally check
your items at least quarterly (use a Register) and train users on safe use of steps and ladders (use a ToolBox Talk).
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The Director, Shabbir Halai DipNEBOSH, CMIOSH, OSHCR is an enthusiastic, fully qualified and experienced health and safety officer - Chartered Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health - Number 012794.
Shabbir is approved and registered on the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register OSHCR; and has achieved the latest AET training qualification.
“Along with many contractors, we required health and safety
accreditation to gain some valuable contracts. Safety is the Key were recommended
to us and they made the whole process so easy. Shabbir revised and added to our
H&S documents; carried out Certificated H&S training for all our staff,
and even uploaded all the documents to the accreditation company. I am
delighted to say that we are now fully accredited and I can’t thank Shabbir and
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R Springham, RS Property