Telescopic ladders are a relatively recent and highly popular addition to the ladder market. There’s no shortage of reasons for their popularity either – chief amongst them is their versatility and ease of use. However, in Derbyshire thousands of these ladders have been recently withdrawn from sale due to safety concerns. If you own a telescopic ladder, it’s definitely worth taking a moment to confirm its suitability for the job before you start using it.
What’s The Problem With These Telescopic Ladders?
Essentially, a trading standards team in Derbyshire encountered fairly severe problems with a number of ladders, which quickly led to a government-funded investigation in tandem with the County Councils of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. Together, they found that a total of 13 different types of telescopic ladder all failed to meet BS EN131; the minimum standard of ladder construction. BS EN131 guarantees structural integrity, smooth function and therefore the safety of its user, whether that’s a homeowner or professional tradesman.
Almost every ladder was damaged by the standard tests carried out by these authorities, proving them to be completely unsafe for their intended use. One particular ladder snapped in half under the test load, despite that load being advertised as the minimum it could bear.
Ultimately 28,000 have been recalled immediately, with another 4,400 currently undergoing similar actions. Many of the problems are to do with their pyramid-style construction. Generally, this sort of ladder can have up to 32 locking mechanisms – but if even one of these fails, it can render the whole ladder prone to collapse. As one official said, it’s not just a matter of customers not being given their value for money, but it poses a very real threat to their safety.
Understandably, the trading standards teams and various County Councils regard this to be completely unacceptable. At Browns Ladders, we passionately share that opinion, and if you own such a ladder we’d urge you to be extremely cautious in its use.
Does This Ladder Safety Issue Affect Me?
Obviously we can’t say for certain, but the simple answer is – it could do. We think that if nothing else, that’s reason enough to carry out a thorough inspection of the ladder before you use it. Make sure you check the locking mechanism thoroughly, and if it looks like there’s any damage or wear and tear, refrain from using it until a professional is able to examine it. Be realistic, not optimistic – even if you think it might not be a problem, it’s definitely wiser to err on the side of caution.
The news does at least have one upside, and that’s to highlight the ever-important issue of practicing good ladder safety. Carrying out regular ladder inspections is part of this; at Browns Ladders, we employ specialists to do just that. This helps not only to reassure you of the quality of your equipment, but most importantly it helps guarantee your safety, and that’s one of our foremost concerns here at Browns.
We perform these inspections on-site, so there’s not necessarily a need for you to come to us, and our service is nationwide. What’s more, if you’re able to gather your access equipment into a single location before we arrive, we can carry out inspections on up to 50 items in a single day. Don’t take the risk – book a ladder inspection today by calling us on 01282 615517.
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