Scaffold tower standards are changing - what you need to know
Here at Browns Ladders, you can always have total confidence in the performance, reliability and safety of your purchase. We guarantee this by making sure that everything we supply is made to very strict quality standards. Different types of access equipment are governed by their own individual standards, and the one for scaffold towers is referred to as EN1004. It’s are due to change in the next few weeks (i.e. the end of November 2021), so here’s what you need to know before it does.
What is the EN1004 standard?
In short, it’s a European standard that sets the minimum requirements for quality, materials, dimensions, design loads, safety, and the performance of scaffold towers. In general, it’s recommended that all mobile towers are built to the specifications and standards set by EN1004.
It applies to mobile scaffold towers that fit the following profile:
• Must be free standing, with four legs and wheels
• Must be used for temporary access and shorter duration tasks
• Must not use fall arrest systems
• Must have a built-in means of access
• Must only utilise one working platform at a time
EN1004 has been the norm for all reputable equipment and suppliers since it was first introduced in 2004. Now though, the standard is set to undergo a notable overhaul, so it’s worth keeping yourself up to speed.
A new version of EN1004 was published in 2020, with the catchy title of EN1004-1:2020. That’s due to supersede the current standard at the end of this month. The new EN1004-1:2020 standard comes into effect on the 30th of November 2021, at which point the old EN1004 will be entirely obsolete. Therefore, any brand new scaffold tower bought after this date should adhere to the new EN1004-1:2020 standard.
With less than two weeks left to go, we’re now in the very final stages of the transition period between the two standards. Over the last 12 months, designers, manufacturers and suppliers have all refocused their efforts on producing mobile access towers that comply with (and are certified to) EN 1004-1:2020.
What key changes have been introduced by the new standard?
EN1004-1:2020 brings several new alterations to the previously existing standards, including:
• Shorter maximum distances between platforms, and a shorter distance between the lowest platform and floor level
• Castor wheels must be reinforced, to minimise the risks of them falling out
• Requirements for both sides of the tower to be secured at both ends, to minimise the risks of the apparatus being blown over in high winds
• New dimensions to allow for better developments in AGR (advanced guard rail) towers
• New requirements to allow alternative means of access below 2m
Now, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is just the first revision of the standard - it’s possible (maybe even probable) that another revision will be introduced further down the line. However, you don’t need to worry about suddenly replacing your entire inventory - all the EN1004 scaffold towers are still fit for purpose, it’s just something to look out for when you come to replace them with brand new models.
If you’ve got any questions or you need any help or advice, don’t hesitate to ask us here at Browns Ladders. With the huge range of scaffold towers that we have in stock, you can count on us to have all the answers to any questions you might have about them. You can pop into our ladder store in Brierfield, or just give us a call on 01282 615517, and we’ll be happy to see how we can help!