EN131 is a European committee for standardisation (CEN) harmonised standard for portable steps and ladders, manufactured from metal and certain other materials such as GRP. It covers minimum safety requirements.
Zarges 3-Part Fibreglass Skymaster GRP EN131 Professional Combination Ladder
The Skymaster is..
£856.18 inc VAT
£713.48 ex VAT
WHY HAVE LADDER STANDARDS CHANGED?
The European Commission is dissatisfied with elements of the existing standard and has issued an EC Mandate for the standard to include additional requirements for stability, slip, durability and strength in position of use which will help in preventing the main causes of ladder related accidents.
HOW IS EN131 CHANGING?
A harmonised standard has been introduced in the UK in 2018 which revokes any existing national versions.
The UK has differed from other European countries with a standard specific to ladders intended for domestic use (BS2037:1994 class 3) and with the proposed introduction of the new EN131 this domestic standard will be withdrawn.
BS2037/BS1129 Class 1 for heavy duty and industrial use will also be withdrawn.
There are two new categories for ladders under EN131; one for professional users and one for non- professional users reflecting that there are differences in the requirement for performance of the ladder.
WILL THE INTRODUCTION OF THE NEW HARMONISED EN131 AFFECT THE RANGE & AVAILABILITY OF PRODUCTS IN THE UK?
Yes, the domestic use (Class 3) range and products will be withdrawn and replaced by the new EN131 Non Professional rating and the industrial Use (Class 1) range and products will be withdrawn and replaced by the new EN131 Professional rating.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EN131 & BS 2037?
Many of the characteristics of the standards are similar but the new EN131 will introduce stabilisers on ladders over 3m, new slip tests, new cyclic durability tests, as well as new tests for ladders in the position of use.
Maximum load will be standardised at 150kg load rating.
WHEN WILL THE NEW HARMONISED EN131 COME INTO FORCE IN THE UK?
There are three main parts to the new standard:
Part 1 - Terms, Types & Functional sizes,
Part 2 - Testing and
Part 3 - Marking & User Instructions.
Parts 1 & 2 were introduced in January 2018 with a year for manufacturers to transition to the new standard, before the January 2019 deadline. Part 3 is expected to be released early 2018.
Can I still use my existing ladders?
YES, product standards do not apply retrospectively. So, if they are in good condition, there is no immediate requirement to change your existing ladders just because the product standards are revised or withdrawn.
You should consider updating your purchasing policies to be ready to specify EN 131 Professional ladders when your organisation needs to replace existing ladders or buy new ones.
When purchasing new ladders or replacing existing ones, you could buy either EN 131 Non-Professional or Professional ladders - it’s up to you. Non-Professional ladders should be perfectly adequate but you might want to consider spending a bit extra to buy a Professional ladder.