Telescopic ladders have become increasingly popular due to their compactness and ease of storage. However, recent research conducted by the Ladder Association highlights a concerning issue – unsafe and non-compliant telescopic ladders continue to be sold online in the UK, posing significant risks to users. In this article, we will delve into the findings of the Ladder Association’s safety report, emphasising the importance of purchasing ladders that meet safety requirements to ensure user safety.
The Ladder Association’s Safety Report: The Ladder Association’s safety report builds upon their previous market surveillance study conducted in 2022. Shockingly, over 80% of the commercially-available telescopic ladders tested failed to meet the minimum safety requirements designed to protect users. Even more concerning, more than half of the failed ladders were intentionally marked and sold as “compliant,” misleading unsuspecting consumers.
Despite ongoing efforts to raise awareness, no action has been taken to improve the problem. In a bid to see if the retailers have addressed the issue, the Ladder Association re-tested a proportion of the same products from last year’s study, bought from the world’s best-known online retailers Amazon and eBay, and popular online marketplace OnBuy.com. Unfortunately, every set of telescopic ladders tested failed the required safety tests, meaning they are non-compliant and dangerous, and proving that the earlier failures were not single instances. The latest study also found over 80% of the ladders re-tested claimed to be compliant with product standard EN 131 – but not one of the products met the standard.
Online Marketplace Challenges:
The current state of online marketplaces exacerbates the problem. Online platforms that sell products supplied by third-party sellers have no legal obligation to prevent the sale of unsafe goods on their platforms. Additionally, there is no requirement to inform consumers if they have purchased unsafe products. This lack of responsibility gives rogue manufacturers and suppliers worldwide the freedom to sell dangerous products directly to unsuspecting consumers in the UK without facing consequences.
Safety Risks and the Need for Change:
Working at heights already presents inherent risks, and the use of poor-quality ladders only increases the danger. Astonishingly, statistics indicate that every 11 minutes in the UK, someone seeks medical attention at A&E due to ladder-related injuries. Falls from heights can result in life-altering injuries and, in severe cases, fatalities.
Peter Bennett OBE, Executive Director of the Ladder Association, stresses the urgent need for regulatory changes to hold suppliers and online platforms accountable for ensuring the sale of compliant and safe products. While the recent Round Table led by Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake addressed the issue, the release of the long-awaited Product Safety Review is crucial in protecting consumers from purchasing dangerous products on online marketplaces.
Murdoch Ladders: Commitment to Safety and Quality
At Murdoch International we provide an extensive range of products designed with safety in mind. From simple single ladders to compact telescopic work platforms, we offer a variety of options to meet different requirements. Our range of Telesteps© conforms to the relevant EN131 standard, ensuring that our telescopic ladders meet necessary safety requirements.
Telescopic ladders from Murdoch Ladders are highly regarded by tradespeople for their versatility and compactness. These ladders are easy to store in a van, making them a convenient choice for trade professionals on the go. With Murdoch Ladders, users can trust that their telescopic ladders are not only practical but also meet the highest safety standards.