Standards are recognised rules of engineering and contain specifications for manufacturing and testing products. The European standard EN 131 applies to portable ladders. This standard consists of several parts which govern different requirements for ladders. Part 4 deals with hinged ladders and comes into force on 1 June 2020. What are the changes in the new version?
In general, the changes or increased severity in requirements aim at increasing product safety for users. The following new changes in Part 4 of the EN 131 standard governing ladders intend to make the stability and safety of hinges ladders ever safer for users.
- Ladders which can be used as leaning ladders and are longer than 3m in extended state must be equipped with a wider base up to maximum 1.2m (e.g. by means of bars and stabilisers).
- Multi-purpose ladders with 4×3 rungs that can be used as working platforms must be supplied by the manufacturer with an appropriate platform.
- Before ladders can be brought into circulation, the manufacturer is required to subject them to a number of different tests. NEW: In the durability test for jointed ladders, the test load must be applied to the top two treads/rungs.