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09 Dec 2019

ladder regulations

Ladder Regulations: EN131 Explained

Back in January of 2018, the UK was introduced to the new and improved EN131 ladder regulations, replacing the existing EN131 regulation of old.

As news spread across the UK, the ladder industry rejoiced, tears of joy were shed and parties spilt out onto the streets nationwide as a result.

Okay, that last bit may have been slightly exaggerated but still, it was a welcome change.

In reality, however, the news likely went unnoticed by many ladder users across the country. For those that missed it, here’s the 411 on the EN131.

What is the EN131 ladders regulation?

Prior to the EN131 update, there was originally three different ladder regulations in place in the UK, covering domestic, trade and industrial use.

The European Commission was unhappy with the previous standard, highlighting the absence of appropriate stability, slip, durability and strength precautions – key areas that make up the main causes of ladder related accidents.

As a result, the new EN131 came to be, providing the next step in ladder safety.

Since the revision, the EN131 now provides a simple two-class system, separating ladder use into easily defined professional and non-professional use.

The new EN131 regulation ensures that all tested ladders and portable steps made of metal, fibreglass and other applicable materials meet the minimum safety standards required.

What does the new EN131 include?

EN131 has a number of essential criteria that have been implemented in the interest of user safety, notably the requirement for a weight capacity of at least 150kg.

The new EN131 also requires ladders over 3m to feature stabilisers, while additional slip and cycle durability tests are required, as well as additional tests for ladders in the position of use.

As a result of the new regulation, products will be need to be independently tested and certified for compliance, labelled accordingly with the EN131 Standard once passed.

What does the EN131 test include?

In addition to the new requirements mentioned above, the EN131 also implements new and updated testing criteria.

For standard leaning ladders, the EN131 includes the following tests:

  • Base Slip Test
  • Lateral Deflection
  • Bend Test
  • Strength Test
  • Torsion Test

Meanwhile, standing ladders are checked using the following tests:

  • Durability Test
  • Opening Restraints and Hinge Test
  • Torsion Test

Provided they can pass these tests, the ladders will be deemed worthy of EN131 certification.

Is the EN131 regulation a legal requirement?

While the new standard is undoubtedly useful in terms of ensuring user safety, it’s worth noting that the EN131 regulation is a guideline and not compulsory by law.

Nevertheless, professional safety bodies such as Trading Standards and the Health and Safety Executive will expect manufacturers to comply with this new ruling.

Meanwhile, professionals won’t be urged to replace their existing ladders; however, they will be expected to upgrade to EN131 certified products when a replacement is eventually needed.

EN131 at Ladders UK Direct

If you’re on the hunt for safe and reliable ladders that conform to EN131 standards, you’ve come to the right place.

At Ladders UK Direct, we have a huge selection of ladders on hand that conform to the new EN131 standard, from low-level work platforms to glass fibre step ladders and everything in between.

For top-quality ladders that are as safe as they are sound, Ladders UK Direct are undoubtedly Lord of the Rungs.


For more information on the EN131 regulations or to find out more about UK ladder safety legislation, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 01446 789 538 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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