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Whether it's part of the Brexit effect (whereby EU regulations are being replaced with UK based ones) or not, ladder standards are changing this year and it is vital that businesses using ladders have the correct equipment. Formerly there was the EN 131 safety standard which covered a wide range of ladders. This is being split into two new classifications, EN 131 Professional and EN 131 Non-Professional. The new classifications reflect the testing that each ladder must undergo in order to be safe for use, and this means that Non-professional ladders are now capable of holding the same weight as Professional ones, while in the past a domestic rated ladder would have been tested to hold a lower weight than a trade one. Businesses proving ladders for staff use must ensure they have the correct classification of ladder on site, as it must be one that is rated EN 131 Professional use.
There was also the BS 1129 and the BS 2037 which were split in to Class 1 and Class 3. Class 3 was for domestic ladders while Class 1 covered ladders for heavy industrial use. These have both been incorporated into the EN 131 classification.
There is no need to immediately change the ladders a business has, but it is recommended that they are replaced with ones that conform to the new standards when the time comes to replace them, if not before. Ladders which are fit for purpose can be used until they are no longer serviceable, and then they should be replaced with one that conforms to the new standards. Now is a great time to inspect your ladders and ensure they are still in good working order. If they are not then now is a good time to replace them and ensure you are complying with the new rules.
When buying a new ladder, especially for trade use, make sure you ask whether the model you are buying conforms with the new EN 131 regulations, and for extra peace of mind you can ask for a safety certificate confirming this. There is no need to retrain staff on ladder use as nothing has changed there, but it may be useful to ensure all staff that use ladders are given the information about the new regulations and urged to report any broken or faulty ladders to management so they can be removed and replaced.
At Midland Ladders we are committed to upholding the highest safety and quality standards, so you can be confident that a purchase from us will give you the best ladder, at a competitive price which also conforms to the highest standards of manufacture and safety. It might sound too good to be true, but we really are the experts! Take a look at our wide range of ladders today and get your business up to scratch with the best equipment.