THE Ladder Association, a not-for-profit body dedicated to promoting safe ladder use, has produced a safety guide for users of telescopic ladders – an increasingly popular piece of equipment for working at height – following recent reports of unsafe products in the UK.
The guide provides key safety information for members of the public, including guidance on:
- Buying – how to make sure users are buying safe ladders that meet the European product standard for ladders, EN 131
- Using – advice on good practice for using a telescopic ladder to work at height
- Maintaining – how to care for and correctly store your telescopic ladder to ensure it remains in good condition
Reports of unsafe telescopic ladders were published following enquiries led by Derbyshire County Council’s trading standards team, who discovered a total of 13 different telescopic ladder types all failed to meet EN 131. The Ladder Association worked closely with Derbyshire County Council’s trading standards team and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on this issue and part funded the product testing.
Comments the Ladder Association’s Technical Manager and Chair of its Technical Committee, Don Aers: “As a safety-led organisation, we have concerns about the safety of some telescopic ladders, which are cheap imports that claim to comply with the product standard, EN 131, but when tested, fail to do so. They put unsuspecting users at risk who believe they have purchased a safe product.”
“You should check all types of ladder before each use and inspect them thoroughly at regular intervals. Because of these findings, we advise anyone who owns and uses a telescopic ladder to download our safety guide and inspect the ladder thoroughly for any signs of damage or component failure. If you have any doubts at all about its condition, then don’t use it and contact the supplier for advice.”
The Ladder Association plays a key role in the development of both British and European standards and is a long-standing member of the European Standards Committee for ladders, CEN TC93, and its Working Group, WG12, which is specifically responsible for telescopic ladders. WG12 is currently drafting a revision of EN 131 – 6 – that part relating to telescopic ladders – to further develop and advance the product standard.
The safety guide is available to download here.