BS EN 131 Part 1:2015+A1:2019 – Ladders – Terms, types functional sizes
BS EN 131 Part 2:2010+A2:2017 – Requirements, testing, marking
BS EN 131 Part 3:2018 – Marking and user instructions
BS EN 131 Part 4:2007 – Single or multiple hinge joint ladders
BS EN 131 Part 6:2019 – Telescopic ladders
BS EN 131 Part 7:2013 – Mobile ladders with platform
BS EN 131 Part 8: (pending) Ladders with separate platform
BS EN 131 Part 5: (pending) Accessories
A standard is an agreed way of making a product, managing a process, delivering a service or supplying materials.
Standards are developed by subject matter experts who know the needs of the organizations they represent – people such as manufacturers, sellers, buyers, customers, trade associations, users or regulators.
Standards are powerful tools that can help drive innovation and increase productivity. Standards help to make products safer, easier to use, sustainable and of better quality – benefits for the consumer
Although there isn’t a legal obligation to adhere to standards, the Ladder Association requires that its members supply products that meet relevant current standards.
European ladder standards (EN’s) are developed by an organisation called CEN. CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, brings together the national standardization bodies of 34 European countries including the British Standards Institution (BSI) in the UK who remain a member even though we have left the European Union.
The CEN committee responsible for ladder standards is CEN Technical Committee 93, which is made up of ladder experts from across Europe. That includes the UK experts who are agreed and appointed by BSI Technical Committee B512 Ladders.
B512’s membership is made up of ladder user groups, safety professionals, regulators and members of the Ladder Association and is currently chaired by Don Aers, the Ladder Association’s Technical Manager. In addition to taking part in the development of the EN ladder standards (published in the UK as BS EN’s), B512 is responsible for the British (BS) ladder standards.
CEN TC 93 has a variety of working groups, each responsible for the standards for different types of ladders such as EN 131 and its various parts. The member countries volunteer to act as the secretariate for each of the groups and provide a convenor to lead the work. Each participating CEN member collaborates to establish safe design standards for ladders. The working groups must reach a consensus on the content and requirements for standards which must be approved by a majority in internal and public national votes before they can be published.
EN131 Part 1 Revised scope applies to portable ladders designed for general professional and non-professional use.
This standard does not apply to portable ladders which by their design and instruction are intended and limited only for a specific professional use and as a result are not for general professional or non-professional use.
Product standards are not retrospective and so ladders to the correct classification that are in good condition, inspected regularly (and the inspection recorded) can continue to be used. If you continue to use ladders to withdrawn standards, you should update your purchasing policy so when the ladders need replacing, you only buy ladders to the current standard.
If you want a ladder to the current standard, you may need to specify this. The hire company should supply you with a ‘fit for purpose’ ladder, but as product standards are not retrospective, the ladder may be to a previous version of the standard.