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British Ladder Standards & Classifications

Stepladders, ladders, loft ladders & scaffold towers are naturally intended for different applications, levels of use and from different materials. It is critical the appropriate standard of equipment is selected for the job at hand. Typically within the UK (aluminium) access equipment is classified for domestic, trade & industrial use.

Domestic DIY steps/ladders – BS 2037 Class 3
Suitable for DIY use around the home, not for commercial applications. *Maximum static vertical load 125kg (19.5 stone)

Trade steps/ladders – EN131
Suitable for more frequent robust trade & professional use. *Maximum static vertical load 150kg (23.5 stone)

Heavy-duty industrial steps/ladders – BS 2037 Class 1
Suitable for intensive heavy-duty use within industrial environments *Maximum static vertical load 175kg (27.5 stone)

Aluminium is not the only material in which access equipment is manufactured – steel is often used for pole ladders, fixed wall ladders, hoop ladders and mobile safety steps. Stainless steel is used for safety steps within “clean environments” such as food production and pharmaceuticals. Timber ladders and towers have been around for centuries, in various guises. Today timber ladders and stepladders are predominantly used in the trade, but are becoming less common as glass fibre becomes more affordable. Towers are now constructed in aluminium, steel and glass fibre.

Timber standards

  • Heavy-duty industrial steps/ladders – BS 1129 Class 1
  • Suitable for intensive heavy-duty use within industrial environments
  • *Maximum static vertical load 175kg (27.5 stone)

Glass fibre standards

  • Trade use steps/ladders – EN131
  • Suitable for more frequent robust trade & professional use
  • *Maximum static vertical load 150kg (23.5 stone)

Aluminium tower standards

  • Heavy-duty industrial – BS HD 1004
  • Suitable for intensive heavy-duty use within industrial environments
  • *Maximum safe load for the structure 750kg (117.5 stone)
  • *Maximum safe load for the platform 250kg (39.5 stone)
  • *Maximum static vertical load (MSVL) refers to the maximum weight that should be placed on that piece of equipment – including weight of user and any tools.

Duty rating is also a common reference when talking about ladders and steps suitability – they refer to frequency and conditions of use and are not as reliable in ascertaining the strength of access equipment. The MSVL is a more reliable measurement.

If you’d like to buy from our range of Ladders then head over to our e-commerce site at Ladders-Online or call us on 03301231135 today.