To improve safety and prevent accidents, new ladder standards were introduced in 2018. The revised guidelines simplified the categories of portable ladders, making it easier to choose the right type for the task at hand.

The updated standards apply to all businesses who use portable ladders, so here’s a refresher on the rules:

Previously, there were three standards for ladders in the UK. Now there are just two – ‘EN131 Professional’ and ‘EN131 Non-professional’.

The ‘Professional’ category is for ladders intended for use in a workplace setting. Ladders that are meant for household use are categorised as ‘Non-professional’.

Any other changes?

  1. The standard width of ladders has increased to enhance stability.
  2. Ladders are put through increased strength test requirements – the minimum weight supported by all ladders is now 150kg.
  3. There are new requirements for ladder durability.

The grace period for ladder manufacturers has now come to an end, so ladders conforming to the old standards should no longer be available for sale.

Can I still use my current ladders?

Absolutely – provided they’re in good condition. Just remember that when they’re no longer fit for purpose, you’ll need to purchase ladders that meet the new BS EN131 standards.