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Ladders are products you take with you. Ladders are all rounders. Ladders are ladders, and don't need further elaboration. Or maybe they do? How much thought have you put into the ladders you use at your company? Which member of your staff is responsible for their inspection and maintenance? And which standards are there that are applicable to ladders? We'll be happy to inform you about them. Because guidelines not only make you ladders more reliable, but also give you company a legal safeguard.
EN 131 is probably the best-known standard applicable all over Europe for mobile ladders. It covers several parts, from EN 131-1 to EN 131-7. The first three parts specify how ladders have to be designated, constructed, inspected and labelled, and which information needs to appear in the instructions for use. By the way: it's not only ladders that are checked and, when necessary, improved – the standard itself is also subject to modifications. From 1 January 2018 on, all lean to ladders more than 3 metres in length, for example, need to feature a stabiliser. You can find out more about the changes to the standard here.
Even if your ladders are compliant with the applicable standards, you should also make sure you follow a number of important rules for use. This helps prevent accidents. A ladder is, in principle, not a workplace. This means that the level of difficulty and the duration of tasks performed on a ladder should be kept to a minimum. Lean to ladders, for example, may only be used for construction work when the working height is less than 7 metres, and the activity does not have to be performed for more than 120 minutes. It's worth checking in each individual case whether scaffolding, industrial stairs or working platforms might be better suited to the job. Above all, this applies when large objects, heavy tools or bulky building materials are needed for work. Everything that weighs more than 10 kg should not, as a rule, be carried up a ladder.
Only ever use ladders or steps suitable for the respective task being performed. Set them up so they are stable and safe to climb, and observe the respective instructions for use. The most important ones can be found in the form of pictograms on the product. Ladders compliant with EN 131 must be designed for an effective load of 150 kg.
§14 of the Occupational Safety Directive specifies that the employee must have the ladders and steps regularly inspected by a person qualified to perform this inspection.
But who is actually qualified, or better: when are you qualified? In principle, the employee can determine the specialist qualified to perform inspections. This specialist must, however, satisfy certain requirements:
Recent professional activities include performing several inspections per year (maintenance of experience in inspections).
Appropriate further training can be obtained by means of participation in a one-day seminar, and therefore be certified.
By the way: inspection planners can maintain an overview of all your work equipment subject to inspections, and automatically inform you of any inspections due.
We only stock ladders that are compliant with the current EN standard and which are made by renowned manufacturers and brands, such as Günzburger, ZARGES or EUROKRAFT. You can use filters to choose which properties your ladders should exhibit: do they need to be mobile and/or folding? Should they be accessible on one side or on both sides? How long should the ladders be? Start by clicking the characteristic most important to you and then choose from further options. If you should have any questions, please contact us.
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