A new European standard for ladders according to the latest EN 131 series standards

PN EN 131 2+A2:2017

New significant changes will come into effect on 1 January 2018 for all ladders that can be used as a leaning ladders, and whose length exceeds 3 meters. The new regulations of the EN 131-1 standard, in a substantial part, refer to the obligation of equipping these devices with a stabilizer, which increases the width of the ladder support, and thus the safety of users. The modified EN 131-2 standard also imposes on the manufacturers a number of new ladder strength guidelines and introduces a new division of ladders in terms of the user group.

All products are divided into two classes:

  • „Professional” is a ladder intended for use in a work environment.
  • „Non-professional” is a ladder for private use.

According to the new assumptions of the EN 131 series, all ladders must meet additional requirements.

The study contains a summary of the following changes:
  • I. Expanding the base
  • II. Strength test of stiles
  • III. Torsional resistance test for standing ladders
  • IIV. Changing load test
  • IV. Base slip test
  • V. Test of torsional resistance of leaning ladders

Requirements: Widening of the base

Objective: Guaranteeing stability

For ladders with a height of more than 3000 mm, which can be used as a leaning ladder, the new standard requires widening the ladder base to a maximum of 1200 mm, depending on the length of the ladder.


This new requirement means that in the case of multi-part ladders, some functions are no longer available:
• In case of existing sliding ladder construction, the length of which after sliding exceeds 3000 mm, parts of the ladder can no longer be used separately.

Requirements: Strength test of stiles

Objective: Guarantee of strength

Test method:
The step / rung in the position of use, is loaded with an eccentric test force:
- about 270 kg for "Professional" class ladders,
- around 225 kg for "Non-professional" class ladders.

Wymaganie: :
• The ladder must not be damaged, the function must be ensured.

Requirements: Torsional resistance test for standing ladders

Objective: Guaranteeing safety

Test method:
• The ladder's foot is clamped.
• The ladder platform is loaded with a force of approx. 74 kg.
• Then the ladder is stretched from the side with a force of approx. 13.7 kg.

Requirement: :
• During loading, the second ladder’s foot may move away from its current position up to 25 mm.

Requirements: Changing load test

Objective: Guaranteeing strength

Test method:
Variable loading of the highest step or rung and middle step or rung ladder with a force of approx. 150 kg.

• Repetitions - for "Non-professional" class ladders: 10,000 cycles
• Repetitions - for "Professional" class ladders: 50,000 cycles

Requirements: :
• There must be no damage

Requirements: Slip test of the base

Objective: Guaranteeing anti-slip

Test method:
• The ladder is standing on a glass plate.
• The ladder is loaded in the middle with a force of approx. 147 kg.
• The loading is repeated 4 times.

Requirements: :
• Ladder feet can move up to 40 mm in 1 minute.

Requirements: Test of torsional resistance of dock ladders

Objective: Guaranteeing the stiffness of the ladder

Test method:
• One of the ladder stiles is loaded in the center with a force of approx 64 kg, after which the deformation of both stringers is measured to a predetermined starting value.

Requirements: :
The difference between the deformation of both arms can be up to 0.07 the width of the ladder.

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