Ladder testing is extremely important to ensure that the ladders used on a daily basis are safe and of high quality. We recently went behind the scenes at Werner Ladders' testing laboratory in Derbyshire to see how their ladders are tested.
The Werner Ladder test house tests to four standards: EN131 Light Trade, BS2037 Class 1 Industrial, Class 3 Domestic and EN14975 for Loft Ladders. Tests are performed on all products they produce and products for testing are picked on a frequency basis. For example, box section extension ladders are tested in every batch of 150. Testing frequencies vary on all products.
Loft Ladder Testing
At the Werner Ladders test house, loft ladders such as the Werner Aluminium 3 Section Loft Ladder with Handrail are tested to EN14975 which includes a static load test and rung bending test.
The EN14975 standard covers topics like having a minimum weight capacity of 150kg, the angle of the ladder must be at an angle of 61 degrees so it is not too steep while climbing, the steps of the ladder must be within a particular distance of each other. Other safety concerns are the position of the top and bottom step, the top step must be within a particular distance of the top of the loft ladder to make descending the ladder safer and the same is true of the bottom step, it has to be within a particular distance of the floor.
Extension & Step Ladder Testing
EN131 certification requires multiple tests including a bending test. Werner also performs a test on their reciprocator which although isn't part of the EN131 standard, simulates the products in use by putting dynamic loading on the treads of the ladder. Other testing includes an EN131 Horn test on the stiles of step ladders such as the Werner Blue Seal Platform Step Ladders with Handrails and Opening Restraints testing.
The testing regime at Werner Ladders is very thorough and includes a visit from the standards organisation BSI twice a year. They are audited on the testing procedure and all of their equipment is calibrated and signed off by BSI.
For more information on ladder standards, take a look at our Buying the Right Ladder guide. You can also email our team or call us on 01204 590 232 and we will be happy to advise on any technical queries you may have.