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What to look for when you’re buying or borrowing
Many different designs are available, from small ‘step-stools’ to
larger stepladders and combination designs which can be converted

into extending ladders.

The type bought most often are the 4 to 7 step folding versions,
as illustrated here. These are suited to many jobs around the house,
but it’s very important never to use any stepladder that’s the wrong
height for the particular job you’re doing. Some are too short for
high work, and some – just as dangerous – are too tall for lower
work. You must be able to do your work comfortably without

overreaching up, down or sideways.

All stepladders should meet the required British or European
standards – check this whenever you buy, hire or borrow one.
BS 1129:1990 (British) applies to wooden ladders
BS 2037:1994 (British) applies to metal ladders
BS EN 131:1993 (European) applies to both

BS 7377:1994 (British) applies to step-stools

Is it strong enough?
New stepladders are generally marked according to their safe
working load. This classification, however, can vary slightly in the
values given and has caused confusion. The variation is due to the
different way in which the values for safe working are expressed.
In the British Standard it is ‘Duty rating’. These have been arrived at
by taking into account the general conditions and probable frequency
of use for each type. The European Standard uses ‘Maximum static

vertical load’. To help clarify this, we have given both sets of figures.

British Standard stepladders to BS 2037 (Aluminium) or BS 1129
(Wood) or BS 7377 (Step-stools):
Class 1 (Industrial) Duty rating 130kg (20 stone)
= Maximum vertical static load 175kg
Class 3 (Domestic) Duty rating 95kg (15 stone)
= Maximum vertical static load 125kg
European Standard stepladders to BS/EN 131 (all types):

(Previous Class 2) Duty rating 115kg (18 stone)

   = Maximum vertical static load 150kg


Add:No.89 Lane 455 Jiasong  

Middle Road Qingpu District,


Most stepladder accidents are caused by human
error, not by ladders failing. But any equipment in
poor condition is potentially dangerous, so do this
quick check before each job.

Is the stepladder generally sound? No damage to the stiles

(the outside uprights) or steps or top platform? Dents, bends, cracks
and splits are all hazards. If you do find any structural damage,

don't attempt to repair it – you need a new stepladder.

Are the rubber or plastic non-slip feet all safely in position?
Before you use the stepladder, any missing ones must be replaced

– you can usually get these from the manufacturer.

Make sure the steps are all clean and tidy.
Every month,
more than a thousand people
need hospital treatment because of
accidents at home involving stepladders...