Knowing your essential Ladder Standards and Regulations

ladder regulations

Before purchasing a ladder it is important to understand exactly what you are buying. Not taking any notice of essential information such as kite-marks, certifications or safety regulations can lead to serious injury or even death when the ladder is in use.

To begin with, you need to purchase a ladder which is suitable for your needs. If you require a ladder to be in almost constant use, then an industrial ladder would be most suited to your needs. If you are a trades person or need a ladder for use around your home then you need to be looking for the EN131 certification which certifies the ladder is safe for regular usage.

UK Categories for ladder and step ladder strength

The UK has 3 kite mark categories to determine what standard a ladder has reached. The kite marks fall into 3 standards; domestic, trade and industrial.

Whilst the Kite marks indicate that the ladder you are about to purchase has achieved the kite mark standard, it is worth bearing in mind that in most cases, the ladders are only just meeting this minimum standard. The ladders and step ladders we sell here at BPS Access Solutions are manufactured to a standard that far exceeds the standards laid out.

As a family business established for 10 years, our high standards speak for themselves.

Ladder Categories Explained

BS2037 (Class 1) – Industrial

These are the strongest types of ladders and step ladders that can be purchased. Industrial ladders are designed for on site use and are built to be in use almost constantly. An industrial ladder is an excellent choice for someone who spends most of their time working on a ladder on site but is not necessary if you need to carry out some DIY work around your home.

Maximum Static Vertical Load: 175kg/27.5 stone
Duty Rating: 130kg/20.5 stone

EN131 – Trade

EN131 is the latest UK trade standard replacing the old class 2 standard which was known as BS2037/Class 2. This is the most common ladder certification in the UK. EN131 is the certification you must look for on any ladder purchase (with the exception of industrial ladders) as this is the only way you will be sure that the ladder meets the safety requirements for trade and domestic use and will have been tested to confirm it meets the standards of EN131.

Maximum Static Vertical Load: 150kg/23.5 stone
Duty Rating: 115kg/18 stone

BS2037 (Class 3) – Domestic

This is the lightest standard in the UK and ladders falling into this classification should only be used occasionally around the home. Ladders displaying this certification should not be purchased as using them contravenes Health and Safety Regulations. We do not stock ladders bearing the BS2037 classification at BPS Access Solutions.

Maximum Static Vertical Load: 125kg/19.5 stone
Duty Rating: 95kg/15 stone

Ladders not covered by any standard

Some ladders are not covered by any standard – such ladders include roof ladders and conservatory ladders. In this instance, it is extremely important that you pay attention to the materials that these ladders are constructed from. Here at BPS Access Solutions, we construct such ladders using the same materials found in our industrial and trade ladders as if the ladder were to adhere to the appropriate kite mark.

Remember these ladders will not carry any kite mark because no kite mark applies to the product.

UK Loft ladder category

Don’t forget that access ladders to lofts also have to be fully kite marked and are subject to safety regulations in the same way that other ladders and step ladders are.

There is a standard class that applies to every loft ladder sold in both the UK and Europe.


This standard needs to be clearly displayed on any loft ladder you buy regardless of it’s construction whether it is metal or timber.

Maximum Safe Working Load: 150kg/23.5 stone

UK Scaffold Tower category

The UK standard for both trade and industrial scaffold towers is BS EN1004. The European standard is the same and is known as EN1004.

To meet this standard all scaffold towers must have:

* Stabilisers or outriggers fitted where necessary to guard against overturning.
* Ladder access to the platform either vertical ladders or inclined.
* Trapdoor platforms for safe access from the ladder to the platform.
* Toe boards fitted around the working platform.

Additionally the Health and Safety Executive require all scaffold tower users to use the 3T system known as ‘through the trapdoor’ Using the 3T system ensures that no one has to stand on a platform without handrail protection.

All scaffold towers sold by us meet the 3T building method. However some scaffold towers are sold without a 3T system and will require users to purchase additional equipment in order to meet the 3T requirements.

Still unsure what is best for your needs?

At BPS Access Solutions, we advise our clients on a daily basis on the best access product to suit their needs. If you are not sure which product would be most suitable, please do feel free to contact us.

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