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Reliable Safety. EN 131 – the most important improvements.

The standard EN 131-1+2*, which is applicable to ladders, has been comprehensively revised. The new version will take effect throughout Europe at the latest by end of 2017. The new standard will include a “Professional” and “Non-Professional” category.

In the UK, the current standard BS 2037 Class 1 (ladders for heavy duty and industrial use) will be withdrawn and replaced by the new EN 131 Professional rating.

We would like to give you an overview of the individual tests required by the new standard as well as the most important improvements to make working on ladders safer. Please take note that as a result of the new European standard for ladders, some features are no longer available or only partially available.

*EN 131-1:2015 and EN 131-2:2010+A2:2017

All ZARGES ladders in the category "professional":

In general, all products are categorised into two classes:

  • “Professional” standard for ladders that are designed for use in
    a professional setting.
  • “Non-professional” indicates ladders that are for home use.

We are proud that today our ladders already comply with the latest version of EN 131-1+2: From April 2017 onwards, ZARGES will deliver only ladders that fall under the “Professional” category according to this Standard.

Overview of the tests and requirements regarding DIN EN 131-1+2.

Safety first: according to the latest version of the Standard EN 131-1+2, all ladders need to fulfil additional and stricter requirements. You can read about the new or stricter tests in the overview.

Requirement “Base stabiliser”

The new requirements:

  • All ladders 3,000 mm or longer that can be used as a leaning ladder are required by the new standard to have a base stabiliser.
  • The required width of the base stabiliser may be up to a maximum of 1,200 mm, depending on the length of the ladder.

Please note:

Because of this requirement, a few features are no longer available for multi-part ladders: 

  • For push-up ladders that are longer than 3,000 mm when retracted, the ladder parts are no longer allowed to be used separately.
  • For multipurpose ladders that are longer than 3,000 mm when retracted, the upper ladder is no longer allowed to be used separately; such ladders also may no longer be used on stairs.

Requirement “Stile strength”

What is tested:

  • The strength of the stiles

How is it tested:

  • The step/rung is subject to a test load of 2,700 N (professional) or 2,250 (non-professional) in its usual use Position

The requirement:

  • The ladder must not be damaged and must retain its functionality

Requirement “Torsion step ladders”

What is tested:

  • Torsional stiffness

How is it tested:

  • One foot of a ladder is secured using a clamp
  • The platform of a ladder is subject to a load of 736 N
  • Subsequently, a lateral pulling force of 137 N is applied to the ladder

The requirement:

  • When the test load is applied, the other ladder foot should not move more than 25 mm from its original Position

Requirement “Continuous stress”

What is tested:

  • Durability of the ladder

How is it tested:

  • A load of 1,500 N is applied to the ladder alternately between the topmost step/rung and the middle step/rung of the ladder
  • Repetitions for non-professional: 10,000 cycles
  • Repetitions for professional: 50,000 cycles

The requirement:

  • There should be no damage to the ladder

Requirement “Base slip”

What is tested:

  • Slip-resistance of the ladder end caps

How is it tested:

  • The ladder is placed standing on a glass panel
  • The ladder is subject to a concentric load of 1,471 N
  • The load is applied 4 times to the ladder

The requirement:

  • The feet of the ladder should not slide more than 40 mm within 1 Minute

Requirement “Torsion leaning ladders”

What is tested:

  • Torsional stiffness

How is it tested:

  • The first step involves applying a concentric load of 491 N to the ladder for 30 seconds. This is then done to determine the initial value.
  • In the next step, a concentric load of 638 N is applied to one of the stiles and the deformation of both stiles are measured relative to the initial value.

The requirement:

  • The difference between the Deformation of the two stiles should not exceed 0.07 times of the ladder width.

ZARGES – Safety is our standard

The philosophy of ZARGES: safety first. This is why ladders made by ZARGES today comply with current national and international standards. And our certified development and manufacturing processes are guaranteed to give you safety and the highest reliability.


Do you have any questions regarding the new EN 131 or our products?

Our customer service will be glad to assist you. Please contact us:


Tel.: 01908 641118
or use our contactform