New Standard for Portable Roof Ladders

There’s a new draft British Standard 8634 specifying the requirements for portable roof ladders designed solely for providing temporary access to pitched roofs between 25° and 65° for short duration, low risk tasks.  This Standard is designed to cover the following types of ladder:

·         Single section roof ladders

·         Extending roof ladders

·         Roof ladders with hinged joints (also known as articulated ladders)

·         Roof ladders with telescopic joints

·         Multi-part ladders (also known as sectional ladders)

The BSI (British Standards Institute) is asking construction industry insiders to submit their comments on the draft Standard by visiting the BSI website. 

The BSI was the first UK National Standards organisation and represents UK social and economic interests across Europe and international standards organisations in order to develop business information solutions for British organisations of all sizes and across all sectors.  The BSI works with a range of businesses in different industries, governments and consumers in order to develop British, European and international standards and is recognised by the UK government as the UK’s National Standards Body.  The BSI rece4ives funding from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in respect of its role and is recognised for the importance of its work in helping to support the infrastructure necessary for the UK to participate in international standardisation.

The proposed new Standard specifies:

·         The general design features, requirements and testing methods

·         The supporting elements, the bearers and ridge hook and their connections to ladders, including how a ladder is supported and located by the ridge on a pitched roof

·         The pitch, dimensions and form of a roof ladder’s climbing surfaces according to the intended angle of use

·         The wheels used to manoeuvre a roof ladder into position on a pitched roof

·         The markings and user instructions on a ladder

Develo9ping the new Standard has led to questions about how work is carried out on roofs and the best methods of ensuring that the equipment chosen is suited to a multitude of tasks.  The BSI is asking for comments on these issues and this is an opportunity for those who are interested and those whose work involves the types of ladders covered to have their say when it comes to ensuring safety and usability of these ladders. 

Roof ladders which conform to the new standards are not intended for use as leaning or standing ladders, a point we’d like to emphasize as it’s vital that when it comes to access equipment, the right ladder is chosen for the task at hand. 

It’s anticipated that the new Standard will ensure a safer product, whilst promoting the development of practical training for those who will be required to use these types of ladder in their work.  If you want to have your say, why not head on over to the BSI website now to make your voice heard?