In the Spanish ladders and stools market we are still experiencing unfair practices from importers and distributors who threaten safety and health of workers and users. These wrong practices are linked to irregular marking of ladders and stools and their respective European Safety regulations, EN131 and EN14183, generally on products comming from China, Turkey and Portugal. The growth of sellings on the internet in the market has only aggravated these wrong practices with ladders and stools of very low quality being irregularly marked under these regulation´s umbrella.
The Spanish Association of Portable Ladders Producers (AFESPO) is decided and involved in the fight for conquering one of its main goals, to supply customers and users with safer and safer, resistent and longlasting ladders and stools. To do this, thourgh collaboration with the AIDIMME laboratory, it carries out periodical essays of control on products suspected to be malicious and in case of breach, informs the competent authorities.
In recent times, Spanish large distribution has invested many human and economic resources in its respective quality departments and nowadays it is difficult to find ladders and stools not convening with minimum quality standards. However, other channels have only opted for the price strategy without cotroling appropriately and credibly the quality of products being offered to its customers. Far from looking for safer, more resistent and longlasting products, due to the economic crisis and the growth of the internet channel, we are withessing a gradual reduction in quality on the market of ladders and stools due to the lack of rigour from importers, distributors and purchasing centres.
Following are given details of some suggestions for detecting products which, even though being marked with EN 131 or EN 14183, may breach these European Regulations of Safety:
- European EN 131-3 Regulation states the provission of Information driven to the User from the producer, the distributor and the owner of the ladder, in order to guarantee product´s safety. Each ladder must go with some basic instructions which may incorporate the assembly manual, points to inspect and verify, recommendations before use, emplacement, lifting and during the use of the ladder, as well as some suggestions refering to maintenance, storage and conservation of the product. This part of the EN 131 regulation has National Regulation status and, therefore, is mandatory.
- European EN 131-1 Regulation determines the terminology, types and functional dimensions of ladders and, in its last version, it is compulsory from December 2016. One of the most relevant changes establishes that every single ladder (including telescopic and those of multiple hinges) of more than 3 meters in support position, must include a stabilizer.
- European EN 14183 Regulation determines requirements for stools, gratings and dome-shaped stools and includes design features, dimensions, materials, performance requirements, essay methods and declaration of conformity. The regulation excludes ladders and scissor-type ladders defined in Regulation EN 131-1. Once the former outlined, it must be said that it is quite frequent to observe in the market stools marked as EN 14183 higher than 1 meter of platform, whereas in the requirements of this Regulation it is indicated clearly that these cannot exceed this dimension.
- A non motorized ladder, stool or platform cannot be labelled with CE marking. From AFESPO we suggest you to inform the competent authorities about ladders, stools and working platforms including this labeling and not being motorized. This is synonym of malicious product. Article 30.2 of Regulation (CE) 765/2008 bans the placing of CE marking in those products for which this use is not considered in the European Community Regulation of Harmonization.
The breach of European Safety Regulations may threaten severely safety and health of customers and workers. Please help us to detect these fraudulent products for the benefit of everybody.