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Topic at EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair: The new DIN EN 131

Important current developments have as much a place at the International Hardware Fair as the latest trends and innovations. Providers of access technology are currently dealing with the issue of standardisation. In Cologne, the discussion of the exhibitors with retail partners will center around the new DIN EN 131 for portable ladders, which went into effect at the beginning of this year.

Revised standard DIN EN 131 applies only to mobile ladders and states that in future leaning ladders that are longer than 3 metres must be furnished with a permanently mounted widened stand and the length of existing crossbeams extended up to 1.20 metres. According to the standard, the skid and torsion resistance also have to be reevaluated for leaning ladders.

In addition, the standard also stipulates that every ladder must come with a detailed instruction manual in the respective local language, including information about the scope of delivery, assembly, placement options and a description of the new pictograms firmly affixed to the stile section.

Other standards apply for steps, special ladders (e.g., fire ladders, roof ladders and mobile ladders) and scaffolding. Standards are reviewed at regular intervals – usually every five years – and revised if necessary.

No cause to be concerned for retailers – information provided on site in Cologne!

Despite this new regulation, there is no reason for retailers to be concerned: Leaning ladders purchased before the beginning of the year that do not correspond to the revised standard may continue to be sold.

Of course, the providers of access technology products have already informed their retail partners – nevertheless there will still be a need for talks here and there. The EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair provides the perfect opportunity for clarifying questions and having informative discussions, in which other sales arguments can be found.

Standards for other plant equipment

Plant equipment ensures order in the production area or workshop and makes it easier for the workers to do their jobs. The established standards also ensure order for the various products.

For example, workshop equipment such as workbenches, trolleys, shelf systems or drawer cabinets with many storage options for tools and accessories must be stable and have high load capacities.

The legislative authority has thus defined clear regulations and rules as well as detailed descriptions of how work equipment must be procured so that there is no risk of injury during use. Example: For workbenches or cabinet drawers, the legislative authority stipulates a distance of at least 12 centimetres between the lower edge and floor. There is a good reason for this requirement because an appropriate clearance prevents crushing injuries to the feet and joints. In Germany, the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health deals with such issues and publishes corresponding documents. With respect to the distance between lower edge and floor, this requirement is defined in DIN EN 349.

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