The UK has three categories of ladder & stepladder strength - Industrial Duty (BS Class 1) ladders are designed for a Maximum Static Vertical Load 175kg (27.5 stones); Duty Rating* 130kg. The Max Static Vertical Load will sometimes be referred to as "safe working load". Trade Duty (now BS EN131; previously Class 2) ladders are designed for a Maximum Static Vertical Load 150kg ( 23.5 stones); old Duty Rating* 115kg. Domestic Duty (BS Class 3) ladders are designed for a Maximum Static Vertical Load 125kg (19.5 stones); Duty Rating* 95kg. * Duty Rating - confusion often arises from the use of the term Duty Rating on some ladders. These figures were arrived at years ago by British Standards Institute from a consideration of the frequency and general conditions of use. They are not an accurate guide to the Safe Working Load. The "Maximum Static Vertical Load" is a more useful measure and gives a more accurate guide to relative strengths. NOTE: Any standard or kitemark is only a MINIMUM standard. In the UK there are many approved and kitemarked ladders and steps which just about scrape through the tests. There are many others which are built to a considerably stronger specification than the tests require. Our Trade Duty alloy ladders (code: ELT...) are a good example. They are amongst the strongest BS EN131 approved ladders in the UK and many sizes would pass the Class 1 tests. There are some other makes of Trade Duty ladders which are still approved to BS EN131 but are considerable lighter duty and are built to JUST pass the tests. In addition, note that there are several types of ladders and steps which are not covered by any standard - Roof Ladders and Alloy Warehouse Steps for example. These are normally (but not always) made of Trade or Industrial duty materials, but cannot be kitemarked because no kitemark applies to them. Metal Ladders and Steps BS2037 Class 1 Industrial duty Max safe working load - 175kg (27.5 stones) [ Duty Rating - 130kg/20.5stones see text at top] The strongest UK category. These ladders and steps are built for the most rugged and frequent use. BSEN131 (previously BS2037Class 2) Trade Duty Max safe working load 150kg (23.5 stones) [OLD Class 2 Duty Rating 115kg/18stones but not now used see text at top] Our old Class 2 is now replaced by the European-wide EN131standard. In the UK it is known as BS EN131. Ladders and steps manufactured on the continent which are approved to EN131 will often show the French and/or German "kitemark" It is important to note that because there is no Class 1 and Class 3 on the continent, almost all continental ladders and steps are made to EN131. Manufacturers often subdivide this standard into several unofficial strength categories from light duty to heavy duty and produce ranges of ladders and steps of the same general design in each category. All, however, will be "EN131" standard. Consequently some EN131 products will be just as strong as our Class 1 products and some will be much lighter duty. BS2037 Class3 Domestic Duty Max safe working load 125kg (19.5 stones) [ Duty Rating - 95kg/15.0stones see text at top] The lightest duty UK category. These ladders and steps are built for occasional use around the home. They are NOT designed for Trade and Industrial use. Using them in these circumstances may contravene the Health & Safety regulations and will probably upset Health & Safety inspectors - especially if there has been an accident with them! Insurance companies often state that using Domestic Duty ladders and steps for commercial work will invalidate claims for personal injury. Timber Ladders and Steps BS1129 Class 1 Industrial duty Max safe working load 175kg (27.5 stones) [ Duty Rating - 130kg/20.5stones see text at top] The strongest UK category. These ladders and steps are built for the most rugged and frequent use. BS1129 Class 2 (now BS EN131) Trade Duty Max safe working load 150kg 23.5 stones) [OLD Class 2 Duty Rating 10kg/17.3stones but not now used see text at top] Old Class 2 is now withdrawn. Very few British makes of timber ladders and steps are approved to BS EN131. The dwindling sales of these timber products means that gaining a kitemark is too costly. Many ladders and steps are still "made to" the old standard but are no longer tested, approved and kitemarked.