EN-131 standard changes



On 1 January 2018, the amendments to the EN-131(-1/-2/-3) standards for portable ladders and stepladders became applicable and imposed new rules on manufacturers to provide users with greater safety and better information. To meet the new requirements and to provide its customers with the best height safety solutions, TUBESCA-COMABI has elected to comply with them immediately by upgrading its ladders and applying new tests and new signs on all its ladder and step ladder ranges.


The EN-131 standard includes several parts (-1/-2/-3). In 2015, an initial change to the EN- 131-1 standard was defined to provide details of the requirements for the dimensional aspect of ladders more than 3 metres long. All ladders that can be used in leaning mode must be provided with a safety device to prevent the base slipping away from the wall. The latter must remain less than 1.2 m and varies according to the ladder length.

2017 marked the arrival of the changes EN-131-2 and EN-131-3. The first change called for new tests to assess the strength of ladders and the second change reinforced signs and called for directly accessible documentation (adding of instructions in the form of pictograms, and assembly instructions attached to one of the uprights).



Odile Baillet, TUBESCA-COMABI's Quality Manager, said

"These standards are the result of work started around 7 years ago. As TUBESCA-COMABI does not compromise when it comes to safety, we have contributed by participating in the many standards committees that have amended these texts. These meetings have in particular provided an opportunity to make the voice of consumers heard at the level of European authorities. Because standards can only be effective and relevant if those who use these products on a daily basis are taken into account. In doing so, TUBESCA-COMABI's aim is to ensure that those who already possess its products have no safety concerns and are provided with ladders that meet their needs. "

New, more demanding tests for greater safety.

The changes to the EN-131 standard call for more demanding tests and a new classification of products for professional or domestic use. Each product will systematically have to successfully pass a total of 21 tests to obtain its qualification. For 15 existing tests, 6 additional tests are added. Some of these 21 tests are the most significant as they ensure safer use, such as:

  • Endurance of self-stable ladders (with a load of 150 Kg applied to one of the uprights)
  • Strength of ladders in the position of use (with a load of 270 Kg applied for professional ladders and a load of 225 Kg applied for domestic ladders)
  • Sliding of leaning ladders, with a load of 150 kg in the centre of the product applied four times in a row. The movement of the shoes must remain below 40 mm for one minute
  • Torsion of leaning ladders, with a load of 50 kg over the entire length of the intermediate rung and a load of 65 kg on only one of the two uprights. Deformation must not exceed 7% of the ladder width
  • Strength of stabilisers with visual inspection of these parts following the application of a load
  • Strength of joints (with a load of 260 Kg applied for professional ladders).

These new tests complete the list of tests that TUBESCA-COMABI carried out on these height access products. Indeed, to provide its customers with the best quality, TUBESCA-COMABI has an integrated test laboratory that ensures that its products comply with applicable standards and decrees.

Every day, TUBESCA-COMABI's qualified technicians ensure the quality follow-up of all its product references, from components to finished products.


New ranges in accordance with the changes to the EN-131 standard

New technologies are constantly being implemented at TUBESCA-COMABI in order to constantly tailor its products and design new solutions. The company is constantly looking for new technologies, but also new processes and solutions to better meet the needs of its customers. TUBESCA-COMABI is thus anticipating the new momentum that these changes to standards will quickly stimulate in markets.

This new standard includes more extensive tests and TUBESCA-COMABI, changes to all products more than 3 metres long (widening of flared bases for convertible ladders, adding of bases or stabilizers for simple and sliding ladders more than 3 m long, the 3rd section made inseparable for transformable ladders (3 sections) more than 3 m long; increase in aluminium thicknesses on ladders with flared bases from the 8th step onwards), as well as more explicit signs.


TUBESCA-COMABI completely renews its offer and proposes four new ranges, with a modern design: PLATINIUM, PRONOR, PROLINE and STARLINE. All this is the result of the anticipation of changes to the standard, 2 years of R&D and considerable industrial investment. The essential PLATINIUM range, which includes the most remarkable changes, is the benchmark for quality and durability, for all demanding industrial and construction uses. Rope-operated extension models now feature a new robust and fully foldable stabilisation system, which meets the new standard while offering great ease of transportation and installation. Another new feature in 2018, convertible and rope-operated extension models now feature a striker PLV.

The PRONOR range provides a good trade-off between quality and efficiency, which is particularly appreciated in building activities. The 2018 models will also feature quality accessories (foldable stabilizers) and PLVs.

The PLATINUM and PRONOR models feature:

  • the adding of a base with reinforced shoes for single straight ladders and hand-operated extension ladders more than 3 m long
  • the widening of the flare for single flared ladders (Platinum range only)
  • the adding of stabilizers (Agrip kit) for rope-operated extension ladders
  • the widening of the flare on convertible ladders.

For the latter products, the 3rd section is made inseparable on models longer than 3 m, in order to comply with the EN-131-1 standard.

The PROLINE and STARLINE ranges round out the choice and are suitable for everyday use.

The PROLINE range includes three new ladders: a simple straight ladder, a rope-operated extension ladder and a hand-operated extension ladder.

All models more than 3 m long in the STARLINE range now have a base with reinforced shoes. The base of convertible products, already so provided, have been widened and the 3rd section has become inseparable.

In addition, the aluminium thickness of all flared base models with more than eight rungs has been increased to provide greater strength.


Signs for ladders and stepladders are also changing with instructions and safety markings that will enhance existing ones in the form of pictograms.

TUBESCA-COMABI will therefore offer more complete and clearer signs.

These new ranges obviously include a new product design with new marking strips.

From 1 January 2018, TUBESCA-COMABI will offer all these new products with the same aim: working at heights in complete safety.


A major industrial investment in France

Through its production sites in France and the one located in Spain, TUBESCA-COMABI designs, manufactures and markets its ranges in France and in more than 60 countries worldwide. 100% of its products and solutions are designed and manufactured on 2 industrial sites in France and are certified by national and European organisations. Light access products such as ladders, rolling scaffolding, platforms and stepladders, mainly made of aluminium, are manufactured in the Ailly-sur-Noye factory.

To meet the criteria of this new regulation and develop its product ranges, TUBESCA-COMABI had to readjust almost all the ladder production lines in its Ailly-sur-Noye factory. All this represented an R&D and industrial investment of more than 2 years.

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