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Substandard telescopic ladders – WernerCo backs new warning

The  latest consumer behaviour report from the Ladder Association, which has raised significant safety concerns regarding telescopic ladders, particularly those purchased through online marketplaces is being backed by manufacturer WernerCo.

The survey, commissioned by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), presents worrying trends in consumer purchasing behaviour and the presence of substandard telescopic ladders in the market.

Dave Elson, UK Compliance Manager for WernerCo brands including BoSS, says: “Telescopic ladders have become more popular in recent years, thanks to their lightweight and compact design, which lends itself to easier storage.

“However, the latest Ladder Association report highlights that with that growth in popularity comes increased risk.

“Indeed, the report indicated that a startling 62% of consumers did not consider product safety or quality marks amongst their top three purchasing priorities, with price being seen as the number one consideration for 68% respondents.

“Furthermore, 72% of ladder purchases were made online, with 30% of those being purchased from marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay – spaces that can be less than assiduous when it comes to ensuring ladders sold have the requisite safety accreditations.

“Alarmingly, 47% of buyers admitted to conducting no safety checks before purchasing their telescopic ladders, with just 28% ensuring their purchase had EN 131 accreditation – a standard to which all ladders should adhere.

“It’s not surprising, therefore, to read that nearly 1-in-5 respondents reported accidents while using a telescoping ladder, with 5% requiring hospital treatment. Purchases from online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay were significantly more likely to experience injury while using their ladder.

“At WernerCo, we are deeply concerned about the proliferation of unsafe telescopic ladders in the market, particularly those sold online without adequate regulation. Our users know what they are doing and they deserve products that are absolutely safe.”

To help customers ensure they’re purchasing quality telescopic ladders and minimising the risk of injury, WernerCo has put together a consumer checklist, with key considerations including:

  • Research Before Purchase: Verify the company’s location and check product reviews carefully.
  • Avoid Price-Based Decisions: Cheap products often compromise on quality and safety.
  • Check for Compliance: Look for third-party certifications and avoid products falsely bearing CE or UKCA marks.
  • Report Unsafe Products: Report any unsafe ladders to local Trading Standards or through the Ladder Association’s website.
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