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Multipurpose ladders unsafe

It’s official. Multipurpose ladders have been declared unsafe – and they’re banned from sale unless they pass the safety standard.


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In 2005 we tested six multipurpose aka “multifold” ladders and found that none passed the voluntary safety standard for portable ladders (AS/NZS 1892.1:1996).

We suspect these products haven't improved much: earlier this year a similar type of ladder collapsed after its new owner climbed on it.

So we were pleased to hear the Minister of Consumer Affairs has declared these types of ladders unsafe. They’re banned from sale unless the ladder’s importer can prove it complies with the safety standard. The ban will last 18 months – after that, it will be reviewed.

We say

  • Multipurpose (multifold) ladders are an accident waiting to happen. We approve of making them comply with the safety standard – and we’d like this requirement extended to all portable ladders.
  • If you really must buy a multipurpose ladder, make sure it has a sticker saying it complies with AS/NZS 1892.1:1996.