Our test of ladders was conducted at an independent testing laboratory.
Overall score includes:
Stability and strength (60%)
Foot friction (10%)
Ease of use (30%)
Stability and strength is based on a number of safety tests. The tests are based on the standard for portable ladders AS/NZS 1892.1:1996.
First we applied vertical loads to the steps and then added various side forces, to measure stability and how much the ladder’s feet “walked” as they swayed side-to-side. The maximum “walk” allowed for portable ladders is 79mm under the safety standard.
Next we placed vertical loads as stated in the standard on to the treads, to see whether these loads would bend the stiles and treads or shear the tread-to-stile joints. Finally we did a second “walking” test to see if these tests had weakened the ladders and stepladders.
Foot friction indicates how much grip the feet had.
Ease of use evaluates the ease of folding/unfolding the ladders and how secure the ladders felt when being stood on.
Price is what we paid in July 2012.