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Overall score includes:
Ease of use (30%)
Safety is based on the number of safety tests passed. 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.
Ease of use evaluates the ease of folding/unfolding the stepladders and how secure the stepladders felt when being stood on.
Price is the price we paid in November and December 2011.