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Explanation of pictograms used for ladders

EN 131-3 states that the use of different types of ladders must be explained using pictograms. The pictograms can be found affixed to your climbing aids, as well as in the corresponding instructions. To provide you with a quick overview, we've compiled all pictograms here, along with an explanation of what they mean.




Observe instructions

Warning about falling from ladder

Inspect ladder following delivery. Before each use, a visual inspection of the ladder for damage and for safe usage. Do not use damaged ladders.




Ladders used to access a higher level must be extended at least 1 meter above the point of contact and must be secured when necessary.

Avoid leaning out to the side

Do not use the ladder on uneven or unsealed surfaces.

User limit

Max. load limit

Professional use

Maximum number of users

Maximum load bearing capacity

Ladder for professional use

Non-professional use

Angle of contact

Step alignment

Ladder not for professional use

Lean to ladders with rungs must be used at the correct angle of 65° – 75°.

Lean to ladders with steps must be used in a position that ensures the steps are horizontal.


Setup direction

Lean correctly

Stabilisation beams must be affixed to the ladder before being used for the first time.

Only use the ladder in the setup direction specified.

The ladder must not lean against unsuitable surfaces.

Standing area

Not allowed

Open correctly

Do not stand on the top three steps/rungs of a lean to ladder.

Climbing off a step ladder sideways to access another surface is not allowed.

Open the ladder completely before use.

Uppermost rungs

Do not step here

Special requirements 1

Do not use the top two steps/rungs of a step ladder as a standing area without a platform and railing for hands/knees.

Do not step on any surfaces marked this way.

When using the ladder as a step ladder with an extension ladder added, or in the step position, do not stand on the top four steps/rungs.

Special requirements 2



When using the ladder as a step ladder with an extension ladder added, or in the step position, do not stand on the top four steps/rungs.

When using the ladder as a platform, only the platform elements recommended by the manufacturer may be used. The platform element must be secured before use.

Only use with a stabiliser (when part of the ladder)

Ballast weight

Locking mechanisms

Maximum platform load

Only use with ballast weight (when part of the ladder)

Locking mechanisms must be checked before use and be fully secured should this not occur automatically.

Maximum load bearing capacity of the platform specified by the manufacturer when used as a scaffold (120 kg to 150 kg) (see EN 131-4:2007, section 7)



Outdoor use

Only use with activated brakes (when part of the ladder)

Ensure that the joints have been locked in position.

Do not use ladders outdoors when they are not designed for this.


Not allowed

Open the uprights fully before use.

Do not use the ladder as a bridge.

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