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Standards and Ladders

The voluntary safety standard for ladders is compulsory for all ladder listed in Trade Me

25 February 2021

In 2012 there was an accident where a ladder purchased from a seller on Trade Me collapsed, causing a serious leg injury.

The then Ministry of Consumer Affairs (MCA) undertook an investigation and found the ladder failed to meet the voluntary safety standard AS/NZS 1892.1:1996.

MCA then inspected various other multipurpose ladders and determined there was a cluster of unsafe ladders being sold in the country.

The images above shows a ladder that failed during testing.

You may also have seen the Sunday Programme show which highlighted the issue.

Immediately after MCA confirmed to Trade Me the ladders were unsafe we did a couple of things.

Firstly we contacted the members who were selling the ladders and informed them that they could no longer sell the ladders and that they needed to replace or refund any buyers who had concerns about the ladders they had bought.

We also took a policy decision to require that all new ladders sold on the site must meet the voluntary standard.

This is over and above the legal requirements but we felt it was the best way to ensure the safety of goods sold on the site. We then announced this to our community and updated our Banned and Restricted list.

The Minister of Consumer Affairs must have thought this policy was a great idea as an Unsafe Goods (Multipurpose Ladders) Notice 2012 was issued soon after.

It requires that multipurpose ladders comply with the standard. Given the risks with these kinds of ladders, Trade Me endorses this sensible decision.

Our policy is still the same, all new ladders listed on the site must meet the safety standard, not just the multipurpose kind.

If you wish to list new ladders on the site, you will need to be able to demonstrate compliance with the standard by having the appropriate test report documentation.

You must be able to immediately supply us this documentation should we ask for it.

IANZ will be able to assist you with finding an accredited laboratory that is capable of conducting testing to the standard.

We’ve got more advice on product safety issues here and you can find out more about product safety here.