BILCO UK LTD

PARK FARM BUSINESS CENTRE
FORNHAM ST GENEVIEVE
BURY ST EDMUNDS
SUFFOLK IP28 6TS

Tel: 01284 701696
Fax: 01284 702531

Company Logo

Suppliers of: access doors floor access doors roof access hatches roof access hatches roof fire vents roof smoke vents automatic roof smoke vents bs 7346 roof smoke vents bs 558 smoke vents en 12101

Bilco UK Ltd Supply a range of roof access hatches, smoke vents, floor doors, floor access covers, fall protection products and commercial escape & access ladders.

Based in Suffolk, Bilco can supply the construction trade with a range of standard roof hatches, smoke vents, and floor doors in various sizes and materials direct from stock, delivered by a nationwide pallet-line system or dedicated consignment. Bespoke items can also be undertaken with the assistance of our technical team.

NSHEV (Natural Smoke & Heat Exhaust Ventilators)

 

CE Marking: Bilco UK complies with all CE Marking legislation. See our website for our declaration of conformity.

Useful Resources:

  • Bilco Assist: Use Bilco assist to identify the essential design considerations required to ensure safe access points onto flat roof areas
  • BIM Models: Click Here
  • NBS Specifications: Click Here
  • CAD Drawings: Click Here
  • Installation Videos: Click Here
  • Find out more about the RIBA Accredited CPD: Safe Access All Areas Click Here
  • View the Howe Green entry on BPi: Click Here

Bilco supply the following ranges:

Roof Access Hatches:

Roof access hatches provide access to the roof areas for routine maintenance and inspection as well as for servicing of HVAC systems and other roof mounted equipment. They are ideally suited for use in office buildings, flats, factories, warehouses, retail stores, shopping complexes, hotels, manufacturing plants, hospitals, schools, auditoria and sports facilities where roof access is a requirement.

Natural Smoke & Heat Exhaust Ventilators (NSHEV) - CE Marking Compliant:

Natural smoke vents help vent smoke and gases from burning buildings primarily to provide clearer means of escape for individuals within the building. They also aid firefighting visibility when entering the building to fight the fire and reduce the lateral spread of the fire. Used widely in stairwells, corridors, smoke shafts and on roof areas of factories, warehouses, auditoria and retail facilities. CE Marked Compliant.

Bilco natural smoke and heat exhaust ventilators are manufactured to comply with all the latest regulations including the Construction Products Regulation 305/2011. All standard vents are supplied CE marked and with a Declaration of Conformity and are manufactured to meet the demands of Building Regulations, Approved Document B, BS9999 and EN12101-2.

Safety Products:

Bilco can also supply a range of Safety Products to offer fall protection and safety in accessing roof and floor areas. Bilco can also supply intruder protection systems to safeguard against trespass.

Ladders / Step Over Ladders / Roof Mounted Walkways:

Bilco supply a comprehensive range of ladder and walkways for roof access. These include Fixed Vertical Ladders (with or without Safety Cages & Guardrails), retractable ladders and loft ladders; as well as a reange of roof mounted walkways to provide safe access to rooftops.

Floor Access Doors and Howe Green Access Covers:

Our range of floor access solutions includes through-floor doors and the industry standard for accessing underfloor services - Howe Green floor access covers.

Further technical information is available to download from the BPi download Library

ACCESS COVERS Airports .
ACCESS COVERS Airtight .
ACCESS COVERS Aluminium .
ACCESS COVERS Aluminium Anodized Finish
ACCESS COVERS Aluminium Custom Finishes
ACCESS COVERS Aluminium Surface Mounted
ACCESS COVERS Aluminium Tread Plate
ACCESS COVERS BS EN 124 .
ACCESS COVERS BS EN 124 Class A15-F900 Loadings
ACCESS COVERS Cable Outlet .
ACCESS COVERS Cellar .
ACCESS COVERS Composite .
ACCESS COVERS Composite Aluminium
ACCESS COVERS Concrete Floor Finishes .
ACCESS COVERS Double Leaf .
ACCESS COVERS Drainage Doors .
ACCESS COVERS Exterior External .
ACCESS COVERS Fall Protection Gratings .
ACCESS COVERS Fire Rated .
ACCESS COVERS Fire Rated BS 476:Part 22 1 Hour
ACCESS COVERS Fire Rated BS 476:Part 22 1.5 Hour
ACCESS COVERS Fire Rated BS 476:Part 22 2 Hour
ACCESS COVERS Fire Resistant .
ACCESS COVERS Flexible Floor Finishes .
ACCESS COVERS Flooring .
ACCESS COVERS Flooring Lightweight Composite
ACCESS COVERS Grating Incorporated .
ACCESS COVERS Hard Floor Finishes .
ACCESS COVERS High Security .
ACCESS COVERS Hinged Lift Assistance Mechanism .
ACCESS COVERS Insulated .
ACCESS COVERS Internal Interior .
ACCESS COVERS Ladder Safety Posts .
ACCESS COVERS Lightweight Slim .
ACCESS COVERS Modular Systems .
ACCESS COVERS Multiple Unit .
ACCESS COVERS Natural Stone Floor Finishes .
ACCESS COVERS Pan Covers .See Also PAN COVERS:
ACCESS COVERS Purpose Made Bespoke and Custom Designs .
ACCESS COVERS Recessed .
ACCESS COVERS Recessed for Block Paviors
ACCESS COVERS Recessed for Floor Finishes
ACCESS COVERS Security Covers .
ACCESS COVERS Slip Resistant/Anti-Slip/Low Slip Surface .
ACCESS COVERS Stainless Steel .
ACCESS COVERS Steel .
ACCESS COVERS Steel Galvanised
ACCESS COVERS Steel Galvanised BS EN 124
ACCESS COVERS Steel Galvanised BS EN ISO 1461:1999
ACCESS COVERS Steel Galvanised Exterior
ACCESS COVERS Steel Galvanised Recessed
ACCESS COVERS Steel Galvanised Solid Top
ACCESS COVERS Tiled Walls .
ACCESS COVERS Tree Pit Covers .
ACCESS COVERS Unfilled .
ACCESS COVERS Vehicular .
ACCESS DOOR Grating Panels .
ACCESS DOORS . .
ACCESS DOORS Aluminium .
ACCESS DOORS Double Leaf .
ACCESS DOORS EN 124 .
ACCESS DOORS Extreme Loading .
ACCESS DOORS Fire Rated .
ACCESS DOORS Floodtight .
ACCESS DOORS Floor .
ACCESS DOORS Floor Fire Rated
ACCESS DOORS Floor Fire Rated ASTM E119
ACCESS DOORS Floor Fire Rated BS 476: 1 Hour - 3 Hour
ACCESS DOORS Floor Fire Rated NFPA 80
ACCESS DOORS Floor Fire Rated NFPA 251
ACCESS DOORS Floor Fire Rated Up To 3 Hours
ACCESS DOORS For Tiling .
ACCESS DOORS Lift Assisted .
ACCESS DOORS Lockable .
ACCESS DOORS Odour Control .
ACCESS DOORS Pit .
ACCESS DOORS Purpose Made .
ACCESS DOORS Recessed .
ACCESS DOORS Steel Galvanised Steel
ACCESS DOORS Steel Stainless Steel
ACCESS DOORS Walls .
ACCESS HATCHES See Also ACCESS COVERS: See Also ROOF ACCESS HATCHES:/LOFT ACCESS DOORS:
ACCESS LADDERS Aluminium BS 4211:2005 +A1 2008
ACCESS LADDERS Dropdown Means-of-Escape .
ACCESS LADDERS EN 14975 (DIN 4570) .
ACCESS LADDERS Flat Roof .
ACCESS LADDERS Retractable Concertina
ACCESS LADDERS Retractable Industrial Grade EN 14975
ACCESS LADDERS Roof Access .
ACCESS LADDERS Safety Cage and Guardrails Combined BS 4211:2005 +A1 2008
ACCESS LADDERS Safety Hoops Combined .
ACCESS LADDERS Safety Hoops Combined BS 4211:2005 +A1 2008
ACCESS LADDERS Safety Mounting Devices .
ACCESS LADDERS Security Gate Combined .
ACCESS LADDERS Sloped Ships Ladder Type .
ACCESS LADDERS Special Sizes .
ACCESS LADDERS Steel .
ACCESS LADDERS Steel BS 4211:2005 +A1 2008
ACCESS LADDERS Telescopic .
ACCESS PANELS Airtight .
ACCESS PANELS Aluminium .
ACCESS PANELS Anti-Bacterial Anti-Microbial
ACCESS PANELS Fire Resistant .
ACCESS PANELS Fire Resistant BS 476:1987 Part 22
ACCESS PANELS Flexible Wall Tile Fitting / Tile Insert
ACCESS PANELS Floor .
ACCESS PANELS Invisible Closure Systems .
ACCESS PANELS Lockable .
ACCESS PANELS Metal Wall Tile Fitting / Tile Insert
ACCESS PANELS Plumbing .
ACCESS PANELS Purpose Made Bespoke Custom Made .
ACCESS PANELS Stainless Steel .
ACCESS PANELS Steel .
ACCESS SKYLIGHTS . .
ALARM SYSTEMS Fire Alarms .
BASEMENT DOORS Exterior Access Sloped Entrance Hatches .
BASEMENT DOORS Exterior Access Sloped Entrance Hatches Emergency Exit / Emergency Egress
BASEMENT DOORS Exterior Access Sloped Entrance Hatches HDPE Simulated Wood
BASEMENT DOORS Exterior Access Sloped Entrance Hatches Steel
BASEMENT DOORS Exterior Access Sloped Entrance Hatches Steel Sided
BASEMENT DOORS Exterior Access Sloped Entrance Hatches Wide Openings
BASEMENT ENTRANCES Exterior Basement Access Sloped Entrance Hatch / Stairwell Combined
BASEMENT LIGHTWELLS
BASEMENT LIGHTWELLS Emergency Exit Egress Window Wells
BASEMENT LIGHTWELLS HDPE .
BASEMENT LIGHTWELLS Modular Systems .
BASEMENT LIGHTWELLS Window Well Dome Covers .
CAR PARK Smoke Control Systems .
CAT LADDERS Handrail Combined .
CAT LADDERS Metal .
CAT LADDERS Safety Hoops Combined .
CAT LADDERS Steel .
CELLAR DOORS
CELLAR FLAPS .
COVERS EN 124 .
COVERS Fire Rated .
COVERS Insulated .
COVERS Lift out .
DOORS DOMESTIC Basement Cellar Access
DRAINAGE CHANNELS Linear .
DRAINAGE CHANNELS Linear Antislip Slip Resistant Safety Flooring Applications
DRINKING WATER TREATMENT Facilities Security Intrusion Detection Systems DHS Safety Act Anti-Terrorism Designation (USA)
DRINKING WATER TREATMENT Facilities Security Intrusion Detection Systems Security Services Approved (UK)
DRINKING WATER TREATMENT Facilities Security Intrusion Detection Systems Tampering Detection and Alarms
DRINKING WATER TREATMENT Facilities Security Intrusion Detection Systems Wireless Systems
DUCT COVERS Sealed Aluminium
DUCT COVERS Sealed EN 124
EXPLOSION VENTS Explosion Relief Fire Vents .
EXPLOSION VENTS Explosion Relief Smoke Vents .
FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS Commercial .
FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS Network Controlled .
FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS Radio Wireless Controlled .
FIRE ESCAPES Ladder Dropdown .
FIRE ESCAPES Ladders Telescopic .
FIRE ESCAPES Loft Ladder .
FIRE VENTILATORS Roof .
FLOOR ACCESS COVERS See Also ACCESS COVERS: .
FLOOR ACCESS DOORS See Also ACCESS COVERS: .
FLOOR DRAIN Covers Stainless Steel .
FLOOR DRAIN GRATINGS .
FLOOR DRAIN GRATINGS Stainless Steel .
FLOOR DRAINS .
FLOOR DRAINS Linear Channel .
GRATING Access Hatches .
GUARD RAILS Roof Hatches .
GUARD RAILS Roof Hatches OSHA Fall Protection Standards (29 CFR 1910.23)
GUARD RAILS Rooftop Systems .
GUARD RAILS Smoke Vent Openings .
HATCHES Cellar See Also CELLAR DOORS:
HATCHES Emergency .
HATCHES Fire Escape .
HATCHES Glazed .
HATCHES Hatch Railing Systems .
HATCHES Roof .
LADDER Roof Hooks .
LADDER Safety Posts .
LADDERS Aluminium .
LADDERS Aluminium BS 4211:2005 +A1 2008
LADDERS Concertina .
LADDERS Fire Escape Ladders
LADDERS Industrial .
LADDERS Internal Roof Access .
LADDERS Ships Ladders Companionway Ladders BS 5395 Part 3
LOFT ACCESS DOORS Fire Rated One Hour
LOFT ACCESS DOORS Loft Hatches .
LOFT ACCESS DOORS Loft Hatches Ladder Combined
LOFT ACCESS DOORS Loft Hatches Telescopic Ladder Fitting
LOFT LADDERS BS EN 14975 (DIN 4570) .
LOFT LADDERS Commercial Heavy Duty
LOFT LADDERS Electric .
LOFT LADDERS Fire Escape .
LOFT LADDERS Metal .
LOFT LADDERS Metal Collapsible Trellis Concertina Scissors Operation
LOFT LADDERS Retractable Folding Concertina
LOFT LADDERS Trap Door Combined .
METAL Plate Covers .
METAL Plate covers Aluminium
METAL Plate Covers EN 124
METAL Plate Covers Stainless Steel
METAL Plate Covers Steel
PAN COVERS Aluminium .
PAN COVERS EN 124 .
PAN COVERS Fire Rated 90 Minutes .
PAN COVERS Gas Strut Lift Assist .
PAN COVERS Heavy Duty Loading Applications .
PAN COVERS Hinged .
PAN COVERS Insulated .
PAN COVERS Shallow .
PAN COVERS Stainless Steel .
PAN COVERS Steel .
ROOF Fire Vents Automatic
ROOF Fire Vents Automatic Acoustical
ROOF Fire Vents Automatic Natural Daylight
ROOF Mechanical Vent Systems .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Air Tight BS EN 12207:2000 .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Aluminium .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Controls .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Electric Operated .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Emegency Exit Panic Latch
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Fire Rated .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Glazed .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES High Security .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES High Security Applications .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Hinged .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Insulated .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Ladder Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Ladder Access Flat Roofs
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Louvred Curb .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Manual Handling Regs Requirements .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Plant Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Powered Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Purpose Made Bespoke and Custom Designs .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Refurbishment .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Safety Guardrails .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Security Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Security Burglar Resistant BS EN 1627
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Service Stair Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Ship Stair Access .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Sit On Curb .
ROOF ACCESS HATCHES Translucent Dome .
ROOF ACCESS SYSTEMS Guardrails .
ROOF ACCESS SYSTEMS Ladder Incorporated .
ROOF ACCESS SYSTEMS Ship Stair Incorporated .
ROOF EDGE PROTECTION Roof Edge Protection System Roof Edge Protection Barriers
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Bespoke Purpose Made .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS BS 6399 Part 2 .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS BS EN 14122 .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS EN 13374 Class A .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Self-Supporting Safety Railings .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Temporary Portable Guardrails Collapsible Guardrails
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Tubular .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Tubular Aluminium .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Tubular Counterbalance Handrails .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Tubular Freestanding .
ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS Tubular Steel .
ROOF SAFETY BARRIERS Railings Barriers Fencing .See Also ROOF GUARDRAIL SYSTEMS:
ROOF SAFETY SYSTEMS Permanent Fixed
ROOF SAFETY SYSTEMS Permanent Ridge .
ROOF SAFETY SYSTEMS Valley Frames Portable
ROOF VENTILATORS . .
ROOF VENTILATORS Fire Control .
ROOF VENTILATORS Flat Roof .
ROOF VENTILATORS Fusible Link Control .
ROOF VENTILATORS Heat and Smoke Release Automatic .
ROOF VENTILATORS Remote Control .
ROOF VENTILATORS Smoke Release .
ROOF WALKWAYS Rooftop Walkway Systems .
ROOF WALKWAYS Rooftop Walkway Systems Aluminium
ROOF WALKWAYS Rooftop Walkway Systems BS 5395:Part 3
ROOF WALKWAYS Rooftop Walkway Systems Roof Mounted StepOvers
ROOF WALKWAYS Rooftop Walkway Systems Safety Walkways
ROOF WINDOWS Smoke Ventilation .
ROOF WINDOWS Smoke Ventilation Automatic AOVs .
ROOFLIGHTS Access Hatches .
ROOFLIGHTS Ventilated Fire Opening
ROOFLIGHTS Ventilated Smoke Ventilation
SAFETY ACCESS SYSTEMS .
SAFETY RAILS Rooftop .
SHOWER DRAINS Linear Shower Channels .
SKYLIGHTS Electrically Operated .
SMOKE Hatches .
SMOKE Shaft Ventilation
SMOKE CONTROL Actuators .
SMOKE CONTROL Control Panels Control Units
SMOKE CONTROL Fire Ventilation .
SMOKE CONTROL Firemans Override Switches .
SMOKE CONTROL Management Systems .
SMOKE CONTROL Sensors Smoke Detectors
SMOKE CONTROL Systems .
SMOKE CONTROL Systems Car Park .
SMOKE CONTROL Ventilation - See Also SMOKE VENTILATORS: .
SMOKE VENTILATORS AOV Automatic Opening Vents .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Car Park .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Controls Control Equipment and Accessories .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Louvred .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Mechanical Mechanically Operated
SMOKE VENTILATORS Network Controlled Management Units .
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) .
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) Acoustic
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) BS EN 12101-2
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) CE Compliant / CE Accredited
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) CE Marked / CE Marking Declaration of Conformity
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) Construction Products Directive 89/106/EEC
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) Double Leaf
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) EU Regulation 305/2011
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) Special Sizes
SMOKE VENTILATORS NSHEVs (Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Vents) Stairwell
SMOKE VENTILATORS Positive Pressure .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Purpose Built .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Refurbishment .
SMOKE VENTILATORS Roof .
SMOKE VENTS See Also SMOKE VENTILATORS: .
STEP OVER LADDERS Fixed Units .
VENTILATION Smoke Control .
VENTILATION SYSTEMS Smoke Control .
VENTILATORS Smoke Control .See Also SMOKE VENTILATORS:
WALKWAYS Roof .
WINDOWS: MISCELLANEOUS Basement .
BIL-GUARD Rooftop Guardrail Systems
BILCLIP Flashing System
BILCO FIXED VERTICAL LADDERS Flat Roof Access Ladders
BILGUARD Rooftop Guardrail Systems
BL-Z Retractable Ladders
BL-ZBOX Retractable Ladders
BV-F90 Pan Covers
BV-THERMO Pan Covers
BVA MULTI Sealed Duct Covers
BVA-SLIM Access Panels
BVH-MAXI Deep Pan Covers
BWALK-A Roof Walkway Systems
CLASSIC SERIES Basement Access
CNIGUARD Water Treatment Facility Intrusion Detection
GOLDEN KEY Access Cover Lift-Off System
LADDERUP Ladder Safety Post
LUMIVENT Fire Vent
OS2 Electronic Operators for Smoke Control Systems
PERMENTRY Basement Access
POGO POLE Ladder Safety Post
REM SMOKE VENTS Automatic Smoke Vent
ROOFEP Roof Edge Protection Systems
SKY Automatic Smoke Vent
SKY-ACCESS Roof Access Hatches
THERMOLATCH II Hold/Release Mechanism
TNEMEC Coating
TYPE SM Basement Access
ULTRA SERIES Basement Access
VERSAMOUNT Roof Access Hatch

Bilco Safe access all areas with Access 360

December 2019

Three of the UK’s leading access specialists have come together to form the Access 360 portfolio, providing a total manufacturing solution for roof, ceiling, wall and floor access products for the construction industry.

Access 360 comprises Bilco UK, Profab Access and Howe Green. These well-established brands all have a strong reputation for delivering innovative solutions to address the challenges of safe access within a building or external environment.

The brand identities have been updated, reflecting the holistic offer that Access 360 presents to the market, to represent the synergy between the brands and the complementary nature of the products.

Bilco UK is a horizontal access specialist supplying the commercial market with standard and bespoke roof access hatches, ladders, smoke vents and floor doors. Founded in the USA in 1926 the company has been operating in the UK since 1989.

Following the acquisition of Bilco by the Tyman Group in 2016 Bilco UK became part of home security specialist ERA in April 2017.

Howe Green was acquired by Bilco UK in 2017. The company manufactures fabricated floor access covers, linear drainage, tree pit covers and bespoke metalwork from a manufacturing facility in Hertfordshire. Incorporated in 1983 Howe Green access covers are specified across a diversity of industry sectors.

In August 2018 Profab Access, a leading manufacturer of vertical access panels, riser doors and steel doors was acquired. Established in 2001 Profab employs a team of 71 and operates from a 46,000 sq. ft. manufacturing and distribution facility in Warwickshire.

The strategic acquisitions of Howe Green and Profab Access were designed to strengthen Bilco UK’s “Safe Access All Areas” proposition. The three companies serve the same market, working with architects, specifiers and building service professionals to provide trusted, high quality, safe access solutions.

James Fisher, Managing Director of Access 360, explains the rationale behind the creation of Access 360 and the new brand identities. “Since the acquisition of Howe Green and Profab Access we have been promoting our ability to provide an unparalleled range of access solutions. From an operational perspective it soon became obvious that we needed a name and an identity that could encompass all three companies, whilst retaining the established and trusted brand names.

“We have members of the team whose responsibilities cover the three brands, including myself, our Sales Director, Technical Director, Marketing Manager, SHEQ Manager, New Product Development Engineer and our sales force.

“The name Access 360 represents what we have to offer the construction sector – products that cover the complete spectrum of access solutions. We have a new brand mark for each company to illustrate how the brands, and respective products, complement each other. We are delighted to present Access 360 to the world and to announce the bringing together of three brands with one specific objective – safe access all areas.”

To find out more about the range of products available from Access 360 please visit http://www.access-360.co.uk/

Bilco UK Ltd - Specifying Ladders?

November 2019

It seems the humble ladder has been around forever - a 10,000-year-old painting in a cave in Valencia shows ladders being used to raid a wild honeybee nest.

Whilst the material used to construct this ancient piece of equipment has evolved over the centuries, from grasses to rope to wood and then metal, the principle design factors and functionality remain as do the potential hazards.

Facts and figures:

Figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2018 indicate that 26% of fatal injuries are caused from a fall from height with 37 fatalities in 2018.

Whilst only 8% of non-fatal injuries are caused by a fall from height the numbers are significantly higher – 43,000 accidents across all industries. The construction sector accounts for 18% of those accidents!

Architects, specifiers and building contractors have a duty of care to ensure that when specifying ladders they give due consideration to a number of factors to help to minimise the risk of falls

Key Considerations When Specifying Ladders

Tony Stevens, Technical Estimator at Bilco UK outlines some of the key factors to be considered when specifying ladders for accessing a roof area.

Where is the ladder going to be used?

If the ladder is required to gain access to the roof and to be mounted externally it will require a safety cage and guard rail to enter the roof safely.

What is the ladder going to be used with?

You need to have a clear understanding of the type of access product the ladder is going to be used with.

For a small hatch, such as the Bilco E-50TB, which has internal dimensions of 915mm x 915mm, a fixed vertical ladder should be specified. A retractable ladder would not be recommended for the E-50TB as the ladder angle would hinder access when you get close to the hatch.

Where frequent access to the roof area is required for maintenance personnel, tools and equipment a companionway roof hatch, like the CS-50TB which is a larger elongated access hatch, is generally required. In this instance, a companionway ladder or a retractable ladder can be specified (the maximum size for companionway would be 2440mm and 1500mm for retractable).

The companionway ladder is a 75 degree angled, rigid ladder providing permanent access to the roof hatch.

Retractable ladders are ideal for use in areas, such as schools and hospitals, where the floor space must be kept clear. They can be mounted above a ceiling and be offered with additional vertical backboards with steps and a handrail. They can also be supplied with fire rating.

Where access is required to the roof area via a smoke ventilator, like the Bilco ESW-50REM, a retractable ladder is not an option. The very nature of the mechanism of a retractable ladder would prevent the flow of smoke through the vent.It would, therefore, be counterproductive to use a retractable ladder with a smoke vent, although we have seen this specified on more than one occasion!

The only recommended ladder for use with a smoke ventilator is a fixed vertical ladder, due to the small footprint of this type of ladder.

Ladder Height

Knowing the height of the floor to underside of roof access hatch that you wish to access may seem incredibly obvious, but you may be surprised by the number of ladders that are specified either too short or too long for the height required!

Roof Void Height

When specifying a retractable ladder it is essential that you know the height of the roof void - the space between the ceiling and the roof. This is to ensure the ladder box liner will fit inside the space once retracted.

What happens if you get the specification wrong?

If you specify a small hatch for use with either a companionway ladder or retractable ladder it will be difficult to access, so it will not be functional.

If you specify a large length hatch, it will be difficult to access from a fixed vertical ladder. The worker will have to overstretch to open and close the hatch, putting themselves into an unsafe position.

If you specify a retractable ladder with a smoke ventilator you will compromise the integrity of the smoke ventilator by blocking the flow of smoke.

To conclude, specifying ladders might seem like a straightforward aspect of a building project but the health and safety and functionality implications are far-reaching. Always ensure you specify the right type of ladder and hatch that will provide the safest and easiest access to the roof area.

If you need some help with the specifying the right ladder to use for roof access please contact Tony – tony.stevens@access-360.co.uk.

List all press releases