RPII Information and News
Chris and David passed their RPII examination on the 19th November 2009 and will be ready to inspect inflatable play equipment from January 2010.
The law for operators
When a company, organization or individual hires any equipment they become subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This act places a duty of care on everyone involved in the transaction. This means that the operator, the operator’s employees, the hirer, the hirer’s employees and the owner or manager of the premises should do everything possible to ensure the safe use of the equipment.
In addition Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) require that all work equipment, and that includes inflatable play, must be tested by a competent person regularly (usually once a year).
PIPA helps operators conform with the law by defining a ‘competent person’ as one who has passed a specialized examination and is registered with the RPII.
Inspection by a competent person prior to first use and annually thereafter provides fundamental confidence in the equipment itself, safe operation is not verified by PIPA. For that users and operators should refer to EIS7 which was issued by the HSE as explanatory guidelines for the industry and expanded on the 1974 Act in relation to inflatable play equipment. The latest version of EIS7 can be downloaded here. This document could be used as a measure of “Best Practice” in any legal proceedings.
PIPA is one of only two inspection schemes recognized by the HSE (The other is ADIPS)
Operators using other testing schemes or methods may be required to demonstrate how such procedures equal or better the accepted best practice. Testers with no formal qualifications, however well experienced, would probably not be able to satisfy a court of their competence.
BS EN 14960
In March 2007 the BSI finally published the long awaited European standard for inflatable play equipment.
For some time before that PIPA used the draft standard as the benchmark for inspections. The published standard differs from the draft in some detail only so is now adopted by the scheme. Inspectors will use discretion where these differences apply and equipment or designs have been in use prior to publication of the standard.
The published standard is subject to copyright so cannot be made available from this site (as was the draft), it can only be purchased through BSI see http://www.bsonline.bsi-global.com/server/index.jsp
Inflatable play is normally a very safe and good way for children to exercise whilst having fun.
The three elements that make for a safe inflatable play environment are:
Properly manufactured and maintained equipment.
Correct operation (pressure, sitting, anchorage etc.) of the equipment.
The PIPA scheme ensures that equipment is tested to a recognized standard both before first use and annually thereafter
DO NOT forget your responsibilities as the customer because often the supervision is down to you!
Play Safe – DOs & DON’Ts
Have regard to the equipment’s intended use
Users that are outside the intended weight or height range can injure themselves and other users
Make sure the blower is at least 1.2 meters from the inflatable
Serious injury can occur if a user strikes the blower unit
Make sure the equipment has a current test certificate
Look for the PIPA Tag and check its validity on this site
Use surround mats if provided
These are provided to negate identified risks
Ensure that children are supervised at all times by a responsible adult
The vast majority of accidents occur through lack of, or bad supervision
Anchor the inflatable to the ground and ensure that you use every anchor point
Even in non-windy conditions the inflatable will move and creep (Perhaps taking it dangerously close to the blower)
Hire your inflatable from a reputable operator
Some will try to cut costs on safety by not PIPA testing – Always check
Follow the instructions given to you by the hirer – They are there for the safety of your children
Hire on the basis of the safest – Not the cheapest
Deflate the inflatable after use to prevent unsupervised use.
Allow users to climb on to the walls
Most accidents happen this way
Deflate the inflatable whilst in use
Users can strike the ground heavily if you do
Use the inflatable if you have any doubt as to its safety
Throw objects (or other people!) on to the inflatable
Allow users onto the inflatable in high winds