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Inflatable testing and the law

Date Added: October 28, 2008 10:04:38 PM
Author: Anonymous

The law for operators

When a company, organisation 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 specialised 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 recognised 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 diferences apply and equipment or designs have been in use prior to publication of the standard.

The published standard is subject to copyright  it  be purchased through BSI see http://www.bsonline.bsi-global.com/server/index.jsp

Not all inflatable play devices are covered by the standard and therefore PIPA.

For example such devices as:
Devices classified as toys
Devices designed for use in pools
Privately owned devices not hired out for reward
are not included



INPA (previously Inflated News)

The Inflatable Play Enterprise (TIPE)

The National Association of Inflatable Hirers

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