What is PIPA?
PIPA is an inspection scheme set up by the inflatable play industry to ensure that children’s inflatable play equipment conforms to laid down standards. Allfour of the industry’s trade associations have co-operated in setting up thescheme and it is wholeheartedly supported by the Health and Safety Executive who were consulted at every stage of the scheme’s development.
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)