The Importance Of Using an RPII Inspector
If you commercially operate inflatable play equipment in the United Kingdom the it is important that it regularly undergoes a professional inspection in order to ensure that it is safe to be used by people. After all; faulty inflatable equipment can end up causing serious injury to any adult or child who may be using it at the time. If you wish to undergo an inspection then it is important that you use an inspector whom has been registered on the ‘Register of Play Inspectors International’, or RPII for short.
It is worth noting that there is no legal requirement in the United Kingdom to use an inspector from the RPII, or any other sort of inspector for that matter. However it is suggested by the Health and Safety Executive that you do. Many operators will find that if there equipment does not have proof of regular inspection then they will find it remarkably difficult to ‘lease’ out, or even charge a fee for usage at public events. You will be surprised at the amount of people who will approach you asking for certification that you have undergone an inspection. This means that ultimately, undergoing a regular inspection from an RPII qualified inspector could lead to a great deal more business for you in the long run.
It is also worth noting that the ‘Register of Play Inspectors’ is not a group who will carry out the inspection for you. It is instead a group which will train up play inspectors who will then go on to work for a number of different certifying organisations. Whilst there are a number of schemes out there which aim to train up play inspectors, the only one certified by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL) is the RPII and thus all inspectors worth their salt will be registered with this organisation.
One of the main reasons as to why you should always opt for an inspector who is registered with RPII is the fact that they need to undergo regular training in order to ensure that they are competent enough to inspect the wealth of inflatable play equipment which is being introduced to the industry on a yearly basis. Each and every inspector will need to sign up to a code of conduct every year in order to ensure that they are competent enough to carry out the job to the best of their ability.
RPII inspectors go through one of the more rigorous of training schemes. Here they will learn how to inspect a multitude of different inflatable play equipment. At the training course they will learn how to spot issues in pressure, the placement of a blower, and even a little bit about how to determine what the maximum weight and height capacity of a unit is. In short; the aim of the course is to cover as much about the safety of the play equipment as can possibly be covered. The result is that any inspector registered with the RPII will be one of the best trained around. This is why the majority of certifying organisations out there will only allow inspectors whom are registered with the RPII to carry out their inspections before certification is issued.
Another reason as to why you should always opt for an inspector whom is registered with the RPII is the fact that each and every inspection that they carry out will have their public liability insurance attached to it (this is their annual inspection). The amount of public liability insurance they have will vary from inspector to inspector. At the minimum this is going to be £5,000,000 though. In addition to this all RPII inspectors are required to have Professional Indemnity Insurance of at least £500,000. Obviously this does not negate the need for you to have public liability insurance in place (which is of course a legal requirement when you are operating a commercial business which is open to the public). However this insurance will be provide you with the coverage that you need should the equipment fail due to a fault in the equipment which should have been picked up whilst it was undergoing an annual inspection.
The RPII offer training to a variety of different inspectors and thus it is important that you identify the right one for your needs. The vast majority of people will wish to opt for an annual inspection of their inflatables. Those that operate outdoors on a regular basis may also wish to opt for an inspection whom is able to carry out a routine inspection on your play equipment. The frequency of this inspection will vary from case to case. This type of inspection is important for those who are operating equipment which is getting a lot of use on an almost daily basis. After all; problems can arise and you really do not wish to wait for your next inspection to ensure that they are put right again.
Remember; having your inflatable play equipment inspected by the RPII is the only way in which you can ensure that it is as safe as it possibly can be. This means that there is no fault in the structure which could severely injure somebody should that fault occur. However it is worth noting that no matter how much the inflatable play equipment is inspected you DO have to make sure that you are running it in the best possible manner. This means conforming to the ‘dos and don’ts’ of play equipment operation.
It is important to note that all inflatable play equipment operated within Europe NEEDS to conform to EN14960. This incredibly detailed piece of legislations ensures that all play equipment is safe to play on for users. This will look at both the build structure of the device as well as the overall supervision that people will get whilst using it. The latter is obviously going to be under your control. The former however is worth being checked over by an RPII inspector as you DO NOT wish to fall foul of the law here.
If you are undergoing an inflatable test then you DO NOT want to use anybody other than an RPII inspector. You should not buy into any other scheme out there. If you want to ensure that you get the best possible inspection for your play equipment then this IS the route that you need to go down if you want to ensure that the play equipment that you operate is as safe as possible for the adults and children who will be using it.