For Councils & Local Authorities

PIPA is the UK's inflatable inspection scheme. Our systems help to ensure inflatables are safe, and the security of an inspection report can be trusted.

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Industry Safety

In the UK, inflatables used for play fall under HSG175. This includes the annual inspection, control, and operation of these devices. The industry relies upon the standard BS EN 14960 to ensure inflatables are manufactured to a safe design for users and operated in a safe manner.

Because of this, the industry operates safely overall. There have been no deaths as a result of a constant air inflatable in the UK in the past 8 years. And during that time, the standards of the industry have drastically improved.

It is key to note that the UK has very high standards for the operation of inflatables, the UK is driving innovation forwards and improving safety in ways that are not comparable to other countries. PIPA and the inflatable industry in the UK has rigorous standards and is constantly alert for ways to improve the safety of the industry 

Inflatables in the UK

Key facts:

  • All equipment used by members of the public, which are under commercial hire and reward should be inspected by a competent person under current UK health and safety regulations (PUWER 1998, HASAWA 1974)

  • For amusement devices which fall under the scope of HSG175, including inflatable devices, an annual inspection by a competent person is the industry norm.

  • PIPA is a not-for-profit organization set up by the inflatable industry, to ensure that inflatable inspectors are competent, and there are surveillance mechanisms in place to oversee PIPA inspectors.

  • PIPA is also an inspection scheme for the UK inflatable industry, providing an inspection framework which includes and goes beyond the standard BS EN 14960, to ensure inspections are completed with a full audit trail, and are securely available.
  • PIPA does not have enforcement powers over the inflatable industry, but can take action against PIPA members, PIPA tagged inflatable devices, or its employees. Click here to find out more about our complaint procedure.

  • PIPA inspectors are third-party inspection bodies, who have completed certification to become a member of the PIPA scheme.

  • PIPA is currently undergoing the process of seeking UKAS accreditation, to become a certification scheme in line with ISO17024 standards.
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PIPA is listed in HSG175 as one of two inspection schemes in the UK for inflatables, the other is ADIPs. We are working towards our accreditation with UKAS to show that our scheme is operating in line with international standards when certifying our inspectors as competent.

The PIPA inspection website has been created for inspectors to log full and accurate inspection reports which are publicly available. It means that inspection reports are secure, and findings cannot be tampered with.

PIPA surveillance includes a full complaints procedure for PIPA inspectors, and regular auditing of inspection reports to ensure they meet the requirements of the scheme rules.

PIPA holds collective and certification marks for inflatable devices. We use these industry-type trademarks to enforce our work. Part of the enforcement is taking legal action when people use our collective and/or certification marks inappropriately to ensure the likelihood of a false certificate is reduced.

PIPA works with HSE to ensure that its work is in-line with their expectations, to help to continue the high safety standards within the industry.

What should local authorities and environmental health officers look out for when inflatables are used?

As with any industry, the device is only as safe as the person using it. Therefore, the following checks should be put in place by any organisation who are looking to hire an inflatable. Carrying out these simple checks means that inflatables can be used and operated in a safe manner, and they are being done so to the highest of standards.

Has the inflatable device had an annual safety inspection?
Has the controller (the owner of the device) got insurance, and is the inflatable device listed on their insurance schedule?
Has the operator completed formal training to ensure they understand how to operate inflatable devices in a safe manner?
Does the operator have safe systems in place (e.g. risk assessments, method statements)?
Has the operator completed the required safety checks (windspeed, anchorage, internal pressure)?

How can we help you

PIPA is currently working with HSE to promote safety within the industry, and ensure accurate information about what to look out for is shared. This will be accessible on the EHO forum.

If you have any questions or concerns about the inflatable industry, a PIPA inspection, or a PIPA member, please contact us at the office.

Where to next?

Check a Tag

Understand our Tags

PIPA Tags are the registration plate of inflatables which fall under the PIPA inspection scheme.

Enter the tag number to view the current inspection reports for your device

Check a Report

Understand our Reports

Inspection reports are issued by PIPA inspectors against tagged devices

Enter the inspection report number to view the inspection report in full