Health, Safety and due diligence
Safety is the cornerstone of what we do. This section not only deals with the safety of operating our equipment but also shows how we comply to BSEN14960:2019 in order to fulfill our obligation to do things right for you, our customers. Our electrical equipment is PAT Tested, our inflatables and soft play are also annually safety tested and carry either an RPII or PIPA certificate. To learn more about rpii and Pipa please follow the links or for a hopefully less confusing explanation please read below.
Crash Mat Safety
We are increasingly asked about the safe matting of inflatables where customers have noted we seem to use far more than other companies. The rules surrounding crash mat safety are very clearly laid out in EN14960:2019 and have been the same rules that have been in place since the 2007 version of the standard.
Crash Mats For Outdoors - For outdoor setups on a soft surface ie. grass, there are no requirements to provide safety mats at the open areas (step entrance or slide run off) although we have always provided crash mats in these areas in part at least. We do this more for guiding the flow of user traffic for safe mounting and dismounting of the equipment.
Crash Mats For Indoors - For Indoors on hard surfaces a 1.2m surround of crash mats is required at any open area (as above for step offs and slide exits). This does not mean one or two crash mats thrown at the front for effect but a complete coverage of crash mats around the open area including the corners. This is because any child that falls awkwardly from the step or exit should not be allowed to naturally fall onto a hard surface. If falling head first this could cause serious injury and so is incredibly important.
If you do go to a party or event indoors where improper crash matting is provided it is strongly advised you do not allow your children to use this equipment.
Award Winning Party Hire From JJ's For 2017 - 2018 - 2019
For the last three years JJ's has been selected by S.W.O.E.P.H.G (South West Of England Professional Hirers Group) to receive awards in safety and customer service for which we are very proud. Our latest award ceremony, which took place in Weymouth on the 26th February 2020 saw us walk away with our latest award in the field. Receiving the award is great but just being selected to be a part of SWOEPHG is an impressive achievement in itself for which we are very proud. Members of SWOEPHG are selected, there is no outside application process. Our company and it's practices were scrutinised for two years before a membership position was offered. Membership can not be bought. It will always be this way to ensure only the best of the best obtain entry. There are currently no other companies on the Isle of Wight that have been able to meet the strict criteria for being offered membership.
We are now registered on the national database for accredited Controllers and Operators
For this, Jon, had to travel abroad...to the mainland and complete a tested course in order to be approved and registered on the database. This certification is carried out by the RPII, the same industry body whose Inspectors test our equipment and the same industry body that is recognised by and works alongside the HSE.
PAT - Portable Appliance Testing 2020
The Health and Safety Executive requires that under the ‘The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989’ any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. What does it mean by ‘safe condition’? Well actually it all gets pretty vague after that and nothing is specified and so it needs to be interpreted from the statement. So how often should electrical equipment be checked? Again, there is no legal requirement. There is however guidance and this ranges from daily inspections to longer periods of time. So PAT testing itself, though not a legal requirement, is there in this case to help show a regular maintenance of our electrical equipment. Aside from regular visual checks of the equipment when setting up and packing away when we will be checking for breaks in the wire, loose wires or visual damage to the equipment as well as listening for any sound changes in the equipment. We also have an annual inspection from a qualified PAT Tester, Michael at MFR Electrical, who is based in Cowes. He tests the flow of electricity through each device to make sure it is performing within its own peramiters. He also performs a visual check of the equipment, logs all the details, labels the equipment individually for identification and then produces this very handy log of inspection for our due diligence,PAT Testing
This is the European standard we follow for our inflatables. It defines what is classed as ‘Play Equipment’ that is deemed suitable for commercial hire. It covers the design and manufacture of inflatables. It also covers the safe setup of inflatables. This standard is overseen by the HSE - The Health and Safety Executive of England. The HSE require that a regular inspection of inflatable castles and slides are carried out by a “competent person.” They recognise ‘The Register of Play Inspectors International’ or ‘RPII’ as an inspection body that can examine, accredit and certificate individual play area inspectors who are then qualified to test play equipment against the requirements of EN14960:2019. The RPII were actually co-founded by amongst others the ‘Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). They also work closely with the British Standards Institute (BSI) and have an active representative on the RPII Board. All inflatables should carry a valid RPII or PIPA certificate to show they’ve been annually tested by a “competent person”. It is not a requirement of law to use an RPII Inspector to do this but it is strongly inferred and preferred, so JJ’s Parties and Events does.
Who are PIPA?
There’s an unfortunately large amount of misleading information about who or what PIPA is and what they provide. PIPA are nothing more than an online database. That is in no way meant to devalue their role within the industry as they do provide a valued testing and tagging system for inflatable play equipment. In order to place a blue PIPA tag on an inflatable bouncy castle or slide you must be a qualified RPII Inspector who has also then registered with the PIPA scheme. PIPA are not an inspection body and do not train their own inspectors they just provide the tagging system and the online database. Every castle or slide with a PIPA tag on it carries a unique number that you can go online to their database and check that the castle carries a current certificate of the en14960:2019 standard by a recognised RPII Inspector. This year, 2020, sees the role of PIPA changing within the industry as it now begins to lead the way in self regulation of the industry. This is at the request of the HSE and they have just a few short years to achieve this. This will mean big changes within the industry including larger additional costs for hirers which will hopefully go a long way to cutting out the cowboys that we see crop up every year and the long standing companies who have been cutting corners for years and getting away with it.
Why do we have both RPII certificates and PIPA Certificates for our equipment?
First things first, there is no legal requirement that bouncy castles or slides must be registered with the PIPA scheme and RPII Inspectors issue their own certificate of en14960:2019 compliance in place of the PIPA tagging upon the request of the hire company. To clarify; so long as it’s tested to an acceptable standard as deemed by a qualified RPII Inspector, it doesn’t matter how it’s logged. It just matters that it is done.
It is a great idea and more efficient to have a traceable PIPA tag for reference to its online database where you can view if the unit carries an in date test certificate. However, the PIPA database limits itself and does not recognise anything that is not listed in the standard. So if it’s not a bouncy castle or a slide it can’t be tagged and registered under the PIPA scheme. So RPII Inspectors use elements of the standard to be able to perform a test on our other commercial hire play equipment such as Gladiator Duel, Soft Play, Ball Pools, Sumo Suits, Football Shootout or more simply put, anything that’s not a bouncy castle or a slide. These items also all require a regular inspection as absolutely anything that is hired out commercially is required to be but, there is nothing in law that sets the standards for these other items and RPII Inspection fills this gap in the standard.
Who tests our equipment?
Our inspector, Chris Ball, is a registered and qualified RPII Inspector and is also registered with the PIPA scheme to be able to issue PIPA tagging in place of his own test certificates upon request. You can (sort of (I’ll explain in a minute)) view his listing as a qualified RPII Inspector but unfortunately not through the RPII website as this is not a service they currently provide themselves. It can however be viewed via the PIPA scheme website as part of their online database under ‘Inspectors’. Just to make things even more confusing, he’s not listed by name but instead by his company name ‘A1 Weymouth Bouncy Castles’. Then just to confuse you even more, it also doesn’t say that anyone on there is a qualified RPII Inspector (although as stated above they need to be in order to be listed and recognised by PIPA in the first place). Hang tight folks, as with the new self regulation that's coming all of this should be improved and clearer both for industry experts and the person on the street.
Can we view JJ’s annual test certificates?
Yes. All of our certificates are available for viewing. Anything that falls under the scope of the PIPA scheme (which is bouncy castles and slides) has a certificate online on the PIPA database website which can be viewed through our website by clicking ‘Tests’ when viewing our product information. For everything else we also have a safety test carried out by our accredited RPII inspector that uses elements of the standard to complete a test. Please ask to view a current safety certificate for the equipment you are hiring. We can supply this in advance of the hire or on the day of your party/event.