5. The controller’s responsibilities

Throughout the working life of the sealed inflatable, the controller should make sure that any significant concerns resulting from the periodic inspections (design review, initial test and annual thorough inspection) are adequately addressed before placing or returning the inflatable into service.

The controller is responsible for making sure adequate maintenance of the sealed inflatable is carried out, in line with the requirements in the maintenance manual and any recommendations made by the inspection body.

The maintenance manual must include adequate instructions detailing the techniques required to repair damage to fabric such as tears, holes, worn or broken load tapes etc.


Repairs to the inflatable fabric should only be made in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and should only be carried out by a competent person or organisation approved by the manufacturer and/or competent person.

Completed repairs should be inspected and accompanied by a certificate issued by the competent organisation (who completed the repairs) stating that the repairs have been completed to a satisfactory standard and in accordance with either the manufacturer’s instructions or those from another competent organisation/person.

Such certificates should be retained by the controller of the inflatable and provided to the inspection organisation, who should record details of the repair as part of the annual inspection. All documentation should include all the maintenance carried out on the inflatable throughout its service.

Safety-critical modifications

Where a safety-critical modification is made (including the replacement of a component which departs from the original design specification) the modification must go through a design review before the change is made. These could include:

  • changes in the operating parameters of a device, such as a replacement blower fan/compressor
  • change of use or changing the height restriction or number of occupants on the sealed inflatable at any one time etc

Defects that could lead to danger

If at any time a defect is found which could possibly lead to danger, the public should not be allowed to use the device until the cause has been identified and the defect remedied. This may include checking all similar components. If there is any doubt about continued safety the device should not be used until an inspection body has confirmed that it is safe to do so.

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