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Gladiator Play Safe Campaign

Gladiator Play Safe Campaign

The Gladiator Programme Limited




The Gladiator Programme children’s charity delivers play programmes to thousands of establishments and community events every year with a 25 year record of health and safety. Inflatable devices come in many forms such as assault courses and themed activities and of course the most popular being the bouncy castle.


The Gladiator Programme know that there is very little public awareness of the do’s and do nots of the industry. Our Play Safe campaign is about addressing this long overdue subject, ensuring that you the public are aware of all the basic facts. Inflatables are wonderful and exciting activities for children and there are many fine operators. However just like anything else in life you have a right to know that the environment is safe for your child.


Please keep this leaflet in a safe place for future reference. You may later wish you had.




Many so called companies are now putting leaflets for hire through doors. Others have web sites advertising their services but how do we know they are legitimate?


If the service provider is a limited company or a charity information can be found on the websites of Companies House or the Charities Regulator (OSCR in Scotland). Other types of provider might not have such formal monitoring but they may have their own websites that you can review. 


Some web sites have no business address listed. They refer to areas that they deliver to as opposed to a business address. They often only have a first name as contact and a mobile phone number. In the event of an accident the provider can pick up the equipment offering to get back in touch only to simply change their mobile number and re- write the web site under another name. A helpful tip is to take the registration number of their van, particularly if the van has no company advertising on it.




Some providers will claim to have insurance. You should ask to see this document. You are also entitled to a copy on request. If the provider is legitimate they will not object to this request. How do we know it is valid?

Some bogus providers may offer up a document that they claim is evidence of insurance cover, which may include what appears to be a reference number. Before you accept this as proof of insurance, check that it also includes the following:

·        Name and address of the company providing the inflatable.

·        Policy number and names & address of the insurer

·        Confirmation that the insurance specifically covers hire of inflatables

·        Details of the limit of indemnity (how much cover is provided).


Most Local Authorities insist on a minimum public liability cover of £5m, as life long care for a child that has had a crippling accident can cost this much and sometimes more. If the provider has insurance cover of less than £5m, it would be considered as inadequate by most insurers.


The document should also have Employer’s Liability. If this is not on it you should ask yourself if a company does not care about their workers why would they care about a client?


Many providers will claim that they are not responsible for any accidents or injuries as a condition of hire. This is false. The truth is that if a company accepts payment to provide a service the law states that they have a duty of care. They may ask you to sign a disclaimer on this but they cannot sign away their responsibility to you. We would recommend, however, that you do not sign any waiver where you are agreeing to take responsibility for what happens on the inflatable.


Many providers drop off and set up equipment and then leave you to operate it. They may have a legitimate insurance however it may only cover the equipment as long as the appropriate safety certificates are in place. If an accident occurs to your neighbour’s child then the company may blame the accident on a lack of supervision by you. This means you could be liable for your neighbour’s child’s medical bills. Is the risk really worth losing your house over?





Most air bags are required to be PIPA tested but not all. It depends on the height and type of inflatable. For example, if an inflatable surround had no air bed to stand on and it would not require PIPA


All companies should also carry a periodical test certificate up to date for that year. This is like an MOT for an inflatable. All electrics such as box fans and electric cables should have a P.A.T. test certificate. Just like the insurance document all these certificates should have all the details of the reputed company that carried out the test and a reference number.

Once again you should be entitled to a copy of the documents on request. Why would a legitimate company not oblige?




Most companies, but not all, will risk assess on the day of hire, taking in to account any nearby obstructions or the level of land and weather conditions.


If the electric cables the provider is using are of the household type, this is illegal for outdoor use. They should be the weatherproof industrial type and backed up by circuit breakers with all plugs concealed in a sealed unit. If the power is from a generator it should be earthed to the ground and should only be powered with diesel and not petrol.


If the surface is solid there should be matting at exit points of the inflatable. The inflatable should be anchored down by pegs and/or sand bags as appropriate. In severe rain or wind the operator should insist, and they have the right, to refuse access to the inflatable and deflate it


Most legitimate companies will provide staff on the day. This is important. It ensures that the duty of care lies with the company in terms of supervision and not on you or your organisation. Once again you should question any company that is happy to leave you to operate a piece of equipment you have not been trained on or are familiar with


Your Local Authority Health and Safety team ensures that all the above and much more is in place at Public Events. However it is up to you when entering into private hires.


Most bogus companies take the chance that Health and Safety will not be there on the day of the event. If they are there then nothing is lost to them and they will, in all likelihood, withdraw. They take the chance that you, the householder, will not ask for any of the above. If you do they will move on. Above all they will take a chance with your child’s safety


Please see the Gladiator Programme Company Registration Number below. Why don’t you check it out on the (Companies House) web site. Go on do it.It will only take a minute of your time. Get in the habit and PLAY SAFE






Email-(Companies House) for free information at (



Address –(Companies House) 4th floor .Edinburgh Quay

139 Fountain bridge, Edinburgh. EH39FF



Glasgow City Council, Land and Environmental services, 231 George Street

Glasgow, I IRX


Tel -0141-287-5064


Gladiator Programme Limited


Tel 0141- 781- 4392


Address-Baillieston Distribution Centre

                                     69 Nurseries Road

                                     Glasgow G69 6UL