How to manage safety inspections

Inspecting equipment - Petzl

Maintenance of personal protective equipment 

In order to ensure safety equipment stays in working condition to keep equipment users safe PUWER requires it to be ‘maintained in an efficient state, in efficient order and in good repair’.

The frequency of inspection and how you should maintain equipment is defined after taking full account of the intensity of use, user competence, operating environment and manufacturer’s recommendation. Any breakdown maintenance, instructions and critical-safety information can be found within the maintenance documentation provided by the manufacturer. 

Know which equipment you have present and how to maintain it with the manufacturer data.

The Papertrail PPE directory can be used by anyone to look up any specific manufacturer data provided by Papertrail partners. Search using the name, serial number, barcode or RFID from the following manufacturers: DMM, Palm Equipment, Petzl, Singing Rock, and Teufelberger.

Who can manage safety inspections?

In accordance with PUWER, regulations 8 and 9, safety inspections should only be carried out and managed by a competent person who has been provided with sufficient training, instructions and information. In some cases, there is the option for inspections to be carried out by a manufacturer or a specialist contractor if there is a higher volume or high-risk work. You can find out more about who a competent person is here.

What to use to manage your safety equipment

When getting started with managing equipment, paper forms or spreadsheets are adequate for listing equipment, date of manufacturer, and when it was last inspected. If your inventory is growing then reliable and smart equipment management software such as Papertrail have been developed to simplify managing safety equipment. Users can create records, inspections, inspections reports, equipment inventories and add reminders to work through collaboratively. An inspection report should include the details of what is wrong and needs improvement and also details of what is in full accordance with the requirements of your policy or regulations.

A cloud-based software service allows you to access your equipment inventory from anywhere, at any time without using the internet.

Papertrail is designed for managing PPE and health and safety equipment to protect employees in your workplace. With Papertrail, you can set daily, weekly, monthly or 6-monthly inspection schedules for all your equipment, and get notified whenever another inspection is due – all inspections are stored securely in one location making them easy to manage.

You can review and improve your inspection management system today for FREE! Download our 5 Step Management System Review Workbook, created for equipment managers to ensure your PPE management system is effective.

Image from @bigwa11 (Instagram)

How to protect your working at height business

Health and safety policy statement

As an equipment manager, you are responsible for the health and safety of your business. Health and safety laws such as The Work at Height Regulations 2005 require employers and those in authority of any work at height activity to ensure that the work is properly planned, well supervised and carried out by competent people in order to protect you, your employees and the public from workplace dangers.

Write a health and safety policy 

Ensure you have a health and safety policy in place describing how you will manage safety in your business, clearly stating the roles of who is responsible. It is a legal requirement to produce a health and safety policy if you employ five or more people in your business. Prepare your health and safety policy using this article including examples and templates to help you write your own policy. 

Employers are liable to ensure the employees carrying out work are trained and competent, all equipment must be properly maintained to be used correctly. 

It is important to decide who will help you meet your health and safety duties, this must be a competent person. A competent person is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety. Read more here on what a competent person is. 

Image result for work at height

Prevention is better than cure 

Being ahead of the game is literally a matter of life and death – when things go wrong people suffer injuries which are sometimes fatal. Therefore it is important to assess the risks and that you put measures in place to protect yourself and your employees when you are carrying out any work and never cut corners when carrying out safety procedures!

All protective equipment must be maintained in an efficient state and good repair so it protects the user, inspections should be carried out and kept up to date to ensure the job can be carried out safely.

The benefits of inspecting your equipment 

Lower risks of accidents at the workplace

Regular inspections of equipment decrease the chances of an accident happening when carrying out work, however, injuries do still happen on the job but most of them are preventable. Carrying out routine reviews of your inspection systems is a safety measure for you and your employees.

Prevent six-figure fines

Avoid huge fines and serious violations with regular inspections ensuring safety at all times.

An example of this is a construction company that was fined for placing employees at a higher risk of injury by failing to comply with work at height regulations. HSE has published this press release which explains that the company did not implement any measures in place to prevent fatal injuries. Although no accidents had taken place, as of yet, the company was fined £26,666. HSE also has other press releases related to this that you can find here.

Increase productivity

It is impossible to complete your contracted work even if only one piece of your equipment is faulty. When equipment fails your projects may be disturbed resulting in you missing deadlines. Inspections are crucial as you may not regard the seriousness of an issue until it is too late. Equipment failure can be all of a sudden or gradual, by carrying out regular inspections you can prevent disaster and replace any pieces when necessary instead of waiting for the equipment to stop working.

Papertrail is designed for managing work at height PPE and health and safety equipment to protect employees in your workplace. With Papertrail, you can set daily, weekly, monthly or 6-monthly inspection schedules for all your equipment, and get notified whenever another inspection is due – all inspections are stored securely in one location.

You can review and improve your inspection management system today for FREE! Download our 5 Step Management System Review Workbook, created for equipment managers to ensure your PPE management system is effective.


What is required in an Equipment Management System?

Inspecting equipment

A personal protective equipment (PPE) management system is a system that includes managing, monitoring and maintaining PPE. Most current approaches to PPE management fall short; using spreadsheet software, such as Microsoft Excel, and even paper-based records to complete inspections is still very common.

A PPE management system must track several variables per item, including:

  • Product name
  • Serial number
  • Purchase date
  • Inspection history
  • Latest inspection
  • Current status

Barcoding
Using barcoding software can help you easily pull up product information and details, improving accuracy and reducing human errors.

Reporting tools

Reporting is a critical feature to have in any equipment management system; the information generated quickly in reports will help you increase your efficiency and create a seamless workflow.

Features of Papertrail

Papertrail allows you to build smart checklists, conduct audits and inspections, and file reports straight from your phone. Papertrail features everything you need to keep accurate records and stay compliant.

Each record is time-stamped and can be accessed instantly and even offline to easily access and manage your equipment on the go. Synchronise your mobile device before performing inspections to complete inspections offline. Papertrail is compatible with all iOS and Android devices.

Create, manage and audit your records. Plan in customisable inspection schedules, status reports, workflows, integrations, task management, checklists and care and maintenance schedules using our app. 

Use our PPE Product Directory to look up specific manufacturer product data and equipment information is provided by the Papertrail Partner manufacturers (Papertrail partners). Search for equipment from manufacturers such as DMM, Palm Equipment, Petzl, Singing Rock and Teufelberger and import equipment data seamlessly.

We use barcodes, serial numbers and RFID technology to speed up the process of carrying out inspections and to manage a large inventory of equipment; simply scan the barcode or RFID tag so it appears on the app, then continue to complete any other information.

Quickly and simply generate reports, exports and certificates to provide the evidence you need for proving inspections and compliance.

Engage and work efficiently with your team, manage user permissions and add your team members for accountability. Easily set and restrict folder access with our user management option. 

You can read even more about Papertrail’s great features here.

Review your existing PPE management system and see how you can make your system more efficient. Download our 5 Step Management System Review Workbook, created for equipment managers to ensure your PPE management system is effective and compliant.


Teufelberger and Papertrail unveil strategic partnership

Teufelberger, the world-leading rope manufacturer, today announced a strategic partnership with the world’s top provider of personal protective equipment (PPE) management platforms, Papertrail.

The partnership will see Papertrail’s inspection management platform being offered to customers alongside selected Teufelberger product lines from 2019.

This will give Teufelberger customers the option of storing and updating product details and inspection results simply and easily at any time, using Papertrail’s cloud-based mobile applications.

“At Teufelberger we provide ropes and equipment for some of the most demanding customers and applications on the planet” said Angela Lloyd, business unit manager for Teufelberger’s Tree Care Division.

“Maintaining this product in top condition is of critical importance to our customers and will be a lot easier to keep digital records thanks to partnership between Teufelberger and Papertrail.”

Ben Scholes, Papertrail’s CEO, said: “Papertrail is the industry standard for inspection, certification and audit management in the PPE Sector. We believe this partnership will bring significant benefits to Teufelberger’s customers, improving safety and quality.”

Teufelberger Products will soon be available to search and add to Papertrail accounts using the PPE Product Directory.

About Teufelberger

Family-owned Teufelberger is a diversified, international group specialising in fibre ropes, steel wire ropes and strapping. Innovation, steady growth and geographic expansion are firmly defined goals in the group strategy. www.teufelberger.com

About Papertrail

Papertrail offers the world’s leading Inspection and compliance management software platform. We make inspection management and safety compliance faster and more efficient, creating operational efficiencies for organisations of all sizes. www.papertrail.io

For more information,

New functionality in Papertrail: Checklists

Since 2013, Papertrail has been developing Inspection management systems for clients; to date over 5 million inspections have been carried out by our users using Papertrail, an achievement that we are proud of and a number that is growing ever larger each day!

We are not resting on our laurels and letting this grow ‘organically’, in fact, we are even more motivated to continue the development of the right features, in conjunction with our users and safety managers and inspectors, to use in their workplace.

Continue Reading…

Get ready to change your view of PPE

If you know Papertrail then you’ll know we’re passionate about modernising the way personal protective equipment (PPE) is managed, to improve safety and efficiency while cutting costs.

It’s a message we try to spread in all our communications, including this blog. And it’s not just us who are banging the drum for more advanced PPE management.

DMM, for example, has been leading developments in PPE for more than 30 years, and is a big advocate for smarter management systems.

That’s why this month I’m delighted to welcome DMM’s product manager, Rob Partridge, on Papertrail’s first-ever webinar: ‘unlocking the secret to smart PPE management.’ This webinar is aimed at novice and experienced PPE managers alike and will help you:

  • See why PPE manufacturers such as DMM now recommend all their customers adopt smart management systems.
  • Understand how you can immediately save money and improve efficiency with smart PPE management.
  • Experience how quick and easy it is to implement smart PPA management systems.

The 45-minute webinar is completely free and will kick off at 4pm GMT on Thursday April 19th. Besides hearing from myself and Rob, you can get to ask us all those niggling questions you’ve been wanting to get answers to.

To make sure you don’t miss you place on this unique webinar, take a minute to sign up now and block out your diary at 4pm on the 19th. I look forward to you joining us for what will undoubtedly be a really valuable interactive session.

FREE WEBINAR – SIGN UP NOW!!

Making sure your white-knuckle experience is safe

How do you make sure your customers are perfectly safe while giving them the thrill of their lives? That’s the dilemma facing UK-based Zip World, which has built a business on pushing the boundaries of what is possible with a pulley suspended on a cable.

In 2013, for example, it established the record for the longest zip line in Europe, spanning a mile and sending riders along at more than 100 miles per hour. The following year, it opened Zip World Velocity, the first four-person zip line in Europe.

And in 2015 it inaugurated Zip World Caverns, the world’s largest fully underground zip line course. Other Zip World attractions, including Bounce Below, Zip World Fforest and Zip World London, all vie to offer thrill seekers the very best in white-knuckle rides.

Naturally, though, Zip World takes care to make sure its customers are perfectly safe all the time. Items such as carabiners and harnesses are inspected every month, while the cables and other zip line components are checked daily.

Carrying out the checks is only part of the story, though. As its business has grown, Zip World has needed to professionalise the way it recorded and stored inspection reports. So in 2014 the company introduced Papertrail to manage all of its inspection activity.

Today, the system handles more than 7,500 records on behalf of 46 members of staff, who deal with critical business functions ranging from employee qualifications and certification to the management of equipment across five venues.

The company is now enjoying a host of benefits too long to go through in a short blog post. But if you want to find out more, take a look at our new Zip World case study. And then get in touch to find out how your white-knuckle experience could be just as safe.

Contact us now for more information about how to make your business safer and more efficient.

Improving council services with better inspections

Collecting waste might not sound like a dangerous affair. But it happens to be one of the riskiest occupations in the UK, mainly because it involves operating heavy machinery and operatives working alongside large vehicles in the highway.

This means local authorities need to keep a close eye on health and safety standards in their refuse collection operations. It is important to carry out regular inspections and deal rapidly with any shortcomings.

But maintaining first-rate inspection regimes is not easy when waste collection crews are constantly on the move, often labouring outside of normal working hours with little time or opportunity to stop.

At the City of Cardiff Council, the inspection team found a way to overcome this problem: using Papertrail for its safety equipment inspection records.

With Papertrail, inspection results can be logged from anywhere, using mobile devices, and the system could be set up to trigger alerts regarding follow-up actions.

In April 2017, Papertrail was rolled out across the Council’s waste collection services, which covers two shifts consisting of 120 workers and 36 vehicles. Today, Papertrail is helping to improve the quality of Cardiff’s waste and recycling collections in many ways.

To get the full story, have a look at our Cardiff Council case study. And if you are interested in getting similar results in your organisation, then get in touch.

Contact us now for more information about how to make your organistion safer and more efficient.

Let’s help the UK make working at height safer

I’m unaware of the last time working-at-height safety was a government priority. But last month the UK Government issued a call for advice on this very topic.

More specifically, a committee investigating working-at-height injuries and fatalities put out a statement, through an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height, seeking information to understand fatal fall causes and solutions.

The committee is concerned that falls from height, and falling objects, account for the highest number of preventable fatalities and injuries across all sectors in UK industry, according to the APPG.

“The APPG will seek to understand the root causes and propose effective, sensible measures to reduce this toll and send people safely home from work,” it says.

For now, the APPG is asking industry players to provide answers to eight simple questions, such as ‘what are the primary reasons for falls?’ or ‘are there specific measures you believe are necessary?’

As a business committed to improving operational safety through improved personal protective equipment management, at Papertrail we are naturally delighted that this issue has been taken up by the UK administration.

And we are keen to spread the word so the APPG gets as much support as it can from industries employing working-at-height practices.

To get involved, take a look at the APPG’s questions and submit your responses by March 2, 2018, to appg@workingatheight.info or Working At Height APPG, 32-34 Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2DB.

Contact us now for more information about how to make your organisation safer and more efficient.

Welsh and proud of it

Papertrail is a global company, with customers stretching from North America to Australia. We pride ourselves on offering a platform that is available anywhere, anytime. So, clearly, we are not overly preoccupied with geography.

That said, we originated in Wales and still value our Welsh heritage. Wales, after all, has a long tradition of innovation. Its mining and metallurgical industries helped to power the industrial revolution.

The country later reinvented itself as a haven for light industry and services, and in 2008 became the first nation in the world to be awarded Fairtrade Status.

More recently, Wales has also focused on the sustainable exploitation of natural resources, with activities ranging from offshore wind farm development to outdoor leisure activities.

Today, Wales is the third-best recycling nation in the world and 43% of its electricity comes from renewables.

This environmental focus, coupled with the relative strength of the Welsh rural economy, made Wales the perfect birthplace for a personal protective equipment (PPE) innovator such as Papertrail.

We have grown up with a keen appreciation of the challenges faced by outdoor workers and we have baked that know-how into our platform: Papertrail was designed from the ground up to be easy to use in the field.

And this ethos seems to be working well with local customers. Notwithstanding our global client base, some of our biggest users are based in Wales. We serve renewable energy companies, public sector bodies and PPE providers across the country.

Take DMM, for example. DMM’s carabiners, ropes, pulleys and other PPE products are sought after by outdoor enthusiasts and working-at-height firms alike. But keeping records of the life history of each item can be an onerous process.

We are both leaders in our fields, with a reputation for quality and customer service. Now Papertrail helps DMM’s large corporate customers save up to around GBP£50,000 a year.

It’s a similar story with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. The hospital group has locations all around our Conwy head office.

But it’s not the location that counts, so much as a spirit of innovation that has seen the Health Board use Papertrail as a key tool in improving operating theatre safety. We are pleased to be part of its success.

Speaking of innovation, perhaps nothing beats the technology operating out to sea at Gwynt y Môr. Offshore wind energy barely existed a decade ago, yet today it is helping to power thousands of Welsh homes… with a little help from Papertrail.

Thanks to our platform, says Justin Grimwade, business information manager at Gwynt y Môr’s owner, Innogy Renewables UK, “we are able to improve our health and safety posture by streamlining processes and information.”

As an innovative business, we’re obviously glad to see any organisation using our platform in new ways like this. As a Welsh company, though, we’re particularly delighted to see our country leading the way.

Contact us now for more information about how to make your business safer and more efficient, no matter where you are.