Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is a routine inspection of electrical appliances that makes sure they are safe. It is not a test to make sure they are in working order, and, contrary to popular belief, it is not strictly a legal requirement. However, neither of these two points will go in your favour if you find yourself in a position where an employee has injured himself or herself at work through a faulty appliance. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 is a British law that requires employers to ensure the safety of their electrical equipment. While a PAT test is not a legal requirement, it is the most common and most efficient way of fulfilling the requirements set out in these regulations. Being able to demonstrate that you’ve carried out PAT testing will help to prove that you’ve taken reasonable precautions, whereas carrying out inspections yourself can put you on tricky ground – particularly if you’re not a trained electrician.
Depending on the industry you work in, some appliances will have a need for more regular testing than others. If you work in construction, for example, power tools will need to be tested regularly to ensure there are no exposed wires, or faulty earth wires. On the other hand, if you work in an office you needn’t be put off by the many different electrical appliances you have. You don’t have to test everything, and a risk assessment can help you identify the most likely hazards.
PAT testing may include the following:
- Visual Inspection
- Earth Continuity Testing
- Earth Resistance Testing
- Insulation Testing
- Inspection of Safety Switches
For health and safety reasons, to fulfil your obligations under the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, and for efficiency and affordability, it’s highly recommended that you hire a trained professional to carry out PAT testing.
While securing the services of a professional is not a legal requirement, it is a legal requirement to make sure that the person doing the testing is competent. They should have the right equipment to adequately carry out the tests, know how to use the equipment, and be able to understand the results.
With a team of fully trained professionals who carry out all kinds of inspections and tests, you can be sure that a PAT tester from Whizz Sparks won’t miss a thing. For peace of mind and an efficient working environment, contact us today.