Low Cost PAT Testing

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FAQ

What is PAT Testing? 

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect can't be detected by testing alone. 
A relatively brief user check (based upon simple training and perhaps assisted by the use of a brief checklist) can be a very useful part of any electrical maintenance regime. However, more formal visual inspection and testing by a competent person may also be required at appropriate intervals, depending upon the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used

Is PAT Testing the law and should it be completed evey year?

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. However, the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently (ie they don't make inspection or testing of electrical appliances a legal requirement, nor do they make it a legal requirement to undertake this annually). - Arguments have been made about how Appliances are to be maintained to a safe standard. In our opinion the only way to ensure the safety of some appliances is to have them PAT Tested. There have also been rumours where Insurance companies have refused claims due to appliances not having a current PAT Test.

Do I need to keep records of testing and should I label any appliances tested?

There is no legal requirement to label equipment that has been inspected or tested, nor is there a requirement to keep records of these activities. However, a record and / or labelling can be a useful management tool for monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the maintenance scheme – and to demonstrate that a scheme exists.

Do I need to test new equipment?

New equipment should be supplied in a safe condition and not require a formal portable appliance inspection or test. However, a simple visual check is recommended to verify the item is not damaged.

Case Study from the Health and Safety Executive website:
An employee sustained a 240 volt electric shock that broke both shoulders whilst attempting to test a newly manufactured appliance that had been incorrectly wired to the mains lead. Suitable precautions had not been taken to prevent electrical injury to employees engaged in testing work on electrical appliances. Employees were exposed to live wires at 240 Volts ac, there was exposed metal in the test area, there was no PAT test of mains lead prior to live test and no risk assessment for electrical testing work.

The employers were prosecuted under The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (No 14), The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 (No 3) paragraph 1 and received a fine.









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