24 Feb Everything you need to know about Portable Appliance Testing
PAT Testing, or Portable Appliance Testing, examines portable electrical equipment and appliances to ensure they are safe for use in the working environment. It involves three main steps:
- Users perform regular, informal checks and
- A formal visual inspection of the equipment occurs followed by
- A manual examination of the equipment is conducted using a portable appliance tester device, known as the PAT test.
Is PAT testing necessary?
It’s recommended for all businesses using portable electrical equipment, including offices, property owners, hotels, restaurants, healthcare facilities, as well as construction sites. Even self-employed individuals working from home should conduct PAT tests on their business equipment.
Is PAT testing a legal requirement?
No, it’s not a legal requirement. The law mandates maintaining workplace electrical equipment for safety but doesn’t specify how or how often. Experts recommend PAT testing as the best way to meet safety obligations and protect employees.
Why consider a PAT test?
Poorly maintained or faulty electrical equipment can cause electric shocks, burns, or fires. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places an employer’s duty to ensure employees’ health, safety, and welfare, which includes equipment safety. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 also imposes a legal responsibility on employers (or ‘duty holders’) to ensure electrical equipment poses no risk to users. Non-compliance can lead to fines and legal actions. PAT tests offer a simple, cost-effective way to fulfill legal obligations, protect businesses, and keep employees safe.
What is “portable electrical equipment”?
These items can be moved, connected, and disconnected from an electrical supply, typically having a cable lead and a plug. Examples include laptops, drills, kettles, heaters, and many more. Larger equipment like fridges and photocopiers are also included. Equipment is classified into Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 based on insulation and protection mechanisms.
How often should you do PAT testing?
There are no strict rules; it’s up to the ‘duty holder’ to assess risk and determine inspection intervals, considering equipment type, usage frequency, and also environmental risk level. For example, a drill used daily on a construction site needs more frequent inspections than a vacuum cleaner in a holiday let.
At Pulse Electrix, our specially trained engineers conduct PAT inspections, ensuring your appliances are in expert hands.