What is PAT Testing?
PAT or PAT Testing stands for Portable Appliance Testing and is a way of complying with the multiple health and safety legislations. A qualified engineer performs an a number of tests to ensure that equipment meets the required safety standard. The correct term for the whole process is In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment. This process applies to all types of equipment even if they are not portable.
Who is responsible for PAT Testing?
You as the employer or duty holder are responsible for ensuring that your portable appliance testing has been conducted correctly and at the required intervals.
Is PAT Testing a legal requirement?
There are a number of regulations which place responsibility on the organisation to ensure that all electrical appliances comply, thes include the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, which state that “As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger” (Regulation 4(2)). “Electrical equipment includes anything used, intended to be used or installed for use, to generate, provide, transmit, transform, rectify, convert, conduct, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy.” (Regulation 2(1)).
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. This states that “Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adapted as to be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided.” (Regulation 4(1)). This includes all work equipment (fixed, portable or transportable) connected to a source of electrical energy.”
Why should I have my appliances tested?
It is vital that electrical equipment is regularly inspected and maintained as failure to comply could result in serious injury or prosecution. 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.
Does PAT Testing apply to my business?
PAT Testing isn’t limited to large businesses it applies where:
- Where Equipment is used by employees
- Where the public may use the appliances in places such as schools, hotels, Village halls, shops etc
- Where appliances are hired or supplied
- Where appliances are repaired or serviced
How often do I need my items PAT tested?
The frequency of testing electrical items depends on the environment in which they are used. PAT Perspective follow the IEE guidelines on the frequency of testing and can provide a recommendation to you although as a duty holder it is your responsibility to determine the frequency of testing.
What happens during a PAT test?
A qualified engineer conducts a series of tests to insure the equipment meets the required safety standard. The equipment undergoes the following tests
– Visual Inspection –
The engineer checks for any visible damage, cracked, plugs, cut flex
– Earth Bond –
Equipment is tested to ensure there is adequate earth protection
– Insulation –
Equipment is tested to ensure there is adequate insulation.
– Touch Leakage –
Equipment is tested to ensure there is minimal leakage back to the earth terminal
How do I know if my items need PAT testing?
If you’ve never had any of your equipment PAT testing, then you will most likely require a test. All items tested usually display a Pass Sticker, showing when the item was tested along with the appliance number and test engineer.
What happens after I’ve had my items PAT tested?
Once your items have been tested, we will email or post to you a Pass/Fail Register for all your items that have undergone the relevant tests as well as an Asset Register and Certificate.