What is PAT Testing all about?
Here you will find information which should provide you with a
better understanding of what PAT Testing is and why it is required.
What is a PAT Test?
(usually referred to as
is a name that has been given to the process by which electrical appliances in
an organisation are checked to ensure that they are safe.
Portable Appliance Testing
has been developed as a convenient and complete method of testing electrical
appliances to ensure that they are safe and with the correct maintenance
schedule and test results ensures an employer complies with his/her legal
What happens during the test?
PAT Testing incorporates among other items a formal visual inspection and check
of the item including a functional or operational check. Provided it has been
deemed safe to do so from the former inspections it is then subject to
additional electrical tests. The tests themselves are dependant on the type of
equipment in question and the values obtained are recorded along with all the
other details and information from the item which is given a unique identity
number. Each item tested is then given a Pass or Fail label which will also
clearly display the date of it’s next test. All of the information acquired
during this process is then compiled into an equipment register.
Record keeping and certification during the whole testing schedule is of
paramount importance. It is the information acquired during the testing
procedure that can prove very effective at highlighting a potential problem or
risk before it occurs, as the tester has the ability to be able to compare
results from previous tests and thus identify any indication of the
deterioration of the piece of equipment under test.
it is easy to get bogged down in the detail, it is important to remember that
PAT testing is simply a process which determines whether or not an appliance is
safe to use.
PAT testing is often seen as a process of "going through the motions" for some
companies and often many companies fail to have it carried out at all. The risks
to employees, employers and businesses is very real, not only from the risk of
electrical shock or injury but also the risk of fire caused by faulty
appliances. How many times do you read in the newspaper that a lives have been
lost or a home or business has been destroyed and that the cause was an
electrical fault? Many insurance companies are now insisting that this is
carried out as part of the conditions of cover.
Every year in the UK,
about 30 people die from coming into contact with electricity and many more
people receive serious injuries. About 25% of these accidents occur as a result
of using portable appliances. By complying with the recommendations and
employing a regular policy of inspection and testing items of electrical
equipment, we should be able to identify any required maintenance which can then
be rectified before a potential risk or danger arises.
PAT testing is an important part of any health & safety policy. Although there
is no direct law at present stating that Portable Appliance Testing must be
carried out employer’s have a legal obligation under the following regulations
to ensure that their electrical equipment is safe.
The four main regulations which cover health and safety law
regarding PAT testing are
The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (H&SWA)
The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
take time to have a look at the information provided within this web
site with regard to this legislation and how they affect both
employer and employee alike.
There are many good reasons to carry out pat testing:-
Compliance with the
very latest health and safety regulations
Risk of fire and
injury from portable appliances is minimised
It assists in your compliance
and BS5750 or helps to gain accreditation
requirements of your business and public liability insurance policies -
Please check this, most people are not aware of this little known fact!
The simple fact though is that Electricity can, and sadly does sometimes kill or
cause serious injury and very often a regular schedule of planned inspection and
testing can avoid these tragic situations. This
has to be
the most compelling reason to have your equipment PAT tested. Consider the
likely consequences if you choose not to have the testing done and you or one of
your staff were to be killed or injured!
Compared with the above
situation the costs of carrying this out are negligible in comparison with the
heavy penalties that can be imposed to both you and your business for failing to
recognise your responsibilities.
We all accept without question that the vehicles we drive require an annual MOT
test after a certain age so why should we not adopt the same way of thinking
when it comes down to the electrical equipment we also use on a daily basis as
part of our work…………
PAT Testing is a simple process that has been
adopted to help both employers and employees alike whilst helping to aid
compliance with the relevant Health & Safety regulations.
Statistically speaking since the introduction and wider use of PAT testing in
the work place there has been a steady reduction in the number or accidents and
injuries in the workplace and we all have a duty to ensure that this trend
continues to reduce year-on-year.
YOUR SAFETY IS OUR CONCERN