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Why PAT test?

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 (PUWER)
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR)

Please 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 or death from portable appliances is minimised
  • It assists in your compliance with ISO9000/1 and BS5750 or helps to gain accreditation
  • Satisfy the requirements of your business and public liability insurance policies - Please check this, most people are not aware of this little known fact!

Is there a "Law" that says I have to PAT Test my appliances?

No, there is no current legislation in place that specifically requires PAT testing to be carried out by any Company or Employer.


The introduction of the "Electricity at Work Regulations 1989" (EAWR), prompted many companies and employers to inspect and test portable appliances. Subsequently PAT testing was introduced as a more effective and accurate means to enable an employer to comply with the above regulatory requirement. Most business's and employers simply do not have the time for keeping the required accurate records or access to the specialised equipment required to enable them to carry out this testing themselves and prefer to employ a specialised company such as ours to take on this task for them.

In Summary

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.




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