Portable Appliance Testing should be an essential part of any health and safety policy; to comply with UK work regulations any business must ensure electrical equipment is maintained to a safe standard – “PAT” testing confirms whether an appliance is safe.
Ensuring electrical appliances in a workplace are safe, is crucial – a faulty appliance can lead to a fire or give someone an electric shock, worse still it can kill!
Safety in the workplace is a priority for every business, to ensure their staff and other users are safe – a safe working environment is a happy environment.
What is a Portable Appliance?
For an appliance to be portable, it needs to be portable from the mains power supply, that means – it can be unplugged.
Any appliance that is fitted with a plug is portable
Portable Appliance Testing is a process of inspections (by a competent PAT engineer) followed by a series of tests carried out using a PAT machine.
Whilst carrying out the process the engineer will be able to confirm whether the appliance is dangerous or safe; if dangerous he may be able to carry out effective repairs to make it safe or recommend further action. It could be that the appliance is beyond repair; deemed so dangerous that is must fail the test – if this happens the plug will be removed so it cannot accidentally be used, it will be marked with clear red “Fail – Do not use” and will be reported to our on-site contact. In addition there is a failures report included in the PAT report that we issue to you later.
The vast majority of time our tests will confirm that an appliance is in fact safe and we will then label the appliance with a pass sticker which includes details such as the Appliance Identification number (saved into our database) and the test date; the ID relates directly to the report that we provide you with.
How often should PAT Testing be done?
This is a piece of string question – appliances should be tested as often as the risk recommends; if an appliance is used in a high risk area like a building site it should be checked monthly by a competent person on site and tested every 3 months by a PAT engineer.
A low risk item like a computer monitor which sits on a desk and never moves will need less frequent tests; sometimes as little as once every 5 years according to the HSE, but we our experience has led us to recommend shorter periods – better to be safe than sorry.
We treat each appliance and each customer on its own merits; we conduct a risk assessment, discuss the situation with you and find the best solution for you.
When the next phase of testing or inspections (it could be that next time the appliance simply needs an inspection not a full test) is due we’ll remind you with plenty of notice suggesting a date when we come to do the work.
DRA Electricals, based in Newcastle upon Tyne is an independent Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) company. PAT Testing is a specialised process which should only be carried out by suitably qualified and skilled engineers who have the experience to reassure you that your equipment is being inspected correctly, so you comply fully with UK Health and Safety at Work directives.
Portable Appliance Testing
In-Service Inspection and Testing of electrical equipment aka PAT Testing or Portable Appliance testing is required to ensure electrical equipment in the workplace is safe.
Appliances by law must be maintained to a safe standard to prevent danger; inspections and testing is required to check appliances are safe.
Portable appliance testing is process whereby electrical equipment is checked to make sure it is as safe now as it was the day it was manufactured.
The process includes inspecting the appliance, the plug and the cable and if necessary carrying out a sequence of tests using a PAT machine.