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Portable appliance testing (or PAT Testing) is carried out in the UK to ensure the safety of electrical equipment and appliances. The process, also known as in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment, involves routinely checking the state of insulation between the parts which transmit current and the metallic parts which are exposed to human touch.
PAT testing is mainly done to prevent electrical hazards in the workplace. The full test involves a visual examination and a detailed check of electrical appliances using PAT testing equipment.
While there are no stringent legal requirements for PAT testing, the UK Government has set up regulatory standards for the maintenance of electrical gadgets and equipment. The PAT test is an embodiment of all the regulatory measures required by the government and is, therefore, the most effective way to adhere to these regulations.
In Watford, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and other parts of the UK, the United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as well as insurance organisations will demand that you carry out PAT testing to ensure that you comply with the following regulations:
- The Health and Safety Act of 1974
- The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999
According to the British law, electrical appliances and systems are required by law to be in optimal condition in order to prevent danger. Although private homes do not fall under this legislation, occupiers’ liability makes it mandatory for homeowners not to expose tenants or visitors to avoidable risks.
The law requires that a competent individual, or an expert, visually inspects installations on a regular basis and tests equipment for optimal performance and safety in the workplace.
Appliances that can be considered for PAT testing and visual inspection include
- Fixed equipment
- Stationary appliances
- IT equipment
- Appliances which are moveable
- Chargers and cables
- Handheld equipment
In order to ensure that these appliances are maintained and inspected at regular intervals, employers can hire PAT testing companies to perform the test, or acquire certification to carry out the test.
To ensure safety in the workplace, an employer shall ensure that the circuit which supplies an appliance, or the socket outlet which supplies the equipment, is protected.
By carrying out PAT testing on all portable appliances and gadgets, employers can ascertain whether the equipment, as well as cables and plugs, are safe, thereby posing no risks to their employees who directly or indirectly have access to any live part of the equipment.
If the equipment is tested and an expert indicates that it is not safe, the employer will make sure it is not used until it is declared safe and certified.
To determine how often you should test you’re your appliances, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggests intervals for testing which range from 3 months, especially for construction equipment, to one year.
In an environment with low risks, annual portable appliance testing is not required, you only need to carry out regular checks and visual examinations to determine the state of your equipment.
Why do you need PAT Testing regulations?
Adhering to PAT testing regulations will enable you to determine if the portable appliances in your workplace are safe to use. You will also avoid legal violations by doing this.
PAT testing regulations were mandated to ensure that all businesses and organisations adhere to the health and safety measures necessary for the prevention of hazards in workplaces and homes.
Failure to comply with the regulations can attract fines up to £5,000 and/or six months incarceration. In some cases, fines have been as high as £20,000 and sentences of 2 years imprisonment have been recorded.
PAT testing in itself is not legally required, but it helps you comply with the regulations for safety, especially in the workplace. Since the law requires all electrical gadgets in your workplace to be properly maintained, PAT testing is critical for your company’s safety and personnel’s health.
It also shows you how to effectively detect flaws that develop in electrical appliances due to use. These defects can lead to possible workplace hazards if they are not properly managed.
Elsys Electrical Ltd provides to its client professional and fully certified PAT Testing service. In order to be complient with the latest regulation of Health & Safety at work, we strongly advise to contact Professional Electrical Company, and arrange for your Portable Appliance Testing. Contact Us today and book your PAT Testing.