PAT Testing – what is it and does my equipment need it?
We understand that there are many questions asked by small businesses about PAT testing including what, why and is it essential.
PAT stands for portable appliance testing and basically means examining electrical appliances or equipment to make sure that it is safe. PAT tests are done partly by visual examination and partly by testing.
Are PAT tests a legal requirement?
In short, the answer is no. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment is maintained to prevent danger but the regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how often. Hence the confusion faced by many businesses!
Basically the regulations require maintenance of safety and evidence of routine maintenance for all hand-held, portable and plug-in equipment. Getting a reputable electrician such as Barton Electrical to carry out regular PAT testing of
your equipment should help to ensure that your business is meeting the regulations.
How often should my equipment be tested?
Again, there are no set rules for this. There is guidance available on the HSE website and they do have a publication that you can purchase with advice for higher risk businesses. Generally though it depends on the equipment and the type of organisation. For example, a power tool used on a construction site should be tested more frequently than a lamp on an office desk.
Who can do the testing?
Another grey area I’m afraid! General advice is that testing must be done by a competent person. Now obviously, most people could do a visual check to make sure the wires are intact, the plug is on securely and there are no signs of hissing, burning etc. but proper, full testing should be done by someone with the proper equipment and the ability to understand the results. A qualified electrician is therefore the obvious choice.
In summary …
All business owners and employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of both their employees and any visitors to their premises. If you are at all unsure on how the requirements affect your business, have any questions about PAT testing or would like to arrange for your equipment to be tested, call us at Barton Electrical and we will be happy to help.
We offer a consultancy service at a very competitive cost to assess any risk you or your business face with the electrical equipment you are using. We will complete a risk assessment and proposal to ensure your business is compliant. A PAT test is applicable to ANYTHING that has fixed wiring so cookers in a home, hand dryers at a gym or a washing machine in a pub.
So to remove the ambiguity let us check for you.