PAT testing

As an employer, you have a duty of care to ensure portable appliances have been tested and checked to make sure they are safe for your staff or customers to use.

What is a PAT?

PAT an acronym for Portable Appliance Testing. Portable Appliance describes the group of electrical equipment that is usually relatively small (Less than 18kg) and can be easily moved. Typical examples of such equipment are Computers, Microwave Ovens, Toasters, Kettles, Vacuum Cleaner etc. These generally are connected to the supply using a three pin plug.

However, "PAT" testing covers a whole range of electrical equipment, which quite often is large and certainly would not be moved in use. A good example is a refrigerator. It could also apply to equipment that may be fastened to a wall or floor and possibly "hard wired" to its means of supply via a spur connection.

Why test a Portable Appliance?

There are considerable Legislation & Regulations that place a duty on Employers and Employees for the safety of themselves and others. Ensuring this compliance must not be a paperwork exercise but a real initiative to ensure safety. Carrying out frequent Inspection & testing to your electrical equipment will promote this safety.

What are the Legal Requirements?

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASW 1974) is an Act set by Parliament that places a duty of care on Employers & Employees to ensure the safety of all persons using the work premises. This Act is law, and to contravene this law is a criminal offence.

As HASW 1974 is an "enabling act" it does not enter into detail of how you will achieve compliance but looks to other Regulations to achieve it.

What Regulations apply?

For the purpose of electrical safety in the use and provision of Electrical equipment, three Regulation sets typically apply.

Firstly, "The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999" which places a duty on Every employer to make a sufficient assessment of the risks to health and safety of employees while at work and to all other persons while carrying out their work.

Of the assessed risks for any electrical equipment, it is quite likely that the number one hazard would be that of an electric shock.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 98) requires every Employer to ensure that all equipment including electrical equipment is suitable for use, it is maintained in a safe condition and is inspected to ensure it’s continued safety. With respect to the risks from electricity, PUWER is likely to be satisfied by the compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. As it’s title suggests, this is specifically electrical and requires all necessary precautions to be taken against the risk of Electric Shock.

Benefits to your Company

Ensuring your electrical equipment is safe to use will reduce the risk of electrocution and injury to your employees, possibly saving lives.

By carrying out routine testing you can provide a safe place of work for your employees and reduce the risk of prosecution in the unlikely event of an accident involving electrical equipment. Prosecution could be in the form of financial penalties and/or imprisonment.

Insurance companies generally stipulate that you must comply with your statutory safety obligations in order to maintain your insurance cover.

Your PAT report can be used as an asset management tool by listing all your tested equipment by location within you business.

How do we price?

Generally we will provide you with a quotation based upon a cost per appliance. You can then simply multiply this cost by the number of appliances you have. Normally we will provide a price which includes minor repairs to flex or plug or fuse change. Prices tend to reduce with volume so it’s always worth calling us to discuss your business requirements, particularly if you are a multi site organisation. For organisations who wish the testing to be carried out to a defined specification, we can tailor our pricing to meet your exact needs.

Engineer Competency

Our engineers are qualified to a minimum level of City & Guilds 2377 in electrical equipment safety. They have additional in house training for all aspects of the work including Health & Safety and carry a passport to safety card. For additional security all our engineers will have been CRB checked.

Reporting

Whilst the engineer is on site he will notify your nominated person of any dangerous or failed equipment. This will be documented on an "Immediate Report" and signed with a copy left on site. Our engineer will agree to disable and label any failed equipment.

Following the testing we will provide you with a full inventory of tested equipment which will be grouped by location and indicate pass or fail status. We will list any minor repairs and provide details if an item which has failed.

The report will normally be provided in electronic format on our Internet Web Reporting system. We can of course provide reports by e mail in pdf format. For more on our web reporting click here.

Accreditations

We are an approved NICEIC company and accredited to many standards including Electrical, quality, health & safety, data & security. For more details click here.

More Health & Safety Information

www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/index.htm

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