The following table provides an outline of the practice we adopt in low risk environments. 

Every user of an appliance is responsible for carrying out their own user checks. 

We will operate to this practice unless told to do otherwise by our client 

This practice operates in line with minimum requirements from the HSE – we do annual checks as we feel that is the best course of action for minimising the risks, keeping clients compliant, and upholding safe working standards. 

Equipment/Environment (including detachable cables) Visual Inspection by the engineer Tests using a PAT machine
Low voltage equipment (e.g. mobile telephone and telephone plugs, power adaptors)  Annually  Not required
Desktop computers, monitors, printers and other IT equipment that rarely moves  Annually  Every other year
IT equipment that moves more often like laptop leads   Annually Annually
Earthed equipment like fridges and washing machines (white goods)  Annually  At least once every 4 years
Smaller Earthed equipment like kettles, microwaves, toasters and irons   Annually  Annually
 Double insulated equipment like fans and lamps  Annually Every other year if it has exposed metal parts
 Hand-held equipment like power tools and vacuum cleaners  Every 3-12 months  Annually
 Extension leads (not attached to any of the above)  Every 3-12 months Annually

When deciding whether an appliance requires a test using a test machine, we need to consider the construction of the appliance. 

For safety reasons an appliance will either be double insulated or require an earth connection; an appliance with an earth connection has that because if there is a fault, there is a possibility that the outside of the equipment could cause an electric shock, if the earth connection was not there. With that in mind it is recommended that such equipment has a portable appliance test to ensure the earth connection is sound. 

Double insulated equipment, has an extra layer of insulation in the construction to protect the user from accidental contact with live parts normally, and when there is a fault. Such equipment doesn’t require an earth connection to maintain safety and thus doesn’t require a portable appliance test, unless it has exposed metal parts. 

Cables, leads and plugs that detach from an appliance, will be tested initially, then on subsequent checks, will be inspected or tested inline with the appliance, whilst attached. Those of the same type that are not associated with a particular appliance are tested as appliances in their own right.

Whilst we attach new labels to each appliance, with a unique ID number every time we do keep a record of which stage of the inspection and testing process we’re up to; an appliance without a current label is assumed to be a recent addition and is tested at the start of the cycle. We do not provide histories of individual appliance results, as we do not maintain the same appliance numbers. 

We inspect and or test each individual item (part that detaches) of an appliance, record and label each part. For example; the kettle and its base unit, or the monitor, its low voltage adaptor and its power lead. 

All appliances that are powered are recorded and labelled to prevent any confusion. 

We do not test or label battery powered equipment such as power tools that operate via a battery, mobile phones and laptop computers.