portable appliance testing visual inspection

What is PAT Testing?

PAT Testing, also referred to as Portable Appliance Testing is an essential element of any health and safety policy; faulty electrical appliances kill hundreds of people through electrocution and fires so ensuring an electrical appliance is safe is a necessity.

Approximately 25% of all reportable accidents relate to portable appliances


What needs PAT testing?

A portable appliance can be any electrical appliance that has been manufactured with the intention of being connected to the mains power supply using a flexible cable with a plug attaching to a socket.

The process includes appliances where the plug and socket cannot be accessed, such as white goods built in to a kitchen.

We will carry out appropriate inspections plus tests where necessary on every portable appliance and their detachable leads, each part being labelled and recorded as one item.

All portable appliances require a visual inspection by the engineer, where he/she uses appropriate skills and knowledge to find faults and where possible repair them.

Once an appliance has been deemed safe, and thus passed, it will undergo additional tests using a PAT machine, as needed (not all appliances need to be tested); each appliance whether inspected only or inspected and tested will be labelled and recorded as one item.

Why is a PAT Test necessary?

If a person connects with a faulty appliance they may get an electric shock, dependent on the charge, and the person this may lead to electrocution. An inspection by a competent engineer will find deterioration or damage that may lead to the appliance becoming dangerous.

If an appliance is being used incorrectly or in an inappropriate environment faults may develop such as overheating leading to a fire.

Electrical tests are sometimes needed to ensure the electrical equipment is safe. Electrical tests that are carried out are to check the earth connection internally is correct, and that the appliance is suitably insulated.

What are the benefits of doing PAT Testing?

  • Faulty appliances are found and can be dealt with
  • Leading to a safer workplace
  • Reducing the number of accidents, injuries and deaths


  • You become more compliant with your insurance providers requirements
  • You can keep track of your assets
  • Improve the preventative maintenance measures in your workplace
  • Reduce the legal risk to you

Do you know this?

Do you know that extension leads (we usually call them 4-gang blocks for example) were invented so that computers can be used easier as there’s usually not enough wall sockets – they were never intended to be used with kettles, toasters and heaters… and still shouldn’t be used in this way.

The purpose of a PAT testing inspection is two fold:

  1. To make sure portable electrical appliances are maintaining safe standards and
  2. To make sure portable electrical appliances are being used correctly