Blogs to help you improve the health and safety in your offices; mainly regarding electrical equipment

Working from home safety tips

PAT Testing for home workers

If you need PAT testing and you’re working from home, that’s fine, we can help.

We can wear face masks, and wipe surfaces we have touched; we’ll do what is necessary to keep you covid-secure and electrically safe.

How do you arrange it? Just like anything else you need to arrange; just call 07897240878 or email richard@draelectricals.co.uk

Do you need PAT testing when you work from home?

If you work for a company and they require you to work from home then they are responsible for you, even when you are at home; because you are still working – so the Health and Safety at Work act still applies.

So your employer must get the electrical appliances they provide you with checked to make sure they are safe.

Do you work for yourself, from home?

This question is a lot harder to answer; if only you work in the business and you work from home, if you’re competent to assess that your equipment is safe to use then there is no real reason to get it tested. However, if you employ people or you have clients, and they come to your home to work, then the equipment does need checking.

Maintaining Safe electrics when working at home

We have put together these working from home safety tips to try to help you help your staff work safely, at home

working from home safety tips - portable appliance testing for home workers

When working from home it is important to maintain safety; when we come home from work we often forget about some of the safety processes we had to follow at work, believing our home is a safer environment – most of the time it isn’t, especially with lapses in concentration. 

With the current Covid-19 pandemic more and more people are working from home, which is unprecedented for the way UK business usually works, and we are not set up for it. You’ll have noticed internet speeds are now a lot slower; that’s because a lot more people are using the internet system than it is used to. 

Your bosses expect you to work to the same conditions, start and finish times, break times etc that you do in the office but home-working just doesn’t work in that way. In the office you talk to colleagues over your monitor screens, have coffee breaks and generally avoid a lot of work doing other things; most people working in an office do around 4 hours of work a day rather than the 8 they are paid for! But when you work from home, you don’t have the distractions of co-workers so you work harder, smarter and longer. A quick trip to the kitchen for a fresh coffee takes less time, and assuming you don’t have the kids to distract you you’re going to get more work done undisturbed. In fact, being an experienced home-worker I know how many times I have worked through lunch too. 

Add to that that you are paying for the electricity, heating, water and internet, unsubsidised by your bosses they need to not expect you to work the full 8 hours… unless they are going to pay you more for that. They’re also saving on the costs of housing you in their office as they did when you were at work. 

Companies are realising that their staff working from home are more productive, and set up costs are lower because they don’t have to pay for the desks, lamps, floors and walls. 

But where they must not scrimp on, and where many are not living up to their obligations is health and safety. Health and Safety at work applies whether you are in the office or at home; wherever you are working. So these obligations still need meeting. That includes making sure that electrical equipment is safe. 

You will also find brining your office home makes for a very different working environment. Some people are setting up shop on their dining room table or trying to find desk space in their garage or shed. If you’re like me then you’re lucky enough to already have an office set up at home, but perhaps you now have to share it. 

You’ll find with the increase in electrical equipment in your home you’re forced to add more extension leads, and you’re fighting for sockets which leads to a risk of overloading, which in turn is risking overheating, and fires, which none of us want. 

I am seeing pictures on my friends social media channels of their overloaded sockets, as they try to find enough space to plug in their work computer, as well as their TV and games console. 

Just because we now work from home, we can’t forget about workplace safety – we are working from home… we are at work, so we are required to comply with the same legal requirements, such as the Electricity at Work Regulations

We have put together these working from home safety tips to try to help you help your staff work safely, at home.

Portable Appliance Testing for Home-Workers

Working from home is still work so get settled safely

When we all got the nod that we had to work from home we quickly cobbled together a new office in our house, which was put together in a rush and probably is still getting used, as we all moan that its not up to the task. 

Now is the time to take a moment and really think about how much better we could set this up. So when you have read this article, shut down your computer and follow these handy safety tips. Actually, open the article on your phone or tablet and follow these guides. 

If you’re at work your bosses are responsible for ensuring portable appliances are regularly inspected and tested to make sure they continue to be safe for use and that is no different when you work from home. 

In normal circumstances if you were to work from home your bosses would make sure electrical equipment was safe before you took it home; they’d advise you how to check it is still ok when you get it home and they’d arrange for it to be retested at regular intervals; usually every year, by a competent person. Now, with Cold-19 it is no different, expect initially we had a period where we couldn’t come into your home. Now, with a bit of social distancing, good hygiene and some basic PPE, we can. So now is a good time to start petitioning your bosses to get us out to make sure everything is ok. 

Portable appliance testing for home workers is important, and it won’t take much effort to organise or do. We can be in and out of your home in a matter of minutes, and you’ll have the peace of mind that your equipment is safe to continue using, and your home office set up is acceptable. 

Portable appliance testing for home workers

What does the company risk assessment say?

You may not realise this but your company should have a policy for when staff have to work from home, including a risk assessment. You need to make sure your workers are familiar with this; it should detail safety measures that should be in place, and what they need to do to comply with them, and also what you should do to make sure they understand them. 

Chances are with everything that has happened this got forgotten about, perhaps you don’t have a policy at all, or your policy has not been updated to cope with the current situation. 

If you have such a policy, make sure it is up to date and send it to your staff. If you don’t and you need help putting it together, get in touch and we’ll connect you with an independent health and safety consultant in your area. 

If putting together a risk assessment you need to consider including the following:

  • Trip hazards such as rugs and pets
  • Spill prevention against coffee cups and breakfast cereal

Perhaps, make it into a fun activity for your staff to do with their families – they could get the kids to identify any hazards in the home and make a note of the ones that affect work. 

We have put together these working from home safety tips to try to help you help your staff work safely, at home.

Use extension leads correctly

Extension leads are intended to only be used with IT equipment, and shouldn’t officially be used as a long term solution. They are intended to be used until proper sockets can be installed, although in reality this rarely happens. 

Of course your staff aren’t going to get extra sockets installed but they can still make sure they use the extension lead correctly with a little bit of guidance from you. 

The lead being used must be suitable for what it is being used for, and not overloaded, which can lead to overheating and in turn, fires. 

The maximum rating of any extension lead for normal use is 13 amp, although most actually are 10 amp, especially the white ones we all have in abundance. 

Try to remember that when we get an extension lead, say with 4 sockets, it doesn’t mean it is ok to fill them all; in most cases perhaps only 2 can be utilised. Consider this example: we are using a 4 gang white socket extension with a 10amp rating; if we plug in a PC screen at 3 amps we now just have 7 amps left. Most things we use at home are going to be low power but we still need to consider the ratings. We must ensure the total load is spread across the sockets and not be exceeded. When using the standard office set up of a PC screen and the base unit, putting both of these on an extension lead is perfectly fine. There also shouldn’t be any issues adding a phone charger and desk lamp, utilising all 4 sockets in this case. 

But never ever plug a heater or your hair dryer into the same extension! 

Also, if you are using a cable reel be aware that if it is still coiled up it’s rating is a lot lower than if it were uncoiled – check the label on the sockets for the difference. 

Finally, think of those square blocks that you plug in to sockets – put them in the bin! Especially the ones that don’t have a fuse holder as they are noncompliant and can be very dangerous. These are well known to lead to fires if overloaded. 

messy cables under a desk

Visually inspect equipment before use

When we are at home we forget about safety; many people seem to think the risks at work are not at home. Damaged or faulty equipment poses just as much risk at home as it does at work, so inspect appliances before use to reduce the risk. 

Because of the rush of setting up working from home in this crisis many of us forgot about the importance of working safely. In normal circumstances had we moved electrical equipment like a computer from one location to another we’d have considered the risk of damage occurring and got it PAT tested before it was plugged in. But because we all rushed to work from home this got forgotten about. 

We had a couple of clients tested the equipment before it left the office, although they couldn’t guarantee it was still safe when it got to their employee’s home, they were sure it was safe when it left, so they protected them selves there. 

It is important that we verify as much as possible that everything is safe for use and doesn’t present a danger to users, and the users family. 

The best way to make sure all this equipment is safe is to get it PAT tested and if that is possible we would recommend that be done. Whilst we’re not keen on going into houses to do this, if we can guarantee protective measures are implemented this could be an option. Speak to us about this

Whether we get the PAT test done or not it is still important that the user checks their appliances regularly just in case. A regular user check, say every week, will help us to reduce the risks by picking up on any issues before they become major. 

These visual inspections by the user should be carried out before plugging everything in (probably too late now), or unplug everything now and check it before plugging it back in. If the user is unsure about something they need to report it to you. 

an example of what an overloaded socket can do to a wall socket

The inspection should include the following:

  • Is the plug in tact and not damaged in any way?
  • Is the cable fitted to the plug securely?
  • Are there any bare wires, or coloured insulation showing?
  • Is there any damage to the cable such as cuts, tears, bare wires etc?
  • Does the cable enter the appliance neatly, and is it secure?
  • Is the appliance casing damaged in any way?
  • Does the appliance have a correctly functioning switch?
  • Are all guards, and parts in place and secure?
  • Does it have correct stands if necessary, so it doesn’t topple over

The visual inspection by the user is a check of the plug, lead and appliance using common sense. If it looks dangerous don’t use it. Report it to the right person and get it repaired by a competent person. 

the result of an electrical fire from tyne and wear fire brigade

Is the appliance genuine or fake?

A concern we have centres around whether an appliance is genuine or a cheap counterfeit alternative. Putting together the right equipment for our home offices, in a rush, may have lead to us buying equipment from less scrupulous suppliers. If the iPhone charger we’re using was bought off a market stall how do we know it isn’t going to blow up? 

Fake or counterfeit equipment rarely meets British standards, and may not have the right safety measures built in. Such appliances pose a massive risk to our homes and workplaces. We see regularly damaged appliances and via our friends at Tyne and Wear Fire Brigade, we see the results of using fake goods. 

Some of the biggest issues are caused by phone and laptop chargers; make sure yours are from the same manufacturer as the appliance they charge, and are the recommended versions. If you buy cheap alternatives, your are risking your home and your family. 

What happened after a fake iPhone charger was used

Moving equipment risks damages

Your office is now in someone’s house

From a business perspective, sending staff to work at home doesn’t mean you can forget about them – they’re using electrical equipment you have provided which means you are still responsible for ensuring it is safe. It should have been tested before it left the office, was it? Doubt it. We only had 2 clients that we know of that took this sensible precaution. 

Of course, with the threat of Covid-19 the chances of an electrician or PAT tester going into someones house to test equipment, now, is slim – we aren’t doing any domestic work – so you need to rely on your staff using their appliances sensibly – making sure they don’t overload extensions, and that they do their own visual inspections.

Did you provide proper surge protected extension blocks suitable for the equipment they’ll be using at home? 

If you’re planning to keep staff working from home long term, after we’re allowed to return to work, you need to get equipment tested sooner rather than later, for your own peace of mind, which is going to increase costs, as now equipment will be tested over multiple sites, but you have saved quite a bit whilst you’ve not had to pay the energy bills.

Have you taken that into consideration for your staff working from home? 

They are no longer using your electricity, but their own, so should you be paying towards that? I’ve heard of some companies, accepting their staff will work less time in the day due to distractions at home, but as long as the work is done they accept that, so they don’t have to cover the additional expenses such as electricity, gas, water, etc. 

Are you wasting money on energy?

Have you turned off everything that is still in the office by the way? 

A computer still switched on, a photocopier or TV will be using energy – what’s the point if you’re not there. Save some money by popping back in to make sure everything is turned off at the wall. 

When staff start coming back to the office, you need to consider getting equipment tested before they start using it at work again – appliances can be damaged in transit, in fact they are at their highest risk when getting moved from one place to another, and you don’t want to risk plugging in a damaged computer that could start a fire. 

You also want to make sure each appliance is cleaned, to get rid of any lingering germs. 

2021-01-05T18:40:31+00:00Safety in offices|

Do you worry about important plugs being switched off by accident?

Lockable Socket Covers

Use lockable socket covers to protect important plugs from being accidentally switched off. Great for server systems or computers you don’t want turned off by accident. Also great to protect children at home. 

Everywhere we go there is at least one plug with a post it note taped to it with the big letters “DO NOT SWITCH OFF”. 

Someone somewhere is terrified that the all important plug will be taken out and replaced by a hair drier or heater! 

But you need worry no more, for we have the solution! 

Not only does this simple solution massively reduce the chances of your plugs being disconnected when you don’t want them too, but it can also totally prevent it. 

In addition to that the exact same system can protect younger users from the risks of electric sockets, by totally blocking their paths to them. 

Red and White Do not switch off the socket sign

Lockable Socket Covers

Lockable Socket safety cover being slid into place over a double socket

We are now distributors and installers of lockable socket covers, which can reduce and eliminate the chances of that all important socket being switched off. 

We have tamper resistant covers that have a ‘child lock’ system that requires adult sized hands to release, which through a latch system stops a cover being lifted, effectively preventing sockets being accidentally switched off. 

We also have fully lockable socket covers; with a key, so you can take the key, put it somewhere safe, giving you peace of mind that that socket will not be turned off. 

This is a great solution for:

  • Server systems
  • Important computers
  • Clocking in systems 
  • Sockets in children’s bedrooms
  • Freezers
  • etc.

For more information on these socket covers, or to arrange to have them installed at your workplace or home (without the need to turn off the power) visit our main socket covers page. 

If you’re concerned about the safety of your sockets we do free socket checks for clients when we do their electrical equipment testing.

2021-09-08T06:05:05+00:00Safety in offices|

How often should pat testing be done in an office?

IT pat testing in schools | pat test primary school

How often should pat testing be done in an office?

How often should pat testing be done in an office?PAT tests in offices may not need doing as often as you may think. Many offices get their appliances tested every year but that may be too often. If you do a risk assessment you will find that most if not all appliances won’t need doing that often. 

Stationery appliances such as fridges, photocopiers, even computers and monitors hardly ever move so do you really need to get them tested every year? If users check them periodically and inspections are carried out intermittently it should be perfectly acceptable to increase the interval between tests to 2 or 3 years. Some publications even say longer, but many argue that that is too long. 

Risk assess to determine how often PAT testing should be done in an office

A risk assessment should clarify the need for PAT tests in offices, as it will show the risks that affect the equipment in use. 

However, the assessment of equipment use in an office is ‘low risk’. 

Office equipment such as computers, monitor screens, printers, photocopiers, etc. rarely move – in most cases they’ll be placed on a desk and never move until they are replaced – in fact the only time they come under any strain is when the PAT Tester comes along and pulls the cables through trunking, holes in desks etc to test the appliance! 

So equipment that never moves is low risk. Guidance tells us that such a low risk appliances only need a test every 4-5 years. However going that long between any checks is risky as something may happen in the mean time so it is recommended that a visual inspection is carried out every 2 years. With a visual inspection there is still disruption to you; the appliance still needs to be unplugged. If it’s going to be unplugged anyway, then it may as well be tested, but it doesn’t need to be tested at 2-years, although some do, as 2 yearly testing is still half the cost of annual tests. What we do, is recommend we meet in the middle of the two, and test all the appliances every 3-years. 

This is perfectly acceptable. We also still visit your site more frequently to test higher risk equipment such as laptop leads and hand-held appliances that are moved more frequently, so if you have any issues we can check them then. 

3 years is an acceptable interval; every 2 years is better; every year is best, but you don’t need to do every year, especially in a nice, clean, well maintained office. 

We will assess the risks in your office when we do your PAT Testing and recommend the best course of action to move forward with. 

If you want to change your PAT testing from annual contact us. 

We’ve have over 100 5 Star Google reviews for PAT Testing

Dacon Fabrication (Team Valley, Gateshead) Logo
Jackson Hogg Recruitment (Newcastle) logo
The Premier Plating Company (North East) Logo

Chris Ames, General Manager

These guys were recommended to us and they came in recently to do the PAT Testing. The service was first class and report very professionally presented in an easy to understand format. It is rare I give 5 stars in a review however in this case it is thoroughly deserved and would recommend DRA PAT Testing Limited to any organisation ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Efa Owens, Acquisition Manager

Excellent, friendly and efficient service. We have a lot of staff that work flexibly and Richard was happy to pop back at a later date to test their equipment which we hadn’t initially mentioned. Would recommend DRA to any organisation that needs appliance testing carried out. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Julie Dixon, Company Secretary

We are very impressed with your service, everything very professional and as you promised. As a small business we find it hard to find reliable companies to deal with, it makes a refreshing change to come across a company with similar ideals to us  – a fair job at a fair price with pleasant employees and proper paperwork! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Get a PAT Testing Quote

Need a PAT Test Certificate?

We can provide you with a PAT Testing Certificate Report after we have completed the inspections and testing of your electrical appliances, so to proceed you first need to book an appointment for the work to be carried out. 

Our PAT Testing Certificate Reports include all the information you need to show that you are trying to prevent electrical accidents from occurring, including electrical test results. 

Book an Appointment
Get more information

2021-09-22T08:28:24+00:00Safety in offices|

If staff bring personal electrical equipment into work does it need testing?

Personal Equipment

Personal equipment brought into work does need PAT testing, treat it like work equipment. 

You are responsible for electrical equipment used at work, whether you have supplied it or not. 

What would happen if that appliance caught fire or caused an accident – would you be protected if you hadn’t checked the appliance was safe? 

 

Consider this: You take action to ensure your equipment is maintaining safety standards by getting regular PAT testing carried out; your insurance company is happy. Someone uses your premises (e.g. a DJ in a hotel) and their equipment has not been maintained; a fire starts and your premises are destroyed… are you insured?

If you allow anyone to bring their own electrical equipment onto your premises to be used, make sure it is safe – insist on seeing their up to date PAT records. If they can’t supply it, then get them to get their equipment tested before they bring it onto the premises. Want to be sure the job is done well – give them our contact details.

This applies to your staff bringing their own equipment to work, and contractors bringing tools and cleaning equipment for example.

Personal equipment: If you allow staff to bring personal equipment to work it should also be PAT tested – imagine if that appliance started a fire, and you have no evidence it had maintained safety standards. 

Contractors: The same applies to contractors – their equipment should  be tested before being used on their site; so make sure they have and supply you with in-date PAT certificates. 

2021-09-04T16:57:31+00:00Safety in offices|

Have you got messy cables under your desks that need tidying?

Get rid of messy cables

Everyone these days seems to have messy cables on and around their desks; generally caused by the constant addition of new appliances that need a cable to draw power. But no one has time to tidy up the cables to make them neater.

If you want neater cables around your desks talk to our engineer about what would be involved – in a small office we may be able to do it whilst we’re there, and in bigger sites we’ll need to arrange to return (ideally when your staff aren’t there).

Cable re-organisation is something everyone says is easy, but no one ever does it, lets face it – who has the time now to pull out desks, disconnect all the cables, and relay them neat and tidy? Nobody has the time but nobody likes to see that mess of wires. 

If you are not booked in for appliances to be inspected any time soon but think this is something you need for your business, get in touch with us – we’ll come out to survey the site, from which we’ll make a proposal. We’ll be able to tell you how long we’ll need to do the job and what it will cost, then it’s up to you whether you book us in.

Tidy cables are much better than messy ones – they’re safer and less of a hazard.

Get those cords organised, use bigger power strips that take more plugs (safely) rather than daisy chaining smaller blocks, put a cable sleeve in place around cables or even use cable clips if possible to tack cables to walls to make them neater. There are many ways we can use to help organise that mess of cables in your office. 

messy cables under a desk
tidy cables under a desk

Our 4 step plan to eradicate messy cables for good

Let’s assume we are referring to the plugs under your desk

Step One: Unplug Everything

  • It’s best to start with a blank canvas, so unplug every plug from every socket, and pull each lead to the top of the desk, then run it neatly across the desk, so the plug is hanging at the front. 
  • Now trace each lead so you know which appliance it is for. 
  • Make a nice label to attach to each plug so you know what each plug powers
  • If you have any spare cables that don’t connect to anything put them to one side. 

Step Two: Mount the extension lead

Mount the lead to the desk leg, or attach it to the desk another way, or the wall (we’d prefer you to go direct into the socket but it’s unlikely you have enough) – make sure the mount is in a good location for all cables to reach. 

The main aim is to get the extension block off the floor into a better location so cables aren’t lying on the floor

Step Three: Plug in 

Take your neatly labelled plugs, run them down the back of your desk and plug them in to the extension lead in the neatest possible way

Step Four: Tidy cable time

We’re going to shorten the cables now by wrapping each up in a neat circle, and then tying that up with a cable tie (not too tight) or velcro straps. 

Then either fix them all together, or keep them separate. 

The idea now is to take the looped cables and secure them to a tidy hidden away location like the back of the desk. 

When we do this for you, we use a slightly more sophisticated process, but the basics are the same. If you would rather we do it for you, get in touch to discuss the options. We’ll come out to assess your office first, before providing a price. 

Check out our office PAT testing page for more information. 

Get a PAT Testing Quote

2021-09-09T10:37:36+00:00Safety in offices|

Do you need your office PAT Testing?

Specialist in Portable Appliance Testing – PAT Testing Offices

We specialise in PAT testing offices; PAT testing computers is relatively easy to do, and shouldn’t cause too much disruption to your team, although in big offices it’s sometimes better for all of us to do the work outside your normal hours.

Being specialists at Pat testing computers we have the specialist equipment, so we know we’re not going to damage your appliances, nor will be disconnect your servers unless you authorise it first!

PAT testing Offices – We’re a specialist portable appliance testing company, covering the North East of England.

Speak to us about what we can do for you, we will be able to show you where and how we can save you money by eradicating unnescessary testing. 

We provide simple and cost effective solutions to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes to help comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations.

Effective Portable appliance testing provides you with assurances that your electrical equipment is safe to be used, and thus complies with the regulations.

We work with our clients to not only check their equipment is safe, but to ensure it meets the recommendations of the Health and Safety executive.

If you want to ensure you comply with the regulations then you need your portable appliances to be safe, the best way to be sure that is the case, is to get PAT Testing done on a regular basis.

We are based in Newcastle upon Tyne, and cover the whole of the North East of England including Gateshead, Washington, Sunderland and Durham.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch, or get a PAT Testing quote.

  • One-off PAT testing available
  • Best practice recommends annual PAT testing
  • HSE recommended PAT testing intervals & managed programmes
  • Free repairs & faulty socket reports
  • PAT Testing Certificate and appliance register issued for every client

Electricity can kill – faulty electrical appliances may not protect the user from the electricity passing through it; regular appliance testing will find faults and help to prevent accidents. 

2020-10-15T11:08:45+00:00Safety in offices|

PAT testing office equipment helps you comply with the legal requirements

Photo of man working on Apple Mac

PAT testing office equipment should be an essential part of your in house Health and Safety policy; regular PAT tests will help you maintain safe electrical equipment, something which you are legally required to do.

How often you do it is based on your risk assessment, but many companies choose to get it done annually mainly because it’s cheaper in the long run!

Using electrical equipment safely and responsibly in the office is crucial, not to mention a legal requirement for all employers and a duty expected of employees.

As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to protect your employees’ health and safety. In the UK, this duty of care is called the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Within that law is the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. These regulations tell us how electricity should be used in the workplace, including making sure electrical equipment is safe and fit for purpose.

The regulations not only give employers a legal duty of care, but place responsibility on employees, contractors and other similarly employed workers too.

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

The Electricity at Work Regulations require you to

  • maintain all electrical systems in a way that prevents danger
  • make sure employees do nothing that might cause danger when operating, using, maintaining or working near an electrical system
  • make sure the equipment you provide to protect people from the hazards of electrical systems is suitable, fully maintained and used in the proper way
  • use any electrical equipment whose strength and capability is so excessive that it might cause danger
  • take precautions to make sure potentially dangerous conductors cannot cause people danger
  • provide suitable means for cutting off the supply of electricity to any electrical equipment, and isolating any electrical equipment
  • make sure any person working with electrical systems or equipment has the technical knowledge or experience they need to avoid injury or cause danger

Of course these are just the parts that relate to electrical equipment.

Under the Electricity at Work Regulations, you have a legal duty to keep all your portable electrical equipment in a safe condition.

However, one problem with the regulations is that they don’t tell you how to do this, or when—just that you need to!

PAT testing Office equipment

As a PAT testing company we specialise in low risk environments, namely offices. IT equipment is relatively easy to inspect and test to check it is safe; many electrical appliances don’t ever need a test (they will need inspecting though), and many more will only need an inspection for the first few years.

Pat testing office equipment isn’t too hard providing you know what you are doing, but it is very important to have the right equipment. Some PAT Testers will test at 500volts which can damage the sensitive parts of a computer. 

A computer is bought, put on a desk, wired in to the socket underneath and used by someone, it doesn’t move for years – how would it get damaged? This is worth considering when doing a risk assessment

If it doesn’t move it won’t get dropped or knocked so the chances of a fault developing inside are very low.

It’s more likely to get damaged on the outside; users getting too heavy handed, desks resting on cables, plugs getting damaged etc.

The appliance should get an inspection by us every so often, and a test every few years perhaps – we’ll be able to advise you better when we see your site.

The morale of this story is this – if you current get your office PAT tested every year then get in touch with us, as you’re likely getting it done far too often, and thus wasting your money!

Visit our main PAT testing in offices pages for more information

PAT testing Office equipment can be done with relative ease and minimal disruption if we work together. A quick look around your office will enable us to quickly devise a plan that will allow us to do our job whilst allowing your staff to work easily. Testing a computer only takes a few minutes so there won’t be too much down time if we work together. We have done enough offices to know the best course of action. 

2021-09-03T18:09:56+00:00Safety in offices|

We offer out of hours PAT testing to reduce the chances of disruption

Reduce the chances of disruption with out of hours PAT testing

PAT Testing when you’re off work – out of hours PAT Testing at weekends or overnight; when you’re not there actually makes the job easier for us, and reduces disruption for you, which is why we offer out of hours work as standard.

PAT Testing when you’re off work

If we have to test your office when all your staff are there on a Friday it’s much easier to test when none of them are there on a Sunday.

If staff aren’t there we can pull out all the cables, make the monitors and computers easy to access and not have to work around your staff – it makes our job easier.

Experience has shown us that PAT testing when you’re off work is particularly affective when we’re PAT testing offices.

Out of hours pat testing

A few years ago we tested all the equipment in a call centre; over 5000 items, done during the week when the staff were working – we tried organising for out of hours but the boss their at the time was having none of it.

The job turned into a logistical nightmare; trying to get staff to give up their phones even though arrangements had been made for them to sit at one desk as we tested another. It ended up taking twice as long as it should have.

When it was due to be done again we were reluctant to go back under those circumstances and so to try to get our own way we reiterated all the past problems to the manage, and thankfully he agreed that we could do the work overnight. It was agreed that we would go into the building at 9pm when the last shift finished, and leave at 6am the next morning as the first shift began. This meant for 9 hour night shifts, which at first were a shock to the system but as the days and nights passed it got easier.

In the end it took us 5 nights to get the job done; compared to 3 weeks when we did days!

Some people have asked, if our job is easier how come we don’t discount the price – well we’re already giving up a weekend on night with our families, so surely that’s enough.

We’ll work outside of normal hours including:

  • Nights
  • Weekends
  • Early Mornings
  • Later evenings
  • Bank Holidays

If you want to minimise disruption to your business; book us to do our PAT Testing when you’re off work.

2020-10-15T11:12:38+00:00Safety in offices|

PAT Testing IT Equipment

PAT Testing is a process for ensuring electrical portable appliances are safe to be used; office equipment, also known as IT equipment such as computers, monitors and printers require regular portable appliance tests to ensure they remain safe for use; you may think there is a low risk in your office but how many people sit at their seats kicking the PC or digging their heels into the cables. PAT Testing IT equipment is essential to reduce the risk of injury or accidents, especially in those offices where the computers rarely move or when you don’t have an in-house IT department.

PAT Testing IT Equipment by Specialists

We specialise in PAT Testing IT equipment; IT equipment is sensitive and the PAT Tester needs to be aware of that, and thus take sensible precautions to ensure they don’t do any damage to the equipment – a number of our clients run call centres which have hundreds and thousands of pieces of electrical equipment.

PAT testing IT equipment should be done at least every 12 months, although in some very low risk environments or when a proper maintenance regime is in place this could be less often. The easiest time for us to perform the testing is when your office is closed; we work overnight at no extra costs to you. Doing this reduces the disruption to your business, as fewer people need to shut down their computer and leave their workstation. 

When we are PAT Testing IT equipment, we begin with a visual inspection followed by the appropriate electrical tests using the PAT Testing machine.

This is a short instructional video on how to PAT Test IT equipment; PAT Testing a computer monitor:

This is a video on how to perform a PAT Test on a computer:

Getting your IT equipment tested is your choice, and how often it is done comes down to your risk assessment but legislation strongly encourages regular action.

Adhering to the regulations is only one reason to have IT equipment tested for electrical safety. Many people are injured and/or killed each year due to handling electrical equipment that is not safe. Ensuring the safety of your portable IT equipment is in our opinion, the best reason to get PAT Testing done regularly.

Learn more about our office PAT testing

PAT Testing computers

pat testing computers in an office

PAT Testing Computer Equipment

If you need computers PAT Testing you’re in the right place

PAT Testing computers is what we do more than anything else; we test thousands of computers every year, so if you need your computers PAT Testing then look no further, you’ve found what you need. 

We specialise in PAT testing computers in office-like environments – computers have sensitive internal parts so you need to be sure when they’re tested they won’t be damaged. We use industry leading Seaward Apollo 600 testers that are battery powered, and won’t damage the CPU. 

We’ll test the computer, the monitor, detachable IEC leads, an extension lead if in use and any other appliances in your workplace. 

In addition we can also test emergency lights and the fixed wiring installation. 

We provide a PAT testing service for computers and all other electrical equipment; just get in touch and we’ll see what we can do for you – we provide cost effective PAT testing quotes, and an honest service – we’re professional and reliable at all times.

Our Office PAT Testing page provides further information for testing in offices if required, but you’re probably best just getting in touch now. Call Richard on 01916661009

IT pat testing in schools | pat test primary school

PAT testing in offices

More information

If you’re a PAT tester looking for guidance on how to PAT test a computer then you’d be better off speaking to a training provider like the PAT Testing Expert or checking out some of the excellent videos on Youtube. There are a couple of our videos below if they may help, although they are mobile phone videos so not great quality. 

What is the risk of a computer developing a fault? Quite low – a computer generally gets placed on a desk when new and rarely moves until its replaced – what is the chances of it getting damaged? Low. There are other risks to take into account, but the low risk means a computer shouldn’t need annual PAT tests. 

PAT Testing computers in any environment is important but they may not need doing as often as you have been led to believe; whilst come companies continue to test their offices annually for the peace of mind some have made the most of regulations that deem their environment to be low risk.

Computers are considered to be a relatively low risk type of portable appliance and so you can benefit from this, however, before you decide how often they are going to need testing check the requirements of your insurance policies.

For example, PAT testing computers should be done a lot more often in a dirty factory than in a clean home office, which will need doing a lot less often than a call centre for example.

Making sure computers get turned off at the end of the day is not only a great way to help the environment, but it will save you money too.

Additionally if you use extension leads for power, make sure they are not daisy-chained, which can lead to overheating which is a fire risk. 

PAT testing IT equipment

Whilst you’re thinking about where you can save on PAT Testing computers don’t forget about other IT equipment in the office that many people do – the servers; if the computers are turned off regularly why aren’t the servers?

Well, we know it’s because you are scared to, in case you lose important data but shouldn’t they be checked regularly too? If they can’t be turned off then we can do a thermal image survey instead which will find any areas of the system that are overheating.

If you’ve ever had to spend any time at work with your computer not working you’ll know how much we all rely on them. Regularly when we’re testing computers clients are left looking lost wondering what to do, perhaps using the unexpected time to have a much needed tidy up.

What we’re saying is if you want to make sure you don’t feel lost without your computer make sure you look after it, and making sure it is functioning correctly, properly maintained, regularly updated and testing it to make sure it is still safe to use are all essential tasks.

PAT testing the electrical components on your computer is essential to make sure it operates as it should, and it’s not going to hurt anyone if a fault develops.

That is why it is recommended that a programme of portable appliance testing is implemented for pat testing computers on a regular basis. In most places the computer will be a low risk; usually in a nice clean office where it’s unlikely to get wet, too cold or hot, or knocked into or bashed and so you won’t need testing too often but in other places where the risks are higher it’ll need testing more often.

If you want to know the best course of action for PAT testing computers in your workplace talk to me, or arrange a meeting. Let’s have a look at your installation and see how we can help you.

The following videos are quite old, but still provide value to those who may be interested.

PAT Testing IT equipment

When PAT Testing a computer monitor you need to be aware of the exposed metal parts on the rear of the Visual Display Unit (the screen); in the area where the IEC lead plugs in there is exposed metal where the VGA cable plugs in which connects the monitor to the PC so you see the display on the screen. It’s from this area that you can get an earth reading. So when PAT Testing a computer monitor you carry out the class 1 IT PAT Test.

PAT Testing a monitor:

PAT testing a computer monitor:

Please remember these videos have been made whilst on jobs so they haven’t been filmed using professional film cameras.

2021-10-11T11:51:52+00:00Safety in offices|
Go to Top