Office PAT testing - how many appliances do we have? How many appliances do we have in our office? It happens a lot - we're contacted for a price for PAT testing an office; the prospective client tells us how much equipment they have, we price it and when we turn up to do the job, it's a lot more than expected. So how do we prevent this happening? When this happens it can cause problems for you and us.. The job is going to take us longer than expected so may affect what we have planned next The job is going to take us longer than expected so will disrupt you more The job is going to cost you more The job is going to earn us more :) You're going to realise you have under-budgeted for the work :( Office PAT testing is our bread and butter - we're experts at it, so trust in us and we'll help you maintain a safe office without the shock of an invoice twice the expected amount. One thing we always do if we're on a job and think it's going to be bigger than planned; with [...]
Are your staff returning to the office or working from home? It's nearly 2 years since Mr Johnson (the Prime Minister) announced we were all to lockdown and work from home, and even now some of us are still doing that, whilst others have returned or are planning to return to work. We're not talking parties at the office, we mean proper work, the place people go to do their work. Whichever category you or your business falls into you need to consider this... If your staff have returned to work, or you are planning to return to work - you need to get all their appliances PAT tested asap; because they may have been mistreated at home, or in transit back to work, they may have added something that's not to safe standards, or simply for your insurance. You need to get your PAT testing brought up to date. Remember, something that is damaged may be a fire risk. If you are planning to bring staff back to the office in the future, and we have not kept the equipment in the office up to date, then that needs doing too, ideally before they get back, [...]
Electric Heater Safety Tips This is a true story, that happened in October 2021. It was a Tuesday in October 2021; we had a 3-man team working in a busy office/production business in Newcastle upon Tyne. The company is very well run, with many intelligent personal, many of whom are electrical engineers - we're saying this to show that even people who should know better can make mistakes. In the reception office, where it was cold, mainly because the building had no real ceilings, just a corrugated roof, so the receptionist was running an electric convection heater. It had a sealed plug - they often cause alarm bells as we don’t know what standard the internal wiring is, and that plug was plugged into a “cheap” 4-gang switched extension lead - that's a big no no whenever we see this, and we always advise the client against such an arrangement. We did on this occasion of course. What made the situation every worse though, was that that extension was plugged into another extension. In this case a cable reel. The cable reel was coiled up inside - if you are going to use a cable reel, [...]
With the end of lockdown, many companies are preparing to return to working in the office. However, the HSE is urging businesses to pay close attention to compliance regulations, as many properties may have gone without inspection during the lockdown period. Electrical compliance is extremely important to mitigate risk and stay within the law. Over the lockdown period, it is likely that many electrical appliances' certificates of compliance may have expired, meaning they must be renewed and inspected by professionals to be safe for use. The Electricity at Work Regulations state that no electrical equipment should be used when its capability or strength is weakened. Regular portable appliance tests must be carried out by professionals before use. Experts suggest implementing a planned maintenance schedule to keep on top of compliance in workplaces. This will ensure all aspects of the facility remain safe for use, and within the law. We provide electrical testing and compliance services to help your business. To bring your PAT testing up to date, book an appointment for your PAT Testing.
DRA's PAT testing labels We use our own professional branded company labels; we have used labels in this format and colour scheme for many years. Every label has its own unique ID number, which matches just one appliance in our database; the appliance it is attached to. Each label is pre-printed with the month and year the test takes place; it doesn't need the retest date on as that has not been a requirement since 2012. Showing the date the test took place is the most important, and the PAT Testing Certificate Report you get shows the a actual date in the month. Our company logo and contact details are on there too. Whilst the engineers name is not shown on the label to reduce wastage, it does reflect on the reports. You'll see our labels all over the North East, as we have tested appliances in literally hundreds of businesses; so if you need your North East PAT testing doing get in touch.
The HSE advises businesses to get their electrical inspections done as soon as possible The HSE advises businesses that have missed their usual ‘retest’ due to the pandemic to get that test done as soon as possible to bring their records up to date. In early April (2021) the Health and Safety Executive updated their guidance for “thorough examination and testing of equipment“, which includes electrical equipment, and this was agreed with by the Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association - and we agree too. The HSE have stated that during the coronavirus pandemic, businesses may have found it difficult to carry out their duty to thoroughly examine and test electrical equipment; we have seen this first hand. This has been because many businesses have been closed, whilst others have reduced or even banned contractors on their sites. We know a number of our clients who have not kept their PAT testing up to date, using Covid as an excuse or reason to put it off; in fact we have had nearly 100 clients postpone their PAT testing in the past 12 months, citing Covid protocols as the main reasons. But as businesses return to work, putting [...]
Home visits provide a unique opportunity to carry out Covid - safe PAT testing of electrical equipment provided by companies for their staff to use whilst working from home. Safe PAT testing for Home Workers - home visits If your staff are working from home due to Covid, as an employer you want the peace of mind that the equipment you supply staff with is as safe now as it was when it left the office. For some, it has been over 6 months now (Oct 2020) since the equipment was taken home and it may have missed it's regular PAT test. Even if it's regular check hasn't been missed how do you know the appliances didn't get damaged in transit or are being used appropriately at home? We have the solution - safe PAT Testing outside your staff homes We have been working through Covid and one of the most regular issues we're finding is the amount of equipment that is being used by staff at home, and how little of it has been checked since it left the office, and what is the solution to check it [...]
Top 15 Tips for the safe use of electrical extension leads When we are PAT testing in offices, building sites and pretty much every business we see a lot of instances where socket extension leads are used incorrectly. Here we have put together a list of 15 top tips for the safe use of the extension lead. Electrical extension leads are often used incorrectly, just because it has 4 sockets doesn't mean they all need using at the same time. The one we see most often is daisy chasing; we spend a lot of time educating our clients in why this shouldn't be done. Daisy chaining increases the risks of overloading sockets which can be a very risky thing to do. Here are our top 15 TOP Tips for the safe use of electrical extension leads Do not overload extension leads by plugging in too many appliances, e.g. even though there are 4 sockets it doesn't mean you can use all 4. Don't run extension leads through water or snow on the ground. Do not use an extension lead instead of permanent wiring. Do not run extension leads through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors. Don't cover [...]
This plug is on a 4-gang extension lead that was overloaded, and so it overheated and melted - this was not in an industrial environment as you'd expect but an office in Newcastle upon Tyne. This may not look like much but big problems often start off small; this has likely been caused by the lead being pulled to unplug it. We replaced the plug. It's not just problem plugs we come across; this socket is testament to that. This socket like many others specially installed in an office was intended to supply power to computers, not to oil filled radiators. This plug is on an "IEC lead"; a computer power lead - which requires earth protection. By putting an insulated sleeve on the earth pin the manufacturer has removed the earth protection. This is a regular occurrence on leads imported from Asia, where they don't use earth protection. This microwave oven failed because it was so, well disgusting! This is a mix of rust and food. Here is a good example of a broken plug on a fan heater; we come [...]
What you need to know about PAT Testing Pat Testing (also known as Portable Appliance Testing) is a way of checking your electrical equipment to see if it is SAFE. PAT Testing is an important part of your organisation's Health and Safety regime. It doesn't matter whether you're a small business or a large multi-site corporation; if you use electrical equipment in your business, then you have a responsibility to make sure it is safe. Additionally many insurance companies insist that PAT Testing be carried out every 12 months (or less) in order to satisfy the conditions of their policy, and local council inspectors (Fire Officers, Health and Safety Officers) routinely ask for evidence of PAT Testing when they carry out their inspections. We employ competent skilled and experienced engineers to test your equipment. We can test efficiently, quickly and with the minimum of disruption to your business. To comply with UK workplace regulations for electrical safety you must maintain safe electrical equipment at all times; how you do this is up to you but the only recognised process is called inspection and testing of electrical equipment, otherwise known as portable appliance, or PAT testing. This means [...]