HSE update “Thorough examination and testing of equipment” guidance

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 it off is not something that can be allowed to continue.

In their guidance the HSE has said it fully expects businesses and organisations to have a plan in place for resuming thorough examination and testing of their equipment; something it expects a business to implement.

The document is on the HSE website, link below, entitled “Thorough examination and testing of equipment“.

Electrical appliances need regular maintenance to ensure their safety; PAT testing being done on equipment fitted with plugs.

The excuse of “it hasn’t been used for a year” doesn’t really wash as a reasonable excuse, as that appliance may have been under fault conditions all this time and is just an accident waiting to happen.

We have made our clients aware of this update by the HSE, and recommend that you too bring your own compliance up to date, if it has been allowed to lapse during the pandemic.

Now that businesses are opening again, the need to make sure electrical equipment is safe to start using again is great. Certificates that show out of date, or too long a period since the last test, need updating with new records.

In this update the HSE stated “Within the Electricity at Work Regulations examination and testing is still a legal requirement and a fundamental part of risk management“.

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.

If this sounds like you, get in touch with us today to arrange an appointment to bring your PAT testing up to date too.

The full version of this latest HSE update can be found here.