Does PAT Testing need to be done annually?
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.
Do a risk assessment for the PAT tests in offices
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.