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.