Keeping workplaces safe for 10 years
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PAT Testing Frequency – Intervals between tests
To fully comply with the safety regulations for health and safety in the workplace electrical appliances must undergo a 3-stage process to prevent danger occurring, leading to potential electrical accidents and fires, including:
- User checks
- Formal visual inspections
- Combined inspections and tests
User checks – should be carried out by the user of an appliance before the appliance is switched on, and any issues should be reported, to be corrected before continued use
Formal visual inspections – should be carried out in-house by a trained competent person on equipment, at regular intervals, in keeping with the recommended frequencies from the IET and or HSE
Combined inspection and testing – should be carried out by a competent contractor with the skills to use a PAT testing machine to carry out detailed tests to check the internal workings of the appliance, following a thorough inspection of the appliance parts.
If you have a system in place that utilises parts 1 and 2, then there is no reason why the intervals between inspections and tests in part 3 shouldn’t be at their longest (e.g. 5 years for IT equipment in an office).
However, if you do not have these systems in place, and few businesses do, then it is not recommended to extend the interval between combined inspections and tests to longer than 12 months.
This is the main considered factor in why most companies get their appliances tested on an annual basis; because they do not have in-house systems in place, nor do they intend to implement them.