Risk based PAT Testing frequencies

Risk based PAT Testing frequencies2019-07-04T14:15:29+00:00
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Risk Based PAT Testing Frequencies

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Something that sets us out away from our competitors is that provide you with a bespoke (to you) PAT testing service, based on the risks associated with your equipment and their use – this is unique to your circumstances. Whereas most of our competitors like you to fit in with them, providing a one-size-fits all service we understand that you may differ to another client, and may have different needs, so we look to work with you to provide the best solution for you.

For some of our clients the best solution is the simple option – they just want their equipment testing, paperwork provided and it repeating as often as possible so they have as little as possible to do; that’s why most people opt for annual PAT tests.

Other clients see the benefit of making the most of the HSE’s recommended intervals between tests; the HSE recommends PAT testing frequencies based on a risk assessment, and even provides guidance on what those frequencies should be. If you put a risk assessment in place there is no reason why you can’t make the most of this benefit.

We have created our own risk-based PAT testing frequency periods taking the best of the HSE’s and the IET’s guidance, as well as our own experiences, which is what we generally work to. 

However we also always recommend that even if we put these frequencies in place, that you make the final decision over intervals between tests, as it is you that is responsible (legally) if something goes wrong in the interim period. 

Using our method office-based businesses can benefit from having their IT equipment (for example) tested every 3 years – if you currently get tested annually you’re going to save 66% of your current costs. 

You can check out what the HSE recommends here; if you prefer to know what the IET recommends you can buy their latest Code of Practice here.

We provide every client with a comprehensive PAT Testing Report including certificate, listing all appliances tested, the result and retest dates. 

We also provide you with information on how you can improve electrical safety based on your use of equipment, if appropriate. 

Our own generic risk analysis

This table outlines our general recommended retest periods based on risk analysis for the appliance and environment it is being used in

DRA Risk Assessment for PAT Testing
  1. Each time period is the period of time after the initial combined inspection and test, then continue at same intervals until risk changes
  2. Class 1: Every occurance is a combined inspection and test – if disrupting the client to unplug to visual, may as well test at the same time
  3. Class 2: With metal parts run insulation test; without, do visual only
  4. All Fixed appliances undergo earth continuity test using multi-meter, point to point etc. An electrician doing EICR tests up to the appliance but not the appliance so the PAT tester must test the appliance

PAT Testing Frequency discussed in more detail

To comply with health and safety fully appliances need checking by the user before they are used (called a User check), then visually inspected by a competent person at regular intervals, and then less often, inspected and tested by a more competent person, such as a PAT engineer/PAT testing company. 

The first thing to understand is there is no specific legal requirement to test electrical appliances every X months or years, but you need to be able to prove that you’re taking suitable action to ensure equipment stays safe by testing regularly to ensure preventative maintenance. Based on an assessment of the risks it is possible to determine what needs to be done and how often it should be repeated in order to best maintain safety; this is providing other actions are taken in between times.

The reason that there is no set frequency is because different situations arise that call for different measures. There are a number of factors that affect PAT testing frequency and it is up to each individual to determine when testing should be carried out.

Some companies still get appliances PAT Tested every year, and there is nothing wrong with that – some people will tell you that annual PAT tests keep on top of things, and is regarded as the best course of action to ensure equipment stays safe; whilst others say it’s unnecessary – it depends on the risks, and you, as after everything it is you as a business owner or employer that is responsible if an accident occurs. 

Regulations state that the level of precaution should be appropriate to the applicable risk

There are 3 main criteria to consider to determine the PAT testing frequency:

  • The risk level for the working environment
  • The electrical class of the appliance
  • The category of the appliance

The Health and Safety Executive also recommends taking the following into consideration:

  • manufacturers recommendations
  • the age of the equipment
  • the frequency of its use
  • the user of the equipment
  • the suitability for the use of the equipment in the environment
  • potential misuse of the equipment
  • effects of any modifications or repairs

In order to determine how often you should have your appliances tested, you should bear in mind these factors:

  • Equipment that is used/moved more often should be tested more frequently. This equipment is likely to suffer more damage than that used/moved infrequently.
  • If people using equipment report any damages as they become noticeable, and repairs are carried out, there is less chance of an accident occurring later. If equipment regularly receives damage or abuse that is not reported then inspections and testing are required more frequently – such as with power tools on building sites and in factories.
  • The type of equipment in question is a major factor in determining PAT testing frequency. Hand held appliances are more likely to become damaged than those that are stationary. Class 1 appliances carry the greatest risk of danger as they rely on earth AND insulation for safety, so should be tested more often to make sure both are still functional.
Email us: info@draelectricals.co.uk
Call us: 01916661009