We all know how important maintaining health and safety at work is to safeguard our staff, visitors, other users, etc and ensuring electrical equipment is safe is a big part of that. Electricity is one of the UK’s biggest silent killers, and a faulty electrical appliance is a huge risk to human life. This is why checking electrical appliances to make sure they are safe to continue using is so important.
You are actually required by law to maintain safe electrical equipment, and provide evidence that you are doing so, when requested – regular PAT Test Certificates provide that evidence as they show what equipment is safe.
PAT testing is carried out on electrical equipment fitted with a plug – the plug takes many forms, but most plugs in the UK are 3-pinned 13amp plugs, the type all of us have at home and work. The PAT test process checks the plug to make sure it is correct and not damaged in any way, make sure the fuse is ok and the flexible cable is in tact; if any of these are faulty they will be repaired. When the engineer is satisfied the appliance looks safe, and if necessary, they’ll put it through additional electrical tests to check the internal safety measures are functioning. All being good they will record the appliance as a PASS, and label it as so. If an appliance fails any part and can’t be repaired by us, it will fail, and further action recommended.
This process should be repeated as often as is necessary to maintain safety standards. How often that happens depends on the risk of damage occurring; an understanding of the potential of that is necessary to make a decision on the PAT testing frequency, in most cases it is deemed that annual testing is best.