Portable Appliance Testing
Our PAT testing service gives you peace of mind that your electrical appliances are safe, and will continue to be safe as long as we are regularly checking them, leaving your mind free to concentrate on the things that matter most to you.
PAT Testing | Portable Appliance Testing
Keeping your portable electrical appliances safe is extremely important; it is required for workplace health and safety, but ethically it should be done too, to protect workers and other users. The HSE recommends a 3-step process for maintaining safe equipment including user checks, formal visual inspections, and combined inspections and testing – part 3 is generally known as portable appliance testing, or PAT testing.
What is not generally known, is that you or someone in your organisation who is competent in electrical safety is meant to do parts 1 and 2; especially if you want to increase the interval period between combined inspection and testing.
Replacement plugs and fuses supplied free
Free remedial repairs
Report and Certificate issued within 5 days max
Images of failed appliances and advice on action to take
Automatic reminder service for retests
Benefit of working with a local business
Familiarity between you, the engineer, and your site
Evenings and weekend appointments
On-going advice for improving safety systems
HSE approved frequencies automatically implemented
The User Check
The user check is the number 1 miss for most organisations, and yet it is a vital cog in the process of maintaining safe appliances; the user of an appliance knows it best and will spot faults often as they happen. These must be reported and dealt with before continuing use. User checks should be carried out before plugging in equipment, including inspecting the plug, flexible cable and the appliance itself. It should also include making sure the appliance is suitable for the environment it is being used in. Many people actually do this without even realising. Records only need keeping if faults are found.
Formal Visual Inspection
The formal visual inspection can be carried out in-house but only by a competent, trained person and the results should be recorded. The visual inspection is usually carried out in-between the combined inspection and testing process. The inspection process includes the user check plus where possible, opening the plug top to check inside for signs of damage, that terminals are tight and the fuse is correct and to standard and that the flex is secure. Equipment that does not pass should be removed from service. This can also be carried out by contractors.
Inspection and Testing
Combined inspection and testing, otherwise known as portable appliance testing or PAT testing should only be carried out by a competent person, preferably qualified and trained. The process includes the formal visual inspection, plus testing using a PAT tester when appropriate (not all appliances require a test). The combined process confirms whether an appliance is safe to use or not. The testing usually includes checking the earth, insulation and polarity dependent on the appliance under test. All appliances and the results should be recorded. Faulty appliances should be repaired or removed from use.
What needs PAT testing?
The HSE says that there is no legal definition of portable equipment, and the portable in portable appliance testing refers to equipment that is intended to be connected to a generator or a fixed installation by means of a flexible cable and either a plug and socket or a spur box, or similar means; including equipment that is either hand-held or hand-operated while connected to the supply, intended to be moved while connected to the supply, or likely to be moved while connected to the supply.
Extension leads, plugs and sockets, and cables that supply portable equipment are classified as portable equipment because they operate in the same environment and are subject to the same use as the equipment they serve. Portable equipment also includes appliances which have been fixed for security purpose such as those in public areas of hotels and changing rooms, e.g. kettles, hairdryers, hand dryers, lamps etc. The electrical supply to the equipment is assumed to be at a voltage that can give a fatal electrical shock, ie more than 50 V ac or 120 V dc.
Risk-based PAT Testing
By getting appliances tested periodically, you can confirm that equipment is safe, and the more often it is done the less likely a fault will arise. Of course, if an appliance never or rarely moves, the chances of a fault arising are slim, making it low risk, and thus the regular need for testing decreases, increasing the intervals between tests.
Portable appliances fall under different categories and the environment they’re used in helps to depict the risk; combining the two allows a risk assessment to be made to recommend intervals based over a low to medium to high range. Appliances that rarely move and are kept in clean environments are generally low risk and those that are hand-held and used in dirty, wet and cold environments present a higher risk.
We also take into account what in-house procedures you have, and referring to HSE guidance recommend appropriate intervals between tests.
We have the skills to test all appliance types in all kinds of environments.