Regular PAT testing (aka Portable Appliance Testing, or electrical equipment testing), a safety procedure carried out on electrical equipment used in workplaces, will help you to comply with the workplace regulations.
Regular PAT testing helps you to keep appliances safe, giving users peace of mind that the equipment they’re using isn’t going to hurt them.
Regular PAT testing also helps to protect your business, as it reduces the chances of an appliance being misused which may lead to a fire.
In the UK, under Health and Safety at Work Regulations, the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) makes your obligations quite clear – “All systems shall at all times be of such construction as to prevent, so far as reasonably practical, such danger“. This means that you need to make sure that your electrical systems (wiring installation and appliances that plug into it) are always safe to use. So, businesses and other owners/managers of work places like schools, hotels, doctors surgeries, hair salons, etc. need to observe regular testing protocols to minimise the risk.
It is considered best practice to Pat test portable electrical equipment (in most workplaces) once a year; and in some higher risk locations, more often than this.
Although there is no legal requirement to do annual PAT testing, it is considered best practice, and tends to be the most acceptable process, especially if you don’t have risk assessments in place.
Also, keep in mind, if you allow other businesses to operate on your premises (like mobile disco’s in hotels), their equipment needs to be PAT tested too – and to protect your own policies you will need to check this.
Our engineers do a visual risk assessment of every appliance before they unplug it or test it, to make sure there is nothing to put them at risk.
Our engineers inspect the appliance, using their eyes, hands and tools. No testers are used at this point. They check plugs inside and out, check fuse, check the cable etc. The purpose of this is to make sure all safety measures are correct, such as the fuse, earth lead, etc. This is an essential part of the inspection.
Earth Continuity Test
This test is to make sure the earthing protection is functioning correctly.
Insulation Resistance Test
This test is carried out to make sure the resistance of the appliance’s insulation is correct.
Polarity tests are carried out to determine whether the wires of the appliance are correctly connected.
Dependent on the appliance other tests, such as microwave emissions tests and RCD tests could be carried out.
The engineer will decide what tests are appropriate.