How often should you test electrical equipment?
You would do that in two ways
Reduce the chances of electric shock
Make sure equipment maintains safety standards –
- if a fuse blows, by replacing it with the right replacement
- if a plug gets damaged, replace it with the right replacement
- if a flex gets damaged, repair it correctly
- if the appliance itself gets broken or stops working get it repaired by a competent person
Reduce the chances of fire
- Don’t overload sockets
- Only use extension leads if you really have to
- Avoid using those cube socket blocks at all times
- If using cable reels make sure it is a temporary measure and fully unwound
- If using a portable heater don’t think of it as a long term solution
- Make sure the supply can handle the power of the appliance it is feeding
- Don’t daisy chain extension leads
Maintaining Safe Applainces
As a standard rule unless you tell us otherwise we assume your PAT testing is going to be done annually, and so will remind you in about 11 months that your PAT testing is due for renewal within the next month or so. So you don’t need to do anything else until then. If however you would rather it be done more in keeping with the risk, then we need to organise that risk assessment. That can be done by you organising it yourself, or we can recommend a health and safety consultant, or we can do our own when we do the next phase of tests. When we do it, all we do is add on a small fee, usually for about an hours work, to put the retest periods in place based on our assessment of the risks when we do the tests. This can result in some equipment, often IT equipment, being put on a longer interval between tests than other equipment.
If you want to talk to us about these options further, get in touch with Richard by the usual methods.
Some useful hints to maintain safe equipment
Use equipment as it was intended to be used by the manufacturer
- If equipment becomes faulty or damaged stop using it and get it repaired
- If staff bring personal electrical equipment to work – get it tested first
- If you give staff work equipment to use away from work – make sure it is tested first
- If contractors come on site with electrical equipment – make sure it has been tested before they’re allowed to plug it in
Remember this: if someone uses faulty electrical equipment in your workplace, and it catches fire; you are responsible, and possibly worse, your insurance may not cover the claim.