Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Important information for working during the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic

We are still operating as normal; we have been active full time since May 2019 (we stopped trading for only 6 weeks from March 2019 shutdown).

This is because maintaining safe electrical equipment through PAT testing is considered essential work, and cannot be done from our homes.

So if you need your business PAT testing, or equipment for your staff working from their homes, we can help.

We are following all required protocols and government guidance:

  • We wash our hands regularly, carry sanitiser now and before Covid started.
  • We maintain our distance, still, even though it’s not totally required
  • We do lateral flow tests every 3 days and self isolate when necessary (although touch wood 🪵  we have not needed to yet).
  • We will follow your on-site protocols whatever they may be

Whilst many businesses are returning to work, and some are still working from home we have had to be flexible and change our working methods to suit our clients; it’s also meant with more returning to work and trying to catch up on lapsed PAT tests, our diaries fill up quicker than normal, as a result there can be a longer lead time between making a booking and the actual appointment happening. However, we do give you a date when the job will take place and will stick to that date.

This page is intended to give information to you on the service we provide in addition to normal working, due to the affects of the Covid Pandemic.

Safe PAT Testing Home Visits for people who work from home

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This can be considered for people working from home due to Covid, or people who simply work from home. Just because your staff are no longer in the office, it doesn’t mean that their safety shouldn’t be your concern any more.

UK Health and Safety requirements still apply whether a person is in the office, at home, or anywhere else. Pre-covid people worked from home, engineers in their vans, etc. and their employers were still responsible for them.

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974; employers are still liable if an employee gets injured whilst working from home.

We have a lot of experience visiting people’s homes to PAT test equipment there, from landlords’ appliances to office workers. We understand the risks and do our best to protect the home owners and tenants. We are there just to make sure their equipment is safe.

Whilst it is best to check equipment in situ so we can see the set up is correct, we also understand that some may not want us in their homes, so they can bring the appliances outside to be checked.

The dangers of working from home

Whilst employees working from home should still be operating under Health and Safety regulations, it is much harder to keep control.

At home people are not as ‘switched on’ as they are in the workplace; they’re more relaxed to the environment, and may not notice electrical issues they would spot in the office. For example, are your workers fully aware of the risks of overloading plug sockets?

Keeping your Pat testing up to date, of equipment now in staff homes, is the best way to ensure that equipment is not only safe, but being used safely. When we visit staff homes we will be checking that they are using extension leads correctly, for example, so that they don’t present a fire risk.

Safe PAT testing for your staff

Safe PAT testing for Home Workers

If your staff are working from home due to Covid, as an employer you want the peace of mind that the equipment you supply staff with is as safe now as it was when it left the office.

Electricity at Work regulations apply wherever work is, not just in the office. So if you supply electrical equipment to be used at home by staff, you remain responsible for it, so getting it PAT tested is important.

If you have not had equipment tested since it was taken home (since March 2020) then you really should be getting it tested now without further delay – chances are the appliance has missed its regular PAT test, and by now it has…

  • Been removed from the office
  • Bounced around in the boot of a car
  • Been carried into the house
  • Cables have been wrapped up and unwrapped
  • It’s been moved around the house to find the best spot for the new ‘office’
  • It’s been plugged in to an old extension socket from the garage
  • To many plugs are now being plugged into the socket
  • Increased the risk of overheating of the socket

Even if it’s regular check hasn’t been missed how do you know the appliances didn’t get damaged in transit or are being used appropriately at home?

We have the solution – safe PAT Testing outside (or at) your staff homes

We have been working through Covid and one of the most regular issues we’re finding is the amount of equipment that is being used by staff at home, and how little of it has been checked since it left the office, and what is the solution to check it is safe? This is… safe PAT testing outside the home.

We will visit the home of each member of staff, and safely, using Covid-safe measures, check their electrical appliances are safe without ever having to go into the property or making contact with the person.

Corona Virus Stay Safe Poster

If you want to arrange Covid-safe PAT testing for your business, complete the form below, or call us.

This is how we do Safe PAT testing

Home Visits

  1. We arrive at the arranged time; the engineer wipes the handles of the box and the inside area (and any other area that might be touched), washes his hands and puts on a pair of clean gloves. He carries the box to the front door, rings the bell (or knocks) and backs away beyond 2 metres.
  2. The client opens the door, they are aware of what to do, but if not we can explain; they should put their appliances in the box, then close their door.
  3. The engineer takes the box to the car / van to conduct the necessary inspection, tests and maintenance. Applies labels as normal, wipes each appliance touched, and put the appliances back in the box. He then carries the box back to the door, rings the bell and steps back 2 metres.
  4. The client opens the door and takes their equipment out of the box. Some pleasantries may be exchanged and then the client closes the door.
  5. The engineer collects the box, returns to his vehicle, wipes the box, puts the wipes in the bin, removes his gloves and puts them in the bin, then washes his hands for more than 20 seconds using hand sanitiser.

Or in the staff car park

This process can just as easily work in your office car park if you don’t want us going to staff houses;

We arrange staggered arrival times, the person pulls up in their car, we put the box down, they fill it up and get back in the car; then we take it away, test it and return it. We would do this working as a team, so we can have a steady flow of vehicles and no hold ups.

Or in the office

This is by far the easiest way, although we’re not going to be able to check their set up – get staff to come in to the office, to bring their kit with them to be checked. Although we actually wouldn’t recommend this option because

  • equipment could get damaged on the way home
  • we can’t check their set up for overloaded sockets

How to arrange Safe PAT testing

Arranging safe PAT testing couldn’t be easier. There is a form below to complete, if you do that then we will contact you to discuss the process, prices and make the arrangements.

Safe PAT testing prices are dependent on what we have to do; whether we’re visiting houses or working from one location, how many engineers we have on the job, how many properties we have to visit, how many we can do in an allotted time, what the travel times are, etc.

You would need to provide us with staff addresses and advise staff that this is happening (we can provide email templates); then if you can give us mobile numbers or emails we can send each person a guidance message to what will happen and our estimated arrival time.

If you also have equipment still in your permanent workplace, that you want inspecting too, whilst the premises are empty, we can arrange to do that too.

Our Safe PAT testing home visits video

Home visits provide a unique opportunity to carry out Covid-safe PAT testing of electrical equipment provided by companies for their staff to use whilst working from home.

This system works just as well for engineer’s equipment in vans, mobile hair dressers, and so on; we’re very flexible with it to meet you requirements.

Our Covid Safety Measures

We follow government guidance at all times

  • Our engineers where face masks at all times; we may take them off if working alone in large ventilated areas
  • We wash our hands on entering a facility, sanitise them before touching equipment / entering a new section to protect you, and then do it again afterwards to protect ourselves; that’s as a minimum, we actually tend to wash our hands more than that. We always followed these procedures pre-Covid anyway, so now we just do it even more.
  • We keep our distance at all times, and expect you to do the same.
  • We can wear gloves if required, although we feel washing hands reduces the risk of germs being spread – gloves don’t tend to get washed.

Please advise your colleagues/staff that we are coming so they are ready to vacate work areas when we need access, to reduce time spent in the same areas.

We can carry out safe home visits to PAT test your staff’s electrical equipment, anywhere in the North East of England.

To book your PAT testing or to arrange a free survey get in touch with us by 📞  0191 666 1009 or 📲  07897 240 878, or email us 📧 info@draelectricals.co.uk