A number of accidents in the workplace are caused by faulty electrical appliances; appliances that have become faulty for many reasons but accidents that have happened because no-one was on hand to check the appliances worked correctly. User checks help to prevent accidents by finding faulty equipment.
I’m not referring to the PAT tester missing the appliance but the users of it; electrical appliances don’t just become faulty on the day we visit, they tend to become faulty at some point in their working life.
In a workplace everyone is responsible for health and safety; for ensuring electrical appliances are safe, and that includes the user of the equipment.
Before anyone uses any electrical appliance they should look at it and make sure it is ok (without damage); most of us do this without even realising but try to make a point of doing it so you know you have.
If an appliance has developed a fault and you pick it up and switch it on you could be risking giving yourself an electric shock – do you want to inflict that on yourself? Of course not – do a user check.
User checks find faulty equipment – after your user checks if you feel an appliance is dodgy inform someone and get it taken away for repair.
A user check checks for damage to an electric appliance preventing electrical accidents.
For example, with the pictured drill, not doing user checks before you plug it in you’re risking a nasty accident; you should be checking it anyway to make sure everything is tight and secure, and guards are in place, so whilst you’re on check the cable and plug are in good condition.
How to do a user check:
Before you start using an appliance, before you switch it on…
Check it for any damage
- Is the plug in tact, with 3 pins and the top is not loose?
- Is the cable free from kinks and not have any cuts in it?
- Is the appliance itself free from any cracks or holes that shouldn’t be there?
If all those things seem ok, then you’re probably ok to use the equipment.
Your PAT Tester does a visual inspection and a Portable Appliance Test but doing a user check is your responsibility.