Why PAT Test?

Electrical equipment that is purchased from a reputable supplier should be of a satisfactory safety standard, but it must be maintained to stay that way, so that it does not deteriorate so far that it puts users at risk. 

It is recognised that PAT Testing is the easiest and best way to check electrical equipment is safe, and the process that is followed to achieve this includes carrying out repairs to ensure the appliance is safe. 

Using a local PAT testing company to do this is a benefit to you as it means if you need urgent help anytime you can call on your engineer to come out, who knows you and your business and will be the best possible help. 

PAT Testing is one of the most effective methods to minimise the electrical risks of faulty appliances to users; and it allows duty holders to fulfil their Health and Safety obligations to the regulations including:

  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, by taking measures to minimise electrical hazards by inspecting and testing electrical equipment
  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which places the responsibility of health and safety of persons in the workplace on the employer – including the self-employed – and employee
  • The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 which requires the employer to carry out sufficient risk assessment of his/her workplace to minimise the risk to staff and visitors, whilst ensuring the health and safety policy of the company is fully implemented

If you do not undertake regular electrical testing, such as PAT Testing, then you leave yourself or your business open to all kinds of issues, should an incident occur. For example, if it is proven that you didn’t undertake appropriate preventative maintenance which resulted in injury or death, this could lead to prosecution from the Health and Safety Executive; and your business insurance could be rendered null and void if it is proven that appropriate measures didn’t take place.

If ever you question the importance of getting PAT testing done; this will change your mind. 

Have you heard of the County Durham car cleaning firm that were fined thousands of pounds for putting their workers at risk of electrocution? 

UK Express Valeting in Bishop Auckland have been fined over £10 THOUSAND pounds after Health and Safety Executive inspectors found they were in breach of safety regulations. 

Inspectors found the firm was using unsafe equipment and had faulty electrical installations which presented a risk to their staff. 

Unsafe electrical equipment found by HSE Inspectors in Durham

The company were first visited in March 2020 when they were found to have unsafe electrical installations, then during a second visit 2 years later they found the installations to be badly maintained and dangerous. The company was served a prohibition notice that prevented it from using some of its equipment because of the risk of electric shock.

The company was served with an improvement notice requiring them to arrange for the installation and equipment to be inspected and tested.

Express Valeting failed to take action, and despite 4 other visits in the next 7 months they continued to disregard the HSE instructions.

A further notice in July 2022, prevented it from using unsafe electrical equipment.

The HSE investigation found that they company were putting workers at “significant risk of electric shock or electrocution by the lack of maintenance and failure to put right the faults found with the electrical installations.”

On May 16th 2023 the company was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,239.80.

HSE inspector Clare Maltby said: “Companies are responsible for making certain that their electrical installation and equipment are maintained to prevent danger. All car wash and valeting centres must properly maintain their electrical installation and equipment.

Failure to comply with enforcement notices is a serious offence and HSE will not hesitate to prosecute where companies fail to take the action required.”

You can read the full article on the Evening Chronicle website, here.

Nobody should be expected to work in these conditions, we ask you to make sure your business complies with the HSE by ensuring your electrical systems are safe, by getting PAT testing done regularly as well as a periodic EICR.