What is PAT Testing?
An electrical PAT Test is an essential aspect of a company’s health & safety policy to ensure that staff aren’t harmed by any electrical equipment within a business premises. PAT Testing should be performed regularly to protect employees, customers and yourself, against any accidents and liability within the workplace. PAT Testing is carried out by a business in accordance with guidelines stated in the IEE Code of Practice.
Meaning of PAT Testing
Portable Appliance Testing is abbreviated to 'PAT'. The phrase 'PAT Testing' is in fact a tautology in the same way that some people say ' LCD Display'. However, the phrase is commonly used in the industry even though most people realise it is incorrect. The correct term for the whole electrical PAT test process is 'In-service Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment'.
Why PAT Test?
The legislation of specific relevance to electrical maintenance is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 puts the duty of care upon both the employer and the employee to ensure the safety of all persons using the work premises. This includes the self employed. The IEE Code of Practice for In Service Inspection and Testing of Equipment sets out the standard to which each appliance is comprehensively tested. It is recommended that you use the latest computerized PAT testing equipment or hire a professional company which can offer you this service for a reasonable PAT testing cost. All portable appliances will need testing such as IT equipment, kettles and microwaves. The inspection and testing should be carried out by a fully qualified PAT testing engineer.
PAT Testing Law
You are responsible. It is a statutory requirement and many insurance companies require the insured to comply with all current regulations. This includes the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, which state that "As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger" (Regulation 4(2)). "Electrical equipment includes anything used, intended to be used or installed for use, to generate, provide, transmit, transform, rectify, convert, conduct, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy." (Regulation 2(1)).
The responsibility on the employer to ensure work equipment is safe is also covered by The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. This states that "Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is so constructed or adapted as to be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or provided." (Regulation 4(1)). This includes all work equipment (fixed, portable or transportable) connected to a source of electrical energy."An electrical PAT test can ensure that these devices are safe, and compliant.
Failure to comply with Electrical Regulations can lead to a maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine and/or up to six months imprisonment. For breaches under the general duties of the Health Safety at Work Act 1974, penalties of up to £20,000 were introduced in 1992 and offences heard on indictment in the Crown Court attract unlimited financial penalties and up to two years imprisonment. It's not worth the risk !
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Common PAT Testing Faults
Our qualified (PAT Test) portable appliance testing engineers will find numerous faults within most workplaces, below are some of the most common we come across in our electrical PAT test process, and repair on a daily basis. Our engineers will replace plugs damaged in this way free of any charges. Wiring the plug incorrectly or indeed dangerously can lead to serious injury of anyone coming into contact with either the plug or the appliance it is connected to. A wiring fault like this can easily cause fire and electrocution. Our fully qualified engineers will replace or repair this plug and make sure that it is perfectly safe for use afterwards - this is all included in the initial PAT testing cost quotation.
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