What is PAT Testing?

PAT Testing (Portable Appliance Testing) is the process of visually  and electrically testing any electrical equipment for safety whether for work or personal use.

The reason we have PAT Testing is to ensure that an appliance is electrically safe for all those who use it. We visually check the appliance  for any defects like damage or missing components. The appliance goes through a number of electrical checks such as continuity, insulation resistance and polarity.

It is essential that all electrical appliances are checked yearly to ensure your safety and others who may use the appliance. Electrical items such as; electrical tools, appliances, power leads, extension leads and all other workplace and home electrical equipment should receive a yearly check.

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Every year in the UK there are numerous workplace related deaths. Many of these are  caused by electrocution. Poorly maintained equipment can serious injuries or be the source of destructive fires. Almost all of these could have been prevented if the electrical item in question was PAT Tested yearly.

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition.

Portable electrical equipment must be maintained to prevent danger.

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For what reason is a Portable Appliance test needed?

  • To make sure its safe to use
  • To make sure your company meets the requirements of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
  • To make sure your Insurance is valid.
  • To meet Health & Safety requirements
  • To meet the requirements stated in The Electricity at Work Regulations

Each PAT test will include:

  1. Visual inspection of the appliance, flex and plug top – Look for any visual signs of damage or overheating
  2. Open Each Plug Top – Inspect the fuse and connections and tighten wire connections
  3. Electrical tests – The appliance is put through a series of electrical tests to ensure that it is properly earthed (Earth Continuity Test, Class 1 appliance) and insulated (Insulation Resistance Test, Class 1 and 2 appliance)
  4. Labelling – A label is affixed to the appliance indicating whether it has passed or failed as well as additional information including the test date, re-test date and Appliance ID number assigned to it
  5. Records – A detailed record is given for each appliance tested as well as an inventory summary. These records will be made available in an electronic format (hard copy available upon request)

PAT Test Scheduling

The frequency of portable appliance testing is determined by several factors. This includes the type of equipment and its classification, the frequency it is used and/or moved and the environment in which it is operating. Our PAT Testing Engineers will specify your exact requirements. We use the IET Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment 4th Edition guidelines to help determine this. For more information about the legal requirements for PAT Testing click here.

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