What does PAT stand for?
PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing
How will we know if our appliances have already been PAT tested?
After an appliance has been PAT tested, a Pass or fail label is affixed to the item, this indicates a test date and also a re-test due date for the appliance.
How do we spot dangerous appliances?
Electricity kills and injures people.
Around 1000 electrical accidents at work are reported to HSE each year and about 30 people die from their injuries.
Many injuries at work are a result of :
Poorly maintained electrical equipment
Inappropriate electrical equipment used in unsuitable environments
Fires started by poorly maintained electrical equipment
Damaged electrical equipment still in use
PASS PAT Testing professional and comprehensive approach to electrical inspection and testing could help your company minimize the risk of injury and death.
Some of the obvious visual faults are:
wrong fuses (nails and tin foil are not fuses)
loose, missing, broken cases
Why should we have PAT testing carried out?
The Health & Safety Executive states that 25% of all re-portable electrical accidents involve portable appliances.
Current legislation demands that employers ensure portable appliances are safe.
Comply with the Electricity At Work Regulations.
Prevent risk of fire and injury due to faulty electrical equipment.
Insurance companies cannot dispute claims of damage through fire because of insufficient electrical maintenance.
Comply with ISO 9000 Quality Assurance Health and Safety requirements.
Although there is currently no strict legal requirement for PAT testing.
The Government however has put regulations into place that require the maintenance and safety of electrical appliances, subsequently the most effective way to ensure that these regulations are met is through PAT testing.
The UK Health and Safety Executive along with insurance companies will expect you to perform PAT testing to ensure that you are compliant with certain regulations including:
Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999
Not complying with the above mentioned regulations can result in fines up to £5,000 and/or six months imprisonment. Fines have been seen to go as high as £20,000 and offences heard in the Crown Court have carried sentences of more than 2 years imprisonment in additional to unlimited financial penalties. So even though PAT testing itself is not legally required, it simply helps you to protect yourself by ensuring that you are complying with these regulations.
Claims that PAT testing is required by law and that the client is breaking the law by not having it done are simply not true. The law does require however that employers, including self-employed, ensure that all electrical equipment that they provide in their business is safe and properly maintained. This means that PAT testing is a critical part of your company’s health and safety and should be considered part of a solution to your safety concerns.
PAT testing provides the most effective way to identify defects that can come with use. Faults in electrical equipment pose a potential hazard, particularly if they are not repaired readily. Even though PAT testing itself is not required by law, the consequences of electrical faults should be considered carefully.
Is PAT testing a legal requirement?
Current legislation demands that employers ensure portable appliances are safe. Here are a selection of some of the relevant regulations.
Electricity At Work Act 1989
To meet the requirements of the 1989 electricity at work regulations, it is widely regarded to be necessary to implement a program of planned inspection and testing of portable appliances, as may be necessary to prevent danger all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent so far as is reasonably practicable such danger.
Provisions & Use Of Work Equipment Regulations 1992
Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.
Provisions & Use Of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
Every employer shall ensure that the result of an inspection made under this regulation is recorded and kept until the next inspection under this regulations is recorded.
What about new appliances, do they need to be PAT tested?
When new equipment and appliances come into your organisation, what are the rules regarding PAT testing? Are you obliged to test these pieces of new equipment, or do you simply leave them alone?
As the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) says: “New equipment should be supplied in a safe condition and will not require a formal portable appliance inspection or test. However, a simple visual check is recommended to verify the item is not damaged.”
Of course, this depends entirely on your discretion. For extra safety it is recommended that you do actually PAT test the item, particularly if it is something that could be hazardous such as a heater.
It is also worth considering what is meant by ‘new’. New could either mean brand new equipment shipped from a manufacturer, or alternatively ‘new’ could refer to equipment that has been owned by employees being brought into the organisation.
By testing appliances that are new to your organisation it means that they can be added to the register and accounted for when it does come around to inspection time, otherwise you may have no way of knowing which appliances you have.
Another good reason for testing new products is that you are not aware if that appliance has actually come straight from the factory and been subject to manufacturer testing.
Do all the appliances need to be unplugged?
Each item that is fully tested, has to be switched off and unplugged, any item that cannot be unplugged will receive a visual inspection only.
How many items do we have?
If you have been PAT Tested before, an asset list should have been provided, including the amount of items tested.
If this is not the case then a quick count up will give an approximate figure.
Before you start counting
For example, when counting up in an office you may class a computer as just one item, but in reality this could be many more.
Starting at the wall socket, an average computer can consist of:
• 1 x 4 way extension lead
• 3 x IEC Mains Leads for each of the following:
Additionally that one computer may have around it:
• Another 4 way extension lead
• Power supply unit for a router
• Power supply unit for a digital camera
• And a power supply unit for a scanner
• Power supply unit for speakers
How often do the appliances need PAT testing?
Frequency of PAT Testing depends on the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used.
The frequencies we recommend are based on the guidelines by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) and our own professional experience.
Most items are advised to be tested every 12 month.
Which appliances need to be tested?
Basically all type`s of appliances powered by an electrical supply.
The IEE Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment states that this Code of Practice covers the following :
An appliance of less than 18 kg in mass that is intended to be moved while in operation or an appliance which can easily be moved from one place to another, e.g. toaster, food mixer, vacuum cleaner, fan heater.
This is equipment, which is either: 18 kg or less in mass and not fixed, e.g. electric fire, or equipment with wheels, castors or other means to facilitate movement by the operator as required to perform its intended use, e.g. air conditioning unit.
This is portable equipment intended to be held in the hand during normal use, e.g. hair dryer, drill, soldering iron
Stationary Equipment or Appliances
This equipment has a mass exceeding 18 kg and is not provided with a carrying handle, e.g. refrigerator, washing machine.
This is equipment of an appliance, which is fastened to a support or otherwise secured in a specified location, e.g. bathroom heater, towel rail.
Appliances/Equipment for Building in
This equipment is intended to be installed in a prepared recess such as a cupboard or similar. In general, equipment for building in does not have an enclosure on all sides because on one or more of the sides, additional protection against electric shock is provided by the surroundings e.g. a built-in electric cooker.
Information Technology Equipment
Information technology equipment includes electrical business equipment such as computer and mains powered telecommunications equipment, and other equipment for general business use, such as mail processing machines, electric plotters, trimmers, VDUs, data terminal equipment, typewriters, telephones, printers, photo-copiers, power packs.
The use of extension leads should be avoided where possible. If used, they should be tested as portable appliances. It is recommended that 3-core leads (including a protective earthing conductor) be used.
A standard 13 A 3-pin extension socket-outlet with a 2-core cable should never be used even if the appliance to be used in Class II, as it would not provide protection against electrical shock if used at any time with an item of Class I equipment.
The length of an extension lead for general use should not exceed the following:
Core Area Maximum Length
1.25mm 12 metres
1.5mm 15 metres
2.5mm 25 metres*
2.5mm cables are too large for standard 13 A plugs, but they may be used with BS EN 60309 industrial plugs.
These maximum lengths are not applicable to the flex of an appliance, for guidance refer to paragraph 15.13 (IEE Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment)
If extension lead lengths do exceed the above, they shall be protected by a 30 mA RCD manufactured to BS 7071.”
How much experience does PASS PAT Testing have?
We have many years experience in Portable Appliance Testing
Our experience covers a wide range of business sectors including: Engineering and Construction, Transport, Financial Institutions, Private Landlords & Letting Agents, Manufacturing Companies, Retail Shops, Churches, Health and beauty complexes and many other business types.
How long does PAT testing generally take?
Our engineers generally test between 15 and 30 electrical appliances per hour, this however is dependent on access to each item, delays and any other complications that may arise.
One engineer would typically test 150 -250 appliance per 8 - 10 hour day.
How much will PAT testing cost?
Many Companies state on their website’s that they will PAT Test from as little as £0.50p per test, this is purely for a visual inspection only.
Our prices start from as little as £39.00 for full appliance tests, our prices are generally tailored to suit each company as they would depend on how many items were tested or the time spent.
All items with a plug are tested using calibrated test equipment.
All items are labelled with an electrical safety pass sticker showing date of test, item number and date of re-test.
A full report and compliance certification will be emailed in PDF format to you upon receipt of full payment.
Are there any hidden additional costs?
No. Minor repairs to appliances and the supply and/or fitting of materials e.g. new correctly rated fuse, rewiring plug top etc are all free and part of our service.
How disruptive will the PAT Testing be to our business?
Our PAT Testing Engineers cause minimal disruption to most working environments. Testing occurs one item at a time which results in very little down time for equipment and staff.
What areas do you cover?
We are based in Gloucestershire and cover Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Cirencester, Stow-on-the-wold, Stroud, Stonehouse, Tetbury, Winchcombe, Painswick, Berkley, Coleford, Brockworth, Mitchldean, Bishops Cleeve, Bisley, Thornbury, Guiting Power, Andoversfors, Bristol, Newent and much more.