The Health and Safety Executive states that 25% of all electrical accidents involve portable appliances. Consequently, there has been a raft of health and safety legislation brought in to reduce the number of these accidents.
Since 1st April 1990 it has been a legal requirement for employers, landlords and the self-employed to have all portable electrical appliances and equipment periodically inspected and tested for compliance with safety regulations. This means that portable appliances need to be subjected to electrical testing. Portable Appliance Testing is therefore crucial – whether it is a residential, commercial or industrial environment in which you are operating.
Portable Appliance Testing, or PAT Testing, as it is more commonly referred to, is the process of checking portable electrical appliances for safety through a series of visual inspections and electronic tests. The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) define a portable appliance as ‘any electrical appliance which can, or is intended to, be moved whist connected to an electrical supply’. This includes any electrical equipment your employees use at work, whether it is their own or supplied by you. Examples include photocopies, computers, floor cleaners and power tools etc.
Anyone who rents accommodation as a business activity is required to ensure that the portable equipment that they supply as part of the tenancy is safe. This includes all electrical equipment supplied with the accommodation such as cookers, washing machines, and kettles etc. remain safe. PAT testing regulations therefore apply right down to the smallest piece of electrical equipment.
A PAT Test is a relatively straight forward but vital process of inspection that all portable electrical appliances should be subjected to on a regular basis. The frequency of inspection depends on the type of equipment and environment it is used in. For example, a power tool used on a construction site should be examined more frequently than a lamp in a hotel bedroom. David Sykes Electrical can provide advice on the suggested frequencies of inspection and testing for types of tools and equipment in different environments. At periodic intervals, it is essential to test portable appliances to measure the degree of protection, to ensure that it is sufficient for safe use. At these intervals, a formal visual inspection is carried out followed by a PAT Test.
All David Sykes Electrical PAT Testers are fully qualified electricians and meet PAT testing regulations. To declare an item electrically safe, David Sykes Electrical’s electricians will carry out a visual inspection followed by a process of electrical testing to determine earth bond continuity, insulation resistance, functional tests and polarity of wiring. All equipment that is PAT Tested will be provided with a label that is durable and capable of surviving the period between re-tests without undue degradation.
David Sykes Electrical keep full records of each piece of equipment with its unique number and full description for future traceability. A full ‘Status Report’ will be issued to the client indicating what equipment has passed or failed and when it is due for re-testing. Should we locate any failures we can avoid extra work by carrying out minor repairs as we find them. The client will be notified of any items that fail and cannot be mended by a minor repair. Equipment found to be unsafe would be removed from site by the client or by David Sykes Electrical, as agreed. Any items requiring major repairs will always be quoted first. These repairable items will then be repaired on site or can be returned to our central workshop. Following a major repair, we will issue a ‘Re-test Certificate Following Repair Report’