What is Portable Appliance Testing (PAT testing)?

The 'Inspection and Testing of In-Service Electrical equipment' (usually referred to as Portable appliance testing or PAT), was introduced to enable companies & organisations comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations. To meet these regulations it is necessary to have in place a program of inspection and electrical safety testing of portable appliances. Other legislation of specific relevance to electrical maintenance - The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

 

Do I need my portable electrical appliances tested?

To comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations all portable electrical appliances should be routinely inspected and tested by a competent person. The regulations apply equally to small companies and the self employed as to the larger organisations.

 

What electrical equipment needs to be tested?

The regulations cover all items of in-service electrical equipment, this includes all movable items connected to the mains supply by 13A BS1363 plugs, BS EN60309-2 industrial plugs or hard wired via a fused connection unit. In addition to being responsible for the safety of their own portable appliances, companies are also responsible for the safety of electrical equipment brought on site by employees and contractors.

 

How often does it need testing?

The requirements are based on principles of risk assessment and reasonable practicability. The frequency of inspection and testing required will vary depending on the type of appliance, its location, and its use. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) publish advise and guidelines. We can develop an inspection & testing schedule for you.

 

What do the tests entail?

The testing consists of two separate activities; a visual inspection to check for damage and poor electrical standards and a series of instrument tests to check for less obvious electrical faults.