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PAT Testing – a brief guide

PAT Testing, also known as portable appliance testing, is the process of inspecting portable electrical devices or equipment to make sure that they are safe and suitable for use in the workplace.

Typically, there are three steps involved:

1. Regular, examinations by the user(s) of the electrical apparatus

2. A formal examination of the apparatus.

3. Manual testing of the apparatus using a portable appliance tester (the PAT test)

Do commercial spaces require PAT Testing?

All businesses that use portable electrical equipment are advised to have PAT Testing conducted. This includes office-based establishments and commercial properties such as landlords of rented properties, hotels and restaurant owners, medical facilities, as well as manufacturing and construction facilities.

Is PAT Testing a legal requirement?

In short, no. However, legislation requires that all electrical equipment in the workplace be maintained to ensure that it is safe and will not present a threat to anyone using it. To this day, PAT Testing remains the greatest method to abide by these health and safety legislations and to safeguard all staff and visitors in the workplace. Despite not being a legal requirement itself, If you don't have PAT Testing carried out, you may still risk fines and / or legal repercussions.

What happens during PAT Testing?

PAT Testing should consist of three steps, according to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE): user checks, a formal visual examination, and a manual PAT test using a portable appliance tester.

Part 1 - User check

As part of their induction, all users of electrical equipment should receive some basic instruction on how to use it properly and recognize danger indications. Users should feel comfortable visually inspecting the apparatus on a regular basis for visible indicators of degradation as well as possible hazards such cables tangled in desks or standing water.

Part 2 - Formal visual inspection

A formal visual check of the equipment should be performed before the manual PAT test. A a professional should carry out this process however, a competent employee with the necessary training and capability can also do this. According to the HSE, the formal visual inspection typically identifies 90% of issues.

Part 3 - Manual testing

Using a portable appliance tester, perform a manual inspection (the PAT test)

Only a fully trained individual with the right tools and competence should perform this. For the safest outcomes, it is strongly advised to consult a professional a PAT tester with a sufficient level of experience and training.

If you would like PAT Testing to be carried out at a workplace that you look after, please don't hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team: contact us: 01604 696113 |


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