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PAT Testing - FAQ's

Updated: Jul 17, 2019

Providing you with some of the most frequently asked questions regarding PAT Testing (Portable Appliance Testing) that we have received over the years, and giving you the all important answers to some of these burning questions.

Q. What is PAT Testing?

A. Portable Appliance Testing (PAT Testing) is a series of visual inspections and electronic tests to establish the safety and suitability of electrical appliances.

Q. Why do I need to carry it out?

A. In accordance with The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989, proper PAT testing, labelling and recording, helps you comply with your “duty of care” to properly maintain electrical circuits and equipment. You are also required to meet electrical safety standards set by the Health and Safety Act and the IEE Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment.

Q. Who is responsible?

A. Realistically, everybody has a duty to ensure the safety of others whilst at work. However, your nominated “Duty Holder” will have ultimate responsibility for electrical safety and welfare of staff.

Q. What does it involve?

A. Portable Appliance Testing requires a series of visual inspections and electronic tests to be performed, to establish the safety and suitability of your electrical appliances. Each electrical appliance within your workplace will have to be de-energised for a period of 2-5 minutes whilst the Engineer injects test signals into the cable and appliance to check its integrity. A thorough visual inspection of the appliance is also performed. This type of work does not require the main supply to be isolated, and with careful planning testing can be done with little disruption to your business. Alternatively, this work can be carried out whilst your workplace is empty, such as nights, weekends or holiday periods.

Q. Who should do the work?

A. It is vital that this type of work is carried out by a qualified and experienced test Operative. Such Operatives are generally not fully qualified electricians but are competent experienced people that have been specifically trained and qualified in PAT inspection work. When selecting your contractor, you should ask to see evidence of their qualifications and experience in this type of work.

Q. Will it impact on my workplace?

A. There will be some impact such as short periods of downtime on appliances; however, with careful planning and strong liaison between you and your contractor, this can be conducted at a time that best suits your business.

Q. What will I receive?

A. Following your PAT inspection visit, you should receive a report containing at least:

• An inventory including each appliance type, name, location and description

• A set of test results for each appliance tested

• A list of any failed items with an explanation of their failure

• A visible pass or fail label on each appliance including the inspection date

• A report including next test due date and the inspector’s signature

• Advice on any further action required

Q. How much will it cost?

A. There are many factors that can affect the cost of Portable Appliance Testing such as volume of appliances, location and access. To obtain an approximate number of appliances in a typical commercial environment, we multiply the number of staff by 4 (this is not entirely accurate but is used as a guideline). Alternatively, your contractor should be able to guide you. You will be issued with a cost per test quote.

Q. What could happen if I don’t do it?

A. In the event of an accident or fire you will be asked about your due diligence in respect of duty of care of Portable Electrical Appliances. Evidence of regular PAT will attest you best endeavours to meet your duty of care obligations.

If after reading this you think that you have a requirement for this service, click here to find out more about our PAT Testing service. Or call us today - 01604 696113 if you need some assistance, our team are always willing to help.


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Since 2003 we have been delivering the highest quality in Electrical Inspection & Testing to clients nationwide.

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