PAT Testing | Durham Pat Testing

Legal Obligations

British law (the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 ) requires that all electrical systems (including electrical appliances) are maintained (so far as is reasonably practicable) to prevent danger. A competent person must inspect the installation regularly in any public building or a place that people work; private houses do not need this test. Guidance from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET, published under the IEE brand) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggest initial intervals for combined inspection and testing that range from three months (for construction equipment) to one year for inspection and, in many cases, longer periods for testing (certain types of appliance in schools, hotels, offices and shops).

What is PAT Testing?

PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing now known as In Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment.
This is to include anything with an electrical plug and some fixed appliances.

Why PAT Test?

All electrical equipment should be maintained and routinely inspected to ensure the safety of that equipment and it's user.
Portable Appliance testing was introduced to enable employers and landlords to comply with the requirements contained in the relevant legislations:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998
  • Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • Workplace (Health , Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
  • The Housing Act 2004
  • The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2004

What is Involved?

Every appliance has an initial visual inspection, this involves removal of the plug top where applicable and checking and tightening the screws and cable grip.

The wiring of the plug and fuse size will be checked at the same time.

The cable is then checked for damage and suitability for load and environment.

The appliance is then plugged into a fully calibrated Portable Appliance tester and a series of tests carried out which will include where necessary:

  • Earth Continuity, Insulation Resistance, Load test etc.
  • All IT equipment is totally safe and 110v appliances are checked in a similar way.
  • RCD’s can also be checked and microwaves tested for leakage.
  • All appliances are individually labelled and a full register of appliances supplied as a paper or electronic copy.
Prices will include:

  • FREE replacement of fuses
  • FREE replacement of plugs
  • FREE minor repairs
  • FREE out of hours testing

How often should it be done?

The guidelines state that the frequency of testing can vary greatly depending on the potential risk of using the equipment therefore the duty holder needs to assess the risk based upon environment, users frequency of use of the equipment, the type and construction of the equipment, and any previous records.

Insurance companies often have their own requirements for testing frequency.

If you require any advice on testing frequencies please contact us to discuss the code of practice covering these guidelines.

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