PAT Testing

General Information

All PAT testing is carried out in accordance with the IET's Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment.

What Is Portable Appliance Testing?
The inspection and or testing that is required by law of all portable electrical appliances to assess their operational safety and the safety of personnel operating the equipment.

What Is Classed As A "Portable Appliance"?
Generally speaking any item of electrical equipment that has a power lead with a plug that is intended to be connected to the mains electricity supply.

Must This Testing Be Carried Out?
The Electricity At Work Regulations 1989 state "every employer shall ensure, that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair"
The regulations also state "As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger" (Regulation 4(2))

How Often Should I Have My Appliances Tested?
Under the regulations no specific time frames have been given, although there are recommendations based on the type of equipment from 3 months to 48 months depending on its operating environment.

Will Our Insurance Company Request That This Is Done?
Yes they may, many insurance companies will insist this is done before they will renew a policy. It may also affect your insurance cover if your insurers can prove that you were not complying with these regulations.

What needs PAT testing?
Any electrical appliance that is fitted with a plug is required to be tested on a regular basis to ensure that it is in a safe working condition. The best way to ensure the equipments safety is to carry out a Portable Appliance Test.

Should the equipment be labeled?
Each appliance should be suitably marked to record the examination date or display the date for retesting and the result of the test (pass or fail).

How often should testing be carried out ?
The IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) have laid down a guide line for frequency of testing of electrical equipment. This can be found in the IET Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment. A summary of the suggested frequencies is to be found in the attached table

What is the PAT test?
The portable appliance test is a series of checks carried out on the equipment to check its safety aspects are up to the required standard. The tests carried out are as follow;
Visual inspection - the equipment is checked for signs of any visible damage such as cracked plugs or split cable
Earth continuity - equipment is checked to ensure that it has a satisfactory earth connection
Insulation - equipment is checked to ensure the insulation of the equipment is satisfactory
Leakage - equipment is checked to ensure that the leakage back to earth is minimal
Load - (not always required) equipment is checked to ensure that it is running correctly

More PAT Testing Info
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAT_Testing

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