350,000 reasons Portable Appliance Testing is important

Tags: PAT Testing,
Date: Thu 10 Aug 2017

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) – three words that every Facilities Manager will be very familiar with. It might form a major part of your Health & Safety programme, it could be the first section of your Risk Assessment when delivering services, or part of the procedure when buying in equipment or outsourcing work. So whilst you’re busy worrying about getting PAT testing carried out, do we stop and think about why we do this?

The numbers:

  • 350,000 serious injuries every year are caused by electrical accidents
  • 1,000 accidents in workplaces every year involve electric shock or burns (reported to the Health & Safety Executive)
  • 30 (on average) are fatal
  • 4,000 accidental fires in commercial, business and public (non-residential) buildings in 2011/12 were caused by faulty appliances and leads
  • 80% of faulty electrical products are never returned

What is my legal responsibility?

So we can see from the facts that PAT testing is important but what is your legal responsibility? The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. However, the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently (i.e they don't make inspection or testing of electrical appliances a legal requirement, nor do they make it a legal requirement to undertake this annually).

Who has the responsibility to make sure everyone works safely?

A competent person must ensure that all equipment is adequately maintained, inspected, tested and repaired and records kept. Everyone in the workplace has a responsibility to make sure that work is safely undertaken. Of course managers have a responsibility to provide the resources to enable workers to work safely and in a manner that does not endanger others.

Do I PAT Test New Equipment?

New equipment should be supplied in a safe condition and not require a formal portable appliance inspection or test. However, a simple visual check is recommended to verify the item is not damaged.

Intersafe specialise in Fixed Wire Testing, Portable Appliance Testing and Thermal Imaging, if you have any questions or simply would like to book a free of charge site survey, email sales@intersafe.co.uk