It's a question we get asked on a regular basis. Between our scheduled Portable Appliance Testing visits to a client they may have purchased new equipment, for example new PCs, should they arrange for these new items to be tested?
According to the Health and Safety Executive '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.'
So it seems the guidelines do not require a full electrical test but recommend a visual check. We suggest the first port of call for a client is to consult their corporate policy and risk assessment and see if that offers any guidance. The Electricity at Work Regulations requires that reasonable practicable steps are taken to prevent danger. If the item has a CE mark from the manufacturer that would indicate that it complies with all relevant EU Directives which include electrical safety.
If you carry out a visual check you will be able to see if the equipment is CE marked and if you can satisfy yourself that it has not been damaged in transit or installation then it should be electrically safe.
Some organisations do carry out Portable Appliance Testing on new items, this also has the advantage of giving the item an asset number and including it into the PAT Testing database. The organisation can then demonstrate that the item is safe and forms part of their electrical appliance asset database.