What Are the Legal Requirements for Periodic Inspection and Testing and is it a Requirement from my Insurance Company?

Tags: PAT Testing, Fixed Wire Testing, Thermal Imaging and Facilities,
Date: Fri 26 May 2017

As your Electrical Installation deteriorates over time. What does the law say about Periodic Testing and Inspection?

With frequent use each electrical installation can deteriorate over time. To ensure their safety and the safety of their users it is important to test them at the appropriate intervals. Not only does it secure the safety of your staff and visitors, it also safeguards your organisation when it comes to the insurance of the site, it keeps your insurance company happy if you have a good record of electrical installation testing. This will also abide with the Health and Safety regulations for your company.

We are frequently asked by our clients the laws regarding electrical inspection and testing. The laws covering this are as follows:

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 - Requires employers and employees to ensure the health and safety of all in the work premises (including visitors, contractors and the general public, where applicable).

The Management of Health and Safety Work Regulations 1999 - Putting the onus on the employer to perform adequate risk assessments to ensure the lowest level of danger for employees and ensure the safety of the workplace as far as is possible.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 - Requiring the employer to ensure the safety of any equipment used by employers (including fixed, portable and transportable equipment) that relies on an electrical energy source. ;

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 - Defining what constitutes electrical equipment and the maintenance and safety requirements of safe use of electricity in the workplace.

British Standard BS 7671: 2015 Amendment 3 (IET Wiring Regulations) - BS 7671 (the IET Wiring Regulations) sets the standards for electrical installation in the UK and many other countries. The IET co-publishes the Regulations with the British Standards Institution (BSI) and is the authority on electrical installation.

Increasingly, insurers are insisting that inspection and testing be carried out on a regular basis. If an avoidable accident or a fire occurs where electricity is suspected to have been the cause, then under law if found guilty you will be deemed to have committed a criminal offence. Insurers will not pay fines or compensation suffered resulting from a criminal offence.

A visiting Health and Safety inspector will not necessarily identify the need to maintain electrical safety, especially if there are other issues to be addressed. Because testing has not been specifically demanded does not mean that the legal requirements to comply with electrical specification.

Inspection and testing will establish if an installation is safe for users and the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) produced from the testing will tell you the overall condition of the electrics. Should the testing be passed, you may still need to undertake some remedial repairs to improve your installations. Intersafe are always happy to complete remedial repairs to finish off the process of testing off.

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.