Are you following the recent HSE guidelines on portable appliance testing safely?

Electrical safety standards in the workplace are at risk if companies do not interpret HSE guidance on portable appliance testing (PAT) correctly, the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) has warned.

According to the HSE’s recent guidance, in many everyday situations, a competent, visual inspection of plugs and leads may be enough to ensure electrical safety.

However, the ECA has warned that poor interpretation of this guidance could mean companies underestimate the risks of poor PAT testing. These include:

  • Shocks
  • Fire
  • Electrical faults

Paul Reeve, Head of Business Policy at the ECA and Chartered Fellow of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, has expressed concern, saying: “The HSE is keen to show how PAT can bed one cost-effectively and we welcome their practical approach. However,businesses still need to be aware of the risk of faulty electrical equipment, and how to manage that risk properly.”

Intersafe, which is based in Hampshire and carries out PAT testing for companies across the South, has echoed the ECA’s concerns.

So how do you know if you are following the guidelines correctly? The ECA advises a clear understanding of the electrical equipment, a constant risk-based portable appliance inspection conducted by experts and an understanding of what to do when inspections detect a problem as some of the essential requirements to guarantee a safe working environment.

If you are unsure whether your approach to PAT testing is correct, contact Intersafe on 02380 610101.