Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is the process of inspecting portable electronic equipment for safety. This should be carried out by a qualified individual to provide evidence that electrical appliances and any equipment in your workplace are safe to use.
Who is responsible for PAT testing in the workplace?
While PAT testing is not mandatory by law, it is a health and safety requirement for all businesses, including industrial units, manufacturing plants and warehouses. If you are an employer, you have a responsibility to ensure the safety of all employees and visitors to your premises.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that all electrical equipment in the workplace that has the potential to cause injury are maintained safely. PAT testing ensures that you are compliant with these regulations. These regulations include:
- 4 (2) As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger.
- 4 (3) Every work activity, including operation, use and maintenance of a system and work near a system, shall be carried out in such a manner as not to give rise, so far as is reasonably practicable, to danger.
- 4 (4) Any equipment provided under these Regulations for the purpose of protecting persons at work on or near electrical equipment shall be suitable for the use for which it is provided, be maintained in a condition suitable for that use, and be properly used.
During the PAT testing process, appliances will be unplugged, given a visual check and then a series of electrical tests that vary with different types of equipment.
How often should PAT testing be carried out in industry?
It is recommended that all portable and handheld equipment in your industrial workplace is tested every six months to ensure the safety of employees. All other electrical appliances should be tested annually.
It is good practice to label equipment during PAT testing and keep detailed records – should someone be injured in your workplace, this is evidence that all compulsory checks as an employer were fulfilled.
What needs PAT testing in your industrial workplace?
A portable appliance is classified as any electrical equipment which is powered from the mains. All electronic appliances including machinery in warehouses, workshops or factories, and computers, printers, telephones and kitchen equipment in any office space on your premises.
Appliances that fail a PAT test can either be repaired, replaced or removed from service for safety purposes.
Intersafe specialise in PAT testing and have years of experience in working with industrial businesses. We create bespoke testing plans with businesses before we start to ensure minimal disruption to your day-to-day operations. We can provide out-of-hours testing at no extra charge to work around your individual requirements.
Get in touch with our team today to discuss your workplace’s PAT testing requirements.