Safe electrical use is essential, both in businesses and in residential environments. The hazards that arise if you use unsafe equipment are significant. They can vary from a small electrical shock right through to death, so the importance of ensuring your devices are safe should never be overlooked. PAT testing is the most widely used method by businesses to help maintain electrical equipment. But, is it a legal requirement? And, what else do you need to know about it?
What is PAT Testing?
A PAT test is an inspection routine of an electrical appliance. It applies to devices that have a plug attached and are powered via a plug into a wall outlet. The test is used to determine whether the device is safe for use and is in place to prevent electrical accidents. The process involves an initial visual inspection whereby the electrician will check for broken wires, external damage or other issues of concern. Following on from this, the tester will use specialist PAT testing equipment to review the safety of numerous elements including:
- Earth Continuity
- Lead Polarity
- Insulation Resistance
At the end of a PAT test, the electrical device will either pass or fail. This gives a clear indication as to whether it can be used safely, whether repairs are needed or whether it needs to be disposed of.
Are PAT Tests A Legal Requirement?
To date, there are no laws in place here in the UK that makes it a legal obligation for you to PAT test your devices. However, as a business owner, you do have a duty of care to protect the health and safety of employees, visitors and guests. In line with UK legislation, you must maintain all electrical equipment to reduce the risk of related hazards. And, PAT tests are one of the most comprehensive and reliable ways to do this.
Which Electrical Devices Need To Be Pat Tested?
If an electrical device in your workplace has a flexible cable and/or a plug and socket, it should be PAT tested. This includes a wide array of items, including:
- Vending Machines
- Heated Towel Rails
If you work heavily with IT equipment, you will need to have the power cords tested separately to stay in keeping with current regulations.
How Often Is A Pat Test Needed?
It is recommended that PAT testing should take place every 2 years, depending on the frequency of use. You must enlist the support of professional electricians who have the right skills and experience. Here at MJH Electrical Services, we have over 11 years of experience in a wide variety of electrical services for commercial clients. Focusing on providing a highly professional and reliable service to all, we’re here to help with your electrical equipment testing needs.
For more information or to speak to a member of the team, give us a call on 01278 322816 or contact us via email here today.