Portable Appliance Testing
Companies in the UK have a legal obligation to protect the health and safety of their employees. Portable Appliance Testing – otherwise known as PAT testing – is a key part of this.
PAT testing is the process of examining electrical appliances and equipment to confirm that they are fully operational and safe to use. It involves a series of visual checks and electronic tests, which help establish whether a specific appliance fulfils the legal obligations to ensure a high standard of electrical safety.
The guidelines around PAT testing require that all landlords, employers and even self-employed individuals make sure that their portable electrical appliances are safe and suitable for the intended use. Damage and fault can occur with all electrical equipment use, which makes it essential that these items are tested regularly for safety.
PAT guidelines were put into effect to ensure that all companies conform to the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999.
The law states that PAT tests should be carried out by a “competent person”. According to the IEE Code of Practice, this means the person must have:
People who regularly conduct PAT testing will typically possess relevant and recognised training. This could be in the form of an official qualification, or it may have been acquired by attending a course provided by an electrical health and safety company or qualified PAT testing instructor.