TradeSparky Safety: Understanding PAT Testing

TradeSparky Safety: Understanding PAT Testing
10 May 2019 12:09 PM
TradeSparky Safety: Understanding PAT Testing

It goes without saying how important it is to stay aware of any defects that may exist among your electrical products. There are various checks you can complete to make sure that your electricals are in fully-working order, all to protect you and people around you from harm. This includes Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), a useful visual and electronic examination that helps you maintain safety standards. For this week’s blog post, we at TradeSparky will be running through what PAT testing is and why it’s important!

What is a PAT test, and who should carry them out?

According to the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, electrical equipment that may have the potential to cause injury must be kept in a safe condition so as to avoid harm to anyone who may come into contact with it. The type of examination required and frequency as to which products needs to be tested varies depending on the specific equipment.

A PAT test needs to be performed by someone with a good knowledge of and experience with electricals, along with an understanding of how to test equipment and interpret and analyse the results of any test. Many electricians are able to perform a PAT test for you.

Basic user checks should be carried out before using any electrical equipment; employees can make sure there is no visible damage to any product before use. Visual checks can also be carried out by those qualified with the right knowledge to assess whether an appliance is in a suitable state and in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. For more information on what needs to be looked for in a visual or user check, view the guidance here.

What counts as a ‘portable appliance’?

A portable or movable electrical appliance can be acknowledged as any appliance able to be moved, plugged or unplugged from an electrical supply. There is a huge number of items that can be considered to be ‘portable appliances’; examples of portable appliances include but are certainly not limited to: kettles, vacuum cleaners, desk lamps, extension leads, or larger items that are rarely moved including photocopiers, fridges etc.

What types of examination need to be performed?

A routine of regular inspections depending on the specific equipment can be set up, so that you’re never questioning whether your electricals are in working order. Different appliances are sorted into different classes, which class each appliance falls into determines what type of electrical test needs to be performed. Class I equipment will have an earth connection, while Class II equipment is usually referred to as ‘double insulated’ equipment.

Any equipment being hired should be PAT tested to ensure it’s safe to use.

For further information and resources, visit the Health and Safety Executive’s website. TradeSparky sell a varied range of products for use with PAT testing; head to our PAT testers page for more information and to see the products we have available.

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This post contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence.

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