Useful information regarding PAT testing
Below we've outlined some useful information regarding PAT testing and Electrical safety in the workplace, including some general guidance also details of how Portable Appliance Testing and electrical safety affect your day-to-day working environment.
SRTPAT Portable Appliance Testing Services in Derby
Here we have put together some further information to help you understand what PAT Testing involves and why it is needed, and how it helps keep your business safe for your staff, volunteers and the public.
We provide electrical safety testing for portable appliances for small businesses, sole traders, individuals charities, clubs, private individuals and landlords based in and around Derby & Derbyshire.
Below we have outlined what your legal requirements are, how risk assessments affect your business and how we can help you to manage your business in a safe way.
What is PAT testing?
Portable Appliance Testing is the periodic and regular inspection & testing of electrical equipment and appliances to ensure that they are safe to use.
In 2020 PAT testing became known as In-Service, Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment (ITEE) this is to recognise the wide range of electrical appliances that fall with-in the electrical checks and testing.
The phrase Portable Appliance generally refers to items you may find in a domestic home such as a kettle.
Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment (ITEE) which replaces he ter PAT testing acknowledges that a Portable Appliance is not just an electronic object that you could easily pick-up carry in your pocket. For this reason, many people assume that PAT testing only involves the testing and inspection of small electrical appliances.
Portable Appliance Testing has always involved the testing and inspection for electrical safety of any electrical items that are not permanently wired into the mains, in other words they are connected to the mains electrical supply with a plug. Larger appliances that are considered portable and need to be tested include, washing machines, fridges, freezers and tumble dryers.
In November 2020, the fifth edition of the IET Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment was published, this provides a wider view of what is covered by portable appliance testing.
The Electricity at Work Regulations (EWR) came into force in 1989, since which electrical safety management has been regularly debated and how businesses could comply with the requirements of the Regulations in the workplace.
Some examples of electrical items that should be tested and inspected are:
Small kitchen appliances such a; kettles, Toasters, microwave ovens
Laptop & Phone chargers
Larger appliances such as Photocopiers, printers Washing machines & tumble dryers
Industrial electrical equipment (not wired permanently to the mains)
This is not an exhaustive list, when SRT PAT visit your premises, we will identify all items that need to be PAT tested and advise how regularly they should be re-tested.
All electrical equipment should be tested for electrical safety at regular intervals to ensure that they are safe to use, and that the earth protections and safety features of the device are functioning property and that the appliance is in good condition.
ITEE (PAT) involves a visual condition inspection & an internal inspection carrying out earth continuity and insulation testing to ensure that the electrical item is safe to use and that safety features such as the fuse will function correctly. We will detail more about what our ITEE portable appliance testing involves further on.
Why is PAT testing required and why do I need to check my electrical equipment?
Is Portable Appliance Testing PAT Testing a legal requirement?
Whilst Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment (ITEE) & Portable Appliance Testing are not a specific legal requirement you do have a legal duty of care to ensure that your place of work is safe for your employees. The UK Government has put regulations into place that pertain to the maintenance of electrical appliances and the most effective way to ensure that these regulations are met is through PAT testing.
This means you must take reasonable steps to protect your staff, customers and the public against harm or injury.
Under the The Health and Safety at Work act (HASWA) the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) can take legal action against you under criminal law if you fail to provide a safe working environment for your employees. This also applies if you were to cause injury or harm to a member of the public.
Electrical safety is a huge area for concern in the workplace, and you must take reasonable steps to manage and reduce the risk.
In order to ensure that your work place is safe, you should carry out a risk assessment of all of your business activities to identify hazards. The hazards you identify should then be managed. You should take all reasonable measures to identify risks with-in your work place and take precautionary steps to prevent harm or injury.
It is a legal requirement for companies with more than 5 employees to have a formal written Health & Safety policy. Your health & safety policy will include risk assessments that you have carried out to ensure your business activities are safe to do.
General risk management in regarding risk assessment is to manage possible risks and hazards by:
Identify - looks for potential risks, dangers and hazard
Analyse - look at the likelihood or outcomes / severity of an event which could be caused by the identified hazards.
Control - what measures can be put into place to either prevent or reduce the risks. One major hazard that you will identify is the use of electrical items and appliances. Any electrical faults could cause a fire, serious injury or even death.
Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment (ITEE) & Portable Appliance Testing contributes towards your Health and safety policies by ensuring that electrical equipment is safe for your staff to use and reduce and control hazards that could cause harm, injury or even death.
Electrical faults are a major cause of fire, and can cause serious harm, injuries or could even kill someone if they go un-noticed.
SRT PAT testing services based in Derby can help you by identifying risks before they cause harm. We can help removing hazards by carrying out repairs to damaged electrical equipment to ensure that they are in good safe condition.
During one of our recent PAT testing inspections we found the following electrical fault:
Whilst carrying out a PAT testing inspection of an accountant’s office in Derby we found a 13amp electrical plug that had become melted and burned. The plug had overheated and melted the plastic around the live pin and also caused damage to the wall socket.
This was caused by an over-loaded extension lead, this posed an electric shock risk to employees and if this was not spotted this could have continued to over-heat and caused a fire.
We carry out free minor repairs if we identify electrical faults. In this instance we also replaced the 13 amp plug on the extension lead and retested the extension lead. The customer’s landlord had to replace the wall socket.
We provided advice to the customer about the safe use of extension lead and that if they should consider having more electrical wall socks installed to cater for the number of electrical items they need to use instead of relying on multi-point extension leads.
How regularly does electrical equipment need to be inspected?
Your risk assessment will determine the level of risk that an electrical appliance poses to the user. Dependant on how often the equipment is used, if it is moved regularly, if the cables and power cards are likely to suffer damage will determine how regularly a piece of electrical equipment should be inspected and tested.
Power tools and electrical equipment that is handheld should be inspected more frequently, possible on a 3 monthly basis. Items such as electric drills used on a building site can suffer wear and tear under normal use which could lead to frayed cables and damaged casing which could cause harm to the user.
Larger appliances such as washing machines, computers and domestic style appliances such as kettles which are rarely moved should be inspected annually to ensure that they remain in good condition.
What will happen during our electrical safety PAT testing?
SRT PAT specialise in portable appliance and Testing of Electrical Equipment (ITEE) & Portable Appliance Testing for small businesses, sole traders, individual’s charities, community groups, clubs, private individuals and landlords based in and around Derby & Derbyshire.
We will meet you at your business premises at a date and time that suits you.
If you’re a sole trader or a mobile business, you can bring your items to us and we can efficiently test them whilst-you wait.
We will identify all electrical items in your premises that need to be tested
All appliances and electrical equipment will under-go a full visual inspection this includes checking the outside of the items casing, the condition of the wiring and cables, we will open the plug and check that the plug is wired in the right way and that the fuse is the right type.
We will carry out an earth continuity test with a PAT testing machine which will check the internal condition of the wiring to ensure it is wired correctly and that safety features such as the fuse or circuit breaker will function properly.
Items that fail either a visual test or an earth continuity test will be repaired free of charge if it is possible to do so and then they be retested.
When an item passes both of these checks we will fit a GREEN electrical safety test pass sticker – this will show the appliance ID, date tested, the test engineer’s initials and most importantly the next PAT test due date.
Any electrical items or appliances that fail our tests and can not be repaired will be fitted with a RED Failed electrical safety test sticker, and we will advise you to dispose of that appliance and get a replacement.
We will record a comprehensive list of all of the items we have tested. This will include the appliance ID, the location in your premises, the pass or fail, and observations. If an appliances fails our tests we will provide detail as to why it has failed.
We will send you our Portable Appliance Electrical inspection survey report which will list the details of all of the electrical appliances that we have tested and we will include health and safety advice to help you manage your business safely.
Who are our services intended for?
SRT PAT specialise in portable appliance and Testing of Electrical Equipment (ITEE) & Portable Appliance Testing for small businesses, sole traders, individual’s, charities, clubs, private individuals and landlords based in and around Derby & Derbyshire.
We provide in portable appliance (PAT) and Testing of Electrical Equipment (ITEE) inspections for small businesses and organisations in Derby City, Derbyshire and the East midlands.
Our services provide a vital contribution towards your business risk manage, health & safety and risk assessments to provide a safe working environment for your staff and customers.
Our PAT testing services are tailored to the needs of businesses based in and around Derby:
If your business is not listed above, please get in touch with us to discuss your requirements and we will advise if we can assist.