PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) testing is a vital element of any businesses health & safety policy.
Portable electrical appliances are responsible for around a quarter of all electrical related safety incidents. The Electricity at Work Regulations require employers, employees and self-employed persons to abide by these regulations and take sensible and practical measures to ensure that using portable appliances does not create a danger. What this means in practice, is that anyone responsible for the regulations implements a thorough and repeated program of maintaining and inspecting portable equipment. The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) introduced a legal obligation to carry out such testing as follows;
- Where portable appliances are used by employees of the business
- Where portable appliances are provided (e.g. hired out) to third parties
- Where the members of the public may use such equipment in locations such as schools, hospitals, factories, shops etc.
- Where portable appliances are fixed or mantained.
The inspection regime, i.e. the level and frequency of inspections, should reflect the likelihood of the equipment becoming faulty, and should take into account the location where the appliance is being used and the way it is being used.