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Below you can find a bit of information about Pat Testing and why it is important that you have your electrical equipment checked regularly.

Pat testing or portable appliance testing is an important part of any health & safety policy. Did you know that The Health & Safety Executive states that 25% of all reportable electrical accidents involve portable appliances.

The Electricity at Work Regulations place a legal responsibility on employers, employees and self-employed persons to comply with the provisions of the regulations and take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that no danger results from the use of such equipment. This in effect requires the implementation of a systematic and regular program of maintenance, inspection and testing. The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) places such an obligation in the following circumstances:

1. Where appliances are used by employees.

2. Where the public may use appliances in establishments such as hospitals, schools, hotels, shops etc.

3. Where appliances are supplied or hired.

4. Where appliances are repaired or serviced.

The level of inspection and testing required is dependant upon the risk of the appliance becoming faulty, which is in turn dependant upon the type of appliance, the nature of its use and the environment in which it is used.

What is classed as a Portable Equipment?

Portable equipment is regarded as electrical items weighing less than 18kg and which can be moved in operation or which can easily be moved from one place to another. The best way to look at it is anything electrical item that plugs in to the mains working off 230v domestic or 110v industrial.


Examples of items that need testing

The are but a few examples of items that require pat testing and please also note that if the main power lead to an item can be unplugged that that is called as a separate item and does require its own test.

Toaster, food mixer, vacuum cleaner, fan heater, t.v video recorder, dvd player, computer tower, monitor, radio, table lamp, power leads and extension cables.

Visual Inspections

A visual inspections should be carried out by a competent member of staff who knows what to look at, what to look for and how to avoid danger to themselves and others. This type of inspection does not require the use of any specialist test equipment as it is purely a visual inspection. When carrying out a visual check you should

1. The cord grip is holding the outer part of the cable tightly.

2. No bare wire is visible on the cables.

3. The plug head is not damaged in any way.

If any item fails on any one of these checks it should be taken out of service immediately and a manager informed of the finding so that the required repairs can be made to it by a suitably qualified person.
Please note it is very important for you to understand that a visual inspection should not include taking the equipment itself apart in any way.