Why does my office or workplace need PAT testing?

This is a question i get asked a lot.

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition so no harm can come to colleagues, customers or the general public.

You could be liable and invalidate your insurance without PAT Testing!

The aim of PAT testing is to review all electrical equipment in its environment and make sure that there is no risk of injury. Sometimes sockets can be overloaded, plugs have incorrect fuse types or cables have become worn overtime.

By having your electrical equipment PAT tested by a qualified electrician, your business will comply with

  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations
  • HSE requirements and ISO standards
  • Insurance company requirements
  • Fire risk assessment

The GOOD news is that you don’t need PAT testing every year!

Depending on the type and use of equipment, not all electrical equipment requires PAT testing every year.

We’ve produced this guide on PAT Testing and the frequency you need to adhere to it for different appliances.

Type of Installation

Maximum Period between Inspections and Testing

Change of Occupancy/ Change of Use

Domestic

Not Needed

Not Needed

Commercial

Every 5 years

within 1 Year

Schools/Colleges

Every 5 Years

within 1 Year

Hospitals

Every 5 Years

within 1 Year

Industrial

Every 3 Years

within 1 Year

Offices

Every 5 Years

within 1 Year

Shops/Retail Outlets

Every 5 Years

within 1 Year

Laboratories

Every 5 Years

within 1 Year

Buildings Open to the Public

Every 5 Years

within 1 Year

Cinemas

Years 2, 6 and 7

within 4 months

Church Installations

Every 5 Years

within 1 Year

Leisure Complexes

Years 1, 2 and 6

within 4 months

Place of Public Entertainment

Years 1, 2 and 6

within 1 Year

Restaurants and Hotels

Years 1, 2 and 6

within 4 Months

Theatres

Years 2, 6 and 7

within 4 Months

Public Houses

Years 1, 2 and 6

within 1 Year

Village Halls

Every 5 Years

within 1 Year

Agriculture

Every 3 Years

within 1 Year

Caravans

Every 3 Years

within 1 Year

Marinas

Every Year

within 4 Months

Emergency Lighting

Years 2, 3 and 4

within 1 Year

Fire Alarms

Years 2, 3 and 4

within 1 Year

Petrol Filling Station

1, 2 and 6 Years

within 1 Year

Construction Site

1 and 2 Years

within 3 Months

What actually gets tested?

A PAT Test (Portable Appliance Testing) starts with a visual check of the electrical item’s lead and then the appliance itself. I first check if the plugs meet current standards, and then check the fuse to make sure it is the correct rating and it complies with BS1362. I then check all wiring within the plug.

The lead to the electric appliance is then checked for obvious kinks and breaks. The electric appliance is then thoroughly looked over for cracks or exposed metal parts due to missing covers.

Once I’ve completed the visual check, the electric appliance is then tested using a PAT machine, calibrated to pre-set current industry standards, by our electrician. If successful, a Pass Label is printed off and attached to the electric appliance detailing its assigned asset number, when it was tested, next re-test date and who tested it.

Comprehensive Reporting is the answer

Once I’ve completed all the testing of all the electrical appliances, you’ll get a comprehensive report detailing your asset description, the tests each item was put through, test readings, status pass/fail and test/re-test dates. This report can then be used to confirm you have complied with all regulations and it can be kept for any Health and Safety audits.

 

 

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