Pat Testing: What Is It, What’s The Law, And How Often Is It Needed?

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April 19, 2022
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UPDATED: 
April 19, 2022
Pat Testing: What Is It, What’s The Law, And How Often Is It Needed?

Electricity is the main reason for fire accidents in the UK. Did you know that 9/10 of accidental electrical fires are caused due to faulty electrical products? 

In a few unfortunate scenarios, people have lost their lives, while others are left severely injured. The motive for telling you this dreadful statistic is that there has been a fall in safety practices. 

More reason why PAT testing needs to be done adeptly is to ensure the safety of everyone in the commercial, business, and public buildings.

So, what is PAT testing? What's the legal requirement, and how frequently is it required?

What Is PAT Testing?

Every business is talking about Portable Appliance Testing– but what's the big deal?

Portable Appliance Testing, widely known as PAT Testing, is how electrical appliances are inspected and visually reviewed. It assures that everyone from staff to customers doesn’t get harmed in any way. 

Ok, so now we know that PAT Testing is a crucial segment of any corporation's Health & Safety Policy. 

Is PAT Testing A Legal Requirement In London?

PAT testing in London is not a lawful responsibility, but current UK legislation states that businesses must meet the provisions of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.  

For example, office machines - computers, fax machines, or extension leads might require complete testing. A responsible employer should take this into account to reduce the risk of electrical shocks. Therefore, if you live in London and look for competent, skilled engineers to test your office's equipment, hire only certified PAT Testing London professionals. 

Moreover, it is the most effective way to ensure your business is safe. If you cannot meet the statutory obligations on electrical apparatus safety, you get a penalty as high as two years imprisonment and a monetary fine.

Who Is Liable To Carry Out Testing?

Not everyone can conduct these safety tests. To perform PAT Testing, one should have proper knowledge and experience to ensure that devices are in satisfactory condition. In case a business wants to carry out its own PAT test, the person should be competent and should have: 

  • Decent knowledge of electricity
  • Skills to carry out visual inspection
  • Understand potential hazards
  • Procedure to carry out PAT test
  • Course certificate

Under guidance provided in the IET Code of Practice, the most effective and trustworthy approach to testing electrical appliances is via a certified PAT professional.

Where the tester not just conducts inspection but also tests appliances by the lead polarity, earth continuity, and insulation resistance. It might sound tricky, but it's actually a quick procedure. A successful apparatus obtains a safety sticker and barcode for ease of tracking. 

How Often Should PAT Take Place?

It is not mandatory to execute appliance testing, and it also doesn't specify how often PAT is needed. According to experts in London, the best practice to get a PAT test is after every year. 

Remember, "Electricity is a safe energy source when we treat it with care. If we do not, that is when issues emerge." 

So choose the PAT tester wisely for your business!

Author

  • Chuck is Score LA’s Executive Director of Events and Marketing. He aims to help business owners and would-be entrepreneurs in Los Angeles improve their business practices.

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