Annual Pat Testing and How Can It Help in Business
What is PAT testing?
PAT testing is a periodic inspection of electrical appliances for checking their safety. The purpose of Annual Pat Testing is the prevention of electrical hazards. A complete PAT test includes both visual and operational inspection of electric tools and equipment.
These tests include lead polarity, insulation resistance, and earth continuity. Some of the appliances will only require a test called the “reduced test”.
This is called a PAT insulation test. Once the test is done and the appliance is found to be in good condition, it is marked as “passed”. If the appliance fails the test, it is marked “failed”. Record is maintained of PAT testing for future reference or legal purposes if required.
What does PAT mean?
‘PAT’ is the abbreviation of Portable Appliance Testing. The present legislation does not exactly define a “portable appliance”, it just gives a basic definition of “any appliance which has a plug and can be plugged into a wall outlet”.
There are seven types of appliances that are included in PAT testing
- Fixed Electrical Installation Testing
- IT appliances
- Stationary appliances
- Moveable appliances
- Portable appliances
- Hand-Held appliances
Is PAT testing required by law?
It is not a statutory requirement to carry out PAT testing. However, the prevent legislation makes it obligatory to maintain all electrical appliances and equipment so that they are harmless to people.
The legislation also makes it a legal responsibility for ensuring employee safety. PAT testing, therefore, is highly recommended because it is the most convenient and effective way to check and maintain electrical appliances.
Are there any penalties for not complying with legal obligations?
Businesses can be penalized for not meeting legal obligations regarding electrical appliances. The penalty can be financial fines as well as imprisonment.
Whose responsibility it is to keep appliances safe?
It is the Employer’s responsibility to ensure the safety of electrical appliances. Companies often hire a professional to ensure compliance with regulations.
Which items need PAT testing?
Appliances are tested based on two factors:
- Electrical class
There are three classes of electrical appliances: Class 1, 2, and 3 . Class 1 is considered to be the riskiest while class 3 is considered to be the least risky. Class 1 are appliances that have basic insulation and rely on earthling.
They require a complete PAT test. Class 2 appliances have extra insulation and require PAT insulation testing. Class 3 category has very low voltage and only their charging cables may require PAT testing. Fixed Electrical Installation Testing is also carried out.
How often do you require PAT testing?
Regulations do not mention any specific period for PAT testing. However, they mention that appropriate precautions have to be taken to ensure safety. The appropriate frequency of PAT testing depends on:
- Working environment Risk level.
- Electrical class
- Appliance category
- Manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations
- Appliance age
- Usage frequency
- Repairs or modifications
- History of the appliance
The best way to ensure safety is to carry out Annual Pat Testing. It could keep a check on your appliances and you can get them repaired or replaced in time.
How to identify if your business is low, medium, or high risk?
Three main factors need to be taken into consideration for identifying the risk level of your business. These include:
- Environment risk level
- Equipment type
- The employee responsible for the operation
For instance, in a workplace where equipment is Fixed Electrical Installation Testing and a regular team uses it every day, there is relatively less risk compared to a construction site where portable ( hand-held) dangerous tools are regularly used and workers plug and un-plug them frequently.
Can a business do PAT testing itself?
If you have hired someone who qualifies as being a competent person as described in the regulations, you can conduct your PAT testing yourself. The competent person should:
- have appropriate electrical knowledge
- have sufficient electrical work experience
- be able to carry out visual inspections easily
- know everything about PAT testing and carry it out
- have a basic understanding of potential hazards and take necessary precautions
You can train your staff to carry out PAT testing. We. We recommend training them by making them go through PAT testing courses to carry out PAT testing in the right way.
What do you get after PAT testing?
Once the Annual Pat Testing of your workplace is complete, the technician will issue you a certificate for future reference, and legal purposes. You also get the comfort of knowing that your business site and your employees are safe.