Accidents in the workplace can never be predicted, but that’s not to say there aren’t many ways the risks of such accidents can be heavily reduced. As an employer, you are legally required to ensure a safe environment for your employees – and that’s why portable appliance testing (PAT) is a must. As one of the top electrical contractors in Liverpool [http://www.bd-electricalliverpool.co.uk/about-us/], we thought we’d shed some light on the importance of this incredibly effective way to reduce risk.
What the Law Says
Around 25% of all electrical accidents are due to faulty portable appliances, and thus the Health and Safety At Work Act (1974) placed an obligation on employers to take reasonable and practical steps in ensuring that no danger comes from where employees use electrical equipment, or where appliances may be used by the public (in hotels, shops etc).
PAT is based on the ‘Code of practice for in-service and testing of electrical equipment’ document published by the Institution of Electrical Engineers. Within that document includes the type of electrical equipment, the nature of its use, the environment in which it will be used and, finally, its fault risk level. All of this determines the level of inspection and testing required.
While it may appear simple to some, a PAT involves some complex procedures that can involve several examinations with multiple variants. That’s why, when it comes to electrical PAT testing, it should always be conducted by someone with the right knowledge, such as a qualified electrician or an electrical tester, using reliable equipment.
Electrical multimeters and portable appliance testers are the main types of equipment used in PAT testing. They come in a range of models and sizes so that specific appliances can be tested.
When the test is complete, and if the appliance has passed (as you’ll have seen in many workplaces), a green ‘Pass’ label will be placed on it, most likely near the plug, marking that the appliance has met the required parameters. In the case of an appliance not meeting these parameters, it will be marked with a ‘FAIL’ label. These labels will have a recorded date of when the test took place, and when the next should take place.
PAT testing is important whether in the workplace or in the home and can vastly reduce any electrical risk. At B-D electrical, we can provide PAT testing; contact us for more information.