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Can I PAT Test My Own Appliances?

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can i pat test my own appliances?

PAT testing is vital to make sure your electrical appliances are safe, efficient and fully functional. But as a business owner or site manager, it’s only natural that you’ll be wondering whether you can do it yourself. After all, it would save you money and eliminate the hassle of getting another contractor in.

In this post, we’ll discuss whether that’s an option and what’s best for your commercial site.

Who can carry out PAT testing?

In most cases, people asking the question above will be looking for the legal requirements when it comes to PAT testing. However, as strange as it may seem, PAT testing itself hasn’t yet been made a legal requirement.

Instead, the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) simply state that employers are responsible for making sure portable electrical items are well maintained and safe to operate. Because PAT testing is a simple, effective and recordable way of doing so, it’s become the go-to option for the vast majority of businesses.

That said, the same regulations do provide a better idea of who can carry out such work. Regulation 16Persons to be competent to prevent danger and injury – outlines that nobody should engage in activities where they don’t possess the required technical knowledge or experience to prevent danger or injury.

More specifically, the regulation outlines some key criteria for that technical knowledge or experience:

  • Knowledge of electricity
  • Experience of the electrical work being carried out
  • An understanding of the system being worked on
  • An understanding of possible hazards and precautions that need to be taken
  • The ability to recognise whether it’s safe for work to continue

The importance of a truly competent person

While the Electricity at Work Regulations are relatively clear on what’s classed as ‘competent’, there’s still a bit of wiggle room and ambiguity. As a result, some people might decide that they’re competent despite not having the experience or qualifications to back it up.

This poses two main problems. Firstly, letting someone attempt PAT testing without the right experience and know-how will pose a significant safety risk to them as well as anyone using the equipment.

Secondly, it would eliminate the essential purpose of PAT testing. The very point of PAT testing is peace of mind. By cutting corners with someone who’s not competent, you wouldn’t be truly assured that your appliances are safe.

Nor would you be covered if something went wrong with those appliances further down the line. When it comes to the crunch, if an appliance was faulty and someone got hurt in your workplace, would saying ‘I thought I was competent’ stand up in court?

Competent, qualified and experienced

Our verdict on PAT testing your own appliances? It’s really not worth it. PAT testing is about safety, reassurance and electrical compliance. The only way to combine all three is with a company that knows PAT testing like the back of their hand.

That’s exactly what we provide at Volta Compliance, with approval from both NICEIC and SafeContractor. Our PAT testing services will ensure all your portable appliances are in full working order, safe to use, and operating at their very best. We’ve been doing it for companies across Yorkshire for the past 20 years.

Request a quote today by calling 0113 397 1361 or emailing [email protected].


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Richard Carr Volta Compliance
Richard Carr
Managing Director
Richard is the Director of Volta Compliance. He is a fully qualified approved electrician graded with the JIB. Richard has over 20 years electrical experience working on commercial and industrial installations.