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How Often Should Electrical Equipment Be PAT Tested?

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how often should electrical equipment be pat tested

PAT testing is a key requirement when it comes to electrical compliance, as well as health and safety more broadly. It’s important that electrical equipment is PAT tested often enough to keep your business compliant and your staff or tenants safe.

But just how often is PAT testing required by law? And how often should PAT testing be carried out based on that? Read on as we provide the answers.

How often is PAT testing required?

The Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) don’t cover how often PAT testing is required. Nor do they specify that PAT testing is a legal requirement. What they do say, however, is that it’s an employer’s responsibility to make sure portable electrical items are well maintained and safe to operate.

Given that PAT testing is the best way of doing so, it’s highly advisable to carry out regular PAT testing on all portable electric items and appliances at your premises. In doing so, items will be given a PAT test certificate which details when the test took place, any recommendations for repair and a date when the next test is due.

How often should PAT testing be carried out?

Because there isn’t a legal requirement to carry out PAT testing per se, many businesses remain unclear on how often electrical equipment should be PAT tested. In truth, it depends on the type of equipment, how often it’s used, and the environment in which it’s being used.

Firstly, equipment can be split into class one or class two:

  • Class one appliances rely on an earth connection for protection alongside their basic insulation – including fridges, toasters, microwaves and kettles
  • Class two appliances are equipped with supplementary insulation (double-insulated) – such as computers, photocopiers and power tools

Secondly you need to consider the risk level involved in different work environments. Some examples include:

  • Offices, retail units and hotels – low risk
  • Schools and hospitals – low to medium risk
  • Industrial buildings (factories and workshops, for instance) – medium risk
  • Gyms – high risk
  • Construction sites – extremely high risk

Thirdly it is also advised to consider any manufacturer’s recommendations, how old the item is, how often it’s used, any potential misuse of the item, whether the item has been repaired or altered, and the item’s individual history.

With so many factors to consider, the frequency of inspection and testing should be determined by a risk assessment completed by a person competent in electrical safety. Following their recommendations is the best way to ensure that your electrical items are safe.

PAT testing your equipment

If you’re unsure about how often PAT testing should be done on your electrical equipment, the best advice is to speak to an expert. At Volta Compliance, we have a wealth of experience providing professional PAT testing services to business in Leeds and the surrounding areas.

Our team will provide clear, honest advice about how often PAT testing is required to keep your company compliant and your staff safe. Contact us today to arrange a site visit or to ask any questions about our PAT testing services.

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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.