Read on as we tackle both of those points…
PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing. That may seem a bit odd, given that PAT testing consequently means ‘portable appliance testing testing’ – but it’s simply down to PAT being abbreviated so commonly.
Because of the above, it’s sometimes known as PA Testing. However, given that it’s much easier and quicker to say “PAT testing”, this is definitely the most common name.
PAT testing is a way of inspecting and testing portable appliances in line with the 1989 Electricity at Work Regulations. In short, appliances must be tested for three key safety and function aspects – lead polarity, insulation resistance and earth continuity.
It applies to a vast array of appliances and machines that are plugged into your mains – not just those you would associate with being ‘portable’, including:
PAT testing deems whether portable appliances are safe to use or unsafe. If it’s the latter, it will need to be removed from use with immediate effect. Meanwhile, safe items will be labelled with an appliance ID, date of test, and a date for when the next test is required.
While it’s not a legal obligation in itself, 1989 Electricity at Work regulation 4(2) states:
“As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger”
Put simply, PAT testing is a reasonably practicable way to prevent danger in the workplace.
If accidents occur, the courts will usually look for PAT testing (along with other checks) to see if you’ve done your bit to protect your staff. Failure to keep up with PAT tests is typically seen as a failure to keep your workplace safe.
The result? Financial penalties and even imprisonment. In 2016, Wingate Electrical was fined £225,000 for failing to inspect equipment and failing to isolate a high voltage power supply. These failings resulted in a worker suffering life-changing burn injuries, enduring a serious electric shock and spending almost a month in a coma.
Whether you want to avoid fines and penalties, maintain compliance (and the peace of mind that comes with it), or just provide a safe working environment for your staff or visitors, Volta Compliance is on hand to help.
Our certified electricians can complete PAT testing for all your eligible portable appliances, including a thorough visual inspection and rigorous electrical test. Sound good? Give us a call on 0113 397 1361 or email [email protected] for a bespoke, no obligation quote.