1. What is PAT Testing?
PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing and is the process of checking electrical equipment is safe to be used. While a large part of the examination is visually checking the equipment for defects, additional tests are needed to rule out internal defects. These additional tests are conducted with PAT Testing machines, that test elements such as earth continuity and insulation resistance.
2. Does my Company Need to Conduct PAT Testing?
As the HSE states “The law simply requires an employer to ensure that their electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger.” PAT testing is the leading method of meeting this obligation. The obligation to provide a safe working environment is covered in several pieces of legislation (such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974) and as such should be taken seriously by all employers.
The frequency of testing, is dependent on the usage of and nature of your electrical appliances. For example, portable appliances such as construction tools will warrant more frequent testing than computers because they are constantly moved and used by many people; which increases the risk of damage to the equipment.
3. Do The Tests Need to be Done by an Electrician?
Not at all, the maintenance should be done by someone who is competent at the testing. So, if you undertake a PAT training course, you will be able to conduct the tests on behalf of your company. There are many benefits to bringing PAT testing in-house such as:
Full control over the frequency of testing.
No additional supervision required for the tester (this can be an issue in sensitive environments such as schools)
The tests will be conducted by someone who understands each piece of equipment, which would be beneficial if you have specialist equipment.
After the training and purchase of a PAT machine (c. £350), the cost of the testing is then absorbed into your usual monthly outgoings.
If you’re looking for friendly and cost effective PAT Test training, then SOA offer courses at our Dalton premises.