All business owners need to ensure that they are compliant with PAT testing requirements, legislation which requires them to look after their employee’s and customer’s health benefits. 30 people die in the United Kingdom every year because of accidents that cause direct contact with electricity, and 25% of all electricity-related accidents occur during portable appliance use.
What happens during PAT testing?
You can call in an accredited PAT inspector to come in and check your appliances. The inspector will check the appliance plug tops for any damage and also check the cord grip and tightness of the terminals. Appliances may not have any holes bigger than 6mm radius in them. The inspector will also be able to give you PAT testing information on any of your electrical appliances.
As a guideline you can expect to pay between £1 and £2 per appliance that needs testing, but if you have a large order you need help with there is a chance you could get a bulk discount. If you are going to need to have PAT testing done regularly it may be worthwhile becoming accredited to do it yourself, and save some money and inconvenience over the long term. For people who are not qualified or competent working with electricity or electrical appliances it is advisable to have a professional come in and help you.
What equipment is used for PAT testing?
If you would prefer to do your own testing there is a range of machines on the market available to help you. A basic machine, which is the most cost effective, should allow for around 300 tests, although you won’t be able to do downloads or save anything to memory. For a novice though, it is the best option and the best way to start out. You can get more advanced machines that offer both basic and advanced tests, which might serve you better if you have a lot of equipment that needs to be tested on a regular basis.
What appliances need PAT testing?
Any appliance that has a cord and a plug and needs to be attached to a power source in order to work needs to have regular PAT testing.
Equipment that is connected to the mains and has insulation, along with live and earth points is categorized as class one equipment. Equipment that has two layers of insulation and no exposed metal work, like desk calculators and dictation machines, is considered class two equipment. Appliances that operate on less than 50v and do not have metal work are considered class three and all require regular PAT testing.