Have you had your PAT testing done guys?

I know it’s a pain we have to do it to but it’s worth it to keep our staff safe and health and safety off our back. 

I get asked the same questions about this all the time so below I have added some of the most common. 

If you haven’t got time to read them I understand leave it to us. Reply to this email and we can book you in. 


PAT - Portable appliance testing FAQs

There are many common myths about portable appliance testing (PAT) - find out the key facts about the inspection and testing of portable electrical equipment here.

What is Portable appliance testing?

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect can't be detected by testing alone.

A relatively brief user check (based upon simple training and perhaps assisted by the use of a brief checklist) can be a very useful part of any electrical maintenance regime. However, more formal visual inspection and testing by a competent person may also be required at appropriate intervals, depending upon the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used


I’ve being told that, by law, I must have my portable appliances tested every year. Is that correct?


The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. However, the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently (i.e. they don't make inspection or testing of electrical appliances a legal requirement, nor do they make it a legal requirement to undertake this annually).


How frequently do I need to test my electrical appliances? 

The frequency of inspection and testing depends upon the type of equipment and the environment it is used in. For example, a power tool used on a construction site should be examined more frequently than a lamp in a hotel bedroom. For guidance on suggested frequencies of inspection and testing.


Do I need to keep records of testing and do I need to put stickers on my appliances? 

There is no legal requirement to label equipment that has been inspected or tested, nor is there a requirement to keep records of these activities. However, a record and / or labeling can be a useful management tool for monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the maintenance scheme – and to demonstrate that a scheme exists. 

Do I need test equipment?

New equipment should be supplied in a safe condition and not require a formal portable appliance inspection or test. However, a simple visual check is recommended to verify the item is not damaged.

I have being told I need to get an electrician to do my portable appliance testing, is that right?

The person doing testing work needs to competent to do it. In many low-risk environments, a sensible (competent) member of staff can undertake visual inspections if they have enough knowledge and training. However, when undertaking combined inspection and testing, a greater level of knowledge and experience is needed, and the person will need:

the right equipment to do the tests

the ability to use this test equipment properly

the ability to properly understand the test results


Where can I get more information about maintaining portable appliance equipment?

Maintaining portable and transportable electrical equipment

Maintaining portable electric equipment in offices and other low-risk environments

Information is also available in: Work using electrically powered equipment.


Is portable appliance testing compulsory? 

No. The law simply requires an employer to ensure that their electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger. It does not say how this should be done or how often. Employers should take a risk-based approach, considering the type of equipment and what it is being used for. If it is used regularly and moved a lot e.g. a floor cleaner or a kettle, testing (along with visual checks) can be an important part of an effective maintenance regime giving employers confidence that they are doing what is necessary to help them meet their legal duties. HSE provides guidance on how to maintain equipment including the use of PAT.


So there you have it. 

Commercial and Industrial Electrical Services Coventry, Nuneaton, Bedworth.

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We work with domestic properties and businesses of all shapes and sizes, from socket installation to rewires to Periodic Inspection Reports to LED Lighting. Whoever you are, whatever you need, our tailored services mean you get what you want when you want it.

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We don’t mess around who’s got the time – we know you’re busy and by looking after people who need us like you so are we. 

Contact us now to find out how we can help you.

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