PAT Testing and Its Legal Obligation for Businesses

We hear the question oftentimes ‘What is a PAT test?" This is why we tried creating a guide that answers every question that you may have related to PAT testing.

We hear the question oftentimes ‘What is a PAT test?” This is why we tried creating a guide that answers every question that you may have related to PAT testing. The post is for your understanding about how PAT testing companies in London work.
Besides we will cover the topic of the legal requirements of PAT testing. Keep on reading if you want to understand the legal obligations of your business or the industry you are in.

PAT Testing
PAT Testing and Its Legal

What is a PAT test, anyway?

It is nothing but a routine inspection of certain electrical appliances to evaluate if they are safe to use. The main purpose of the test is to prevent accidents that could result from electrical faults in a workplace.
The test should include the combination of a visual inspection and a detailed check with the help of specialist PAT testing equipment. Earth continuity, insulation resistance, and lead polarity checks are some of the PAT tests.
A PAT insulation test is needed for certain appliances that need a reduced test.
At the end of the test, the appliances are marked ‘passed’ or ‘failed’ depending on their condition. Please bear in mind that not all electrical items need to undergo the test.
There are total 7 categories of electrical appliances that are ideal for PAT testing or maybe visual inspections, including:
⦁ Fixed appliances
⦁ IT appliances
⦁ Cables and chargers
⦁ Stationary appliances
⦁ Moveable appliances
⦁ Hand Held appliances
⦁ Portable appliances

Is it a legal requirement?

Essentially, PAT testing is not a legal requirement. However, according to the current UK legislation, businesses must keep their electrical equipment safe at all times. They have a legal responsibility to maintain the safety of workers and the public, too.
Since PAT testing helps you to ensure the same, it has emerged as a standard way of living up to this legal requirement for high-risk and complex environments.

Are there any penalties if you do not meet the legal obligations?

This depends on the severity of the case. You will have to face a penalty for not being able to meet legal obligations on electrical appliance safety. It can be imprisonment of 2 years or a financial penalty.

Which appliances need to be PAT tested?

Two main factors determine whether an item needs PAT testing, including the electrical ‘class’ of the item, and the ‘category’ of the item.

What is an ‘electrical class’s in PAT testing?

Appliances are usually categorized as Class 1, 2 or 3. Class 1 means the item is the most dangerous one and Class 3 denotes the least dangerous.

This categorization helps determine whether an appliance needs PAT testing and to what degree. Usually, class 1 appliances require a full test, class 2 appliances demand a PAT insulation test, and class 3 appliances need none.

How often should appliances be PAT tested?

While there are no set rules, the regulations demonstrate that you should take an ‘appropriate’ level of precaution to ensure safety. Depending on the 3 main criteria, PAT testing frequency is observed. They include the risk level of the working environment, the electrical class and the category of the appliance.
It is recommended to take some factors into consideration to determine the frequency of PAT testing in London. They include the manufacturer’s recommendations, the age of the appliance, frequency of its use, any misuse of the equipment, effects of any repairs or modifications, and the history of the appliance, among others.

How to know if your business is high, medium or low risk?

3 main factors need to be taken into account while assessing the risk of your business for PAT testing. They include the risk level of the environment, the type of equipment and the operator.
For instance, in a workplace where an appliance is static and a team is using it every day, less risk is there than it is on a construction site.
On the other hand, on a construction site, potentially dangerous appliances are in regular use. Groups of workers operate the same appliance, indicating a higher risk.

Can your business carry out its own PAT testing?

It is possible for your business to carry out its own PAT tests. However, it is only effective as long as the individual doing the testing is competent enough to do the test. The person should have adequate and appropriate knowledge of electricity, ample experience in electrical work, and can carry out a visual inspection and a PAT test. He or she must also be familiar with the potential hazards and precautions to take during the test. He or she must be able to decide on the continuity of the test.
Hopefully, we have covered every area of PAT testing to help you have a fair idea. Whether you are a commercial or residential property owner needing a competent PAT tester, make sure you search online to have your hands on the best on the market.
Since you are a layman, relying on a professional for PAT testing can go a long way in ensuring the safety of the appliances and the people working under you.

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