In: PAT Testing

Electrical PAT checks consist of visual inspections of the appliance casing, plug damage and wiring, and an electrical test. Depending whether or not the appliance has passed or failed a label will be applied on each electrical appliance signifying whether the electrical equipment has failed or passed electrical PAT checks, along with an electrical PAT test certificate.

Electrical PAT checks are essential in regards to a company’s health & safety policy to ensure members of staff are not harmed or at danger by any electrical equipment within a business premises. Electrical PAT checks should be performed regularly to protect employees and customers against any accidents and liability within the workplace. Electrical PAT checks are scheduled by businesses in accordance with guidelines stated in the IEE Code of Practice.

Electrical PAT checks assess electrical equipment and guarantee that they are safe to use. In a place of work electrical PAT checks should be scheduled yearly in order to ensure maximum protection of employees and in order to protect the employer from being liable if equipment is faulty.

There is controversy whether electrical PAT checks are a legal requirement, however, it is not stated by law that PAT testing is vital, unless in a work place where all electrical appliances must be safe. When asked “What are electrical PAT checks?” the Government guidelines state that electrical PAT checks are the best way to guarantee electrical safety. If an accident were to occur due to a faulty unmaintained electrical appliance the company could be fined or even imprisoned.

Additionally, landlords may also ask “What are electrical PAT checks?” because they are obliged to test their electrical equipment on a regular basis, especially if they are renting the property through an estate agent. A landlord must provide electrical PAT checks in order to ensure that electrical appliances are safe for tenants. In factories, schools and other places of education electrical PAT checks may prevent fires and injuries which is why portable appliances need to be tested, and electrical PAT checks ensure this safety.

Without electrical PAT checks a fine of £5,000 per item could be incurred as a result of not complying with regulations, as well as six months imprisonment. Electrical PAT checks ensure that there is no danger of electrical equipment; however, without electrical PAT checks the person responsible could be charged with manslaughter, again, this would be a result of not complying with regulations. In addition, without electrical PAT checks the landlord may result in invalid property insurance, and it is a landlord’s responsibility to be vigilant in regards to electrical safety, if this is ignored and there is not an electrical PAT checks certificate presented the landlord may be sued by their tenant.

Electrical PAT checks are important because it is indefinite that electrical appliances will continue to operate correctly. When electrical appliances are brought onto a property, it is the owner or employer’s responsibility to ensure that it functions safely, therefore electrical PAT checks are strongly recommended. For portable electrical appliances electrical PAT checks should include an inventory and a recorded visual inspection/testing. Electrical appliances to consider electrical PAT checks for are:

• A domestic appliance, for example, kettles and vacuum cleaners
• Extension leads
• Mains-powered electrical appliances brought onto the premises, e.g. radio

By law, as a landlord or employer it is imperative to ensure that all electric appliances and systems are safe and electrical PAT checks are carried out. There are approximately 2,200 electrical fires in homes in the UK as a result of faulty appliances, even though the majority of the houses are insured; only a property which has had an electrical PAT test will be covered by their insurers. If a property undergoes electrical PAT checks it would exceptionally reduce the amount of fires and show that the owner or employer had acted responsibly towards the safety of the property and tenants. Electrical PAT checks reduce risks, possible problems to buildings and even prosecution which may otherwise cause injury. Hand held electrical appliances which are connected to an electrical supply or intended/capable of being moved whilst connected to the electricity supply would need to be attached to a plug and socket, which will require electrical PAT checks. Legislations state that all employers and employees are responsible to ensure all electrical installations and equipment used is safe, and electrical PAT checks reassure this.