Information on PAT testing frequency is presented in The Memorandum of Guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulations which states that “regular” inspection of equipment is an essential part of any preventative maintenance program”. The Health & Safety Executive offers no specific information on the frequency of PAT testing. The reason for this is clear; different situations require different measures in order to meet the requirement, which is preventing danger.
Information on what the PAT testing engineer will inspect:
• Information on environment – appliances installed in a harmless surrounding will be less likely to suffer damage
• Information on maintenance and awareness – if users report damage as and when it becomes evident, hazards will be avoided. However, equipment which is used more often requires more frequent PAT testing.
• Information on equipment construction – the safety of a Class I appliance is dependant upon a connection with earth of the electrical installation.
• Information on equipment type – appliances which are hand held are more likely to be damaged than fixed appliances. If they are Class I the risk of danger is increased.
Information on what PAT testing is: PAT testing was established to enable companies and organisations to adhere to the Electricity at Work Regulations. To meet these regulations it is necessary to have in place a procedure of inspection and PAT testing.
Information on PAT testing requirements: To comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations all portable electrical appliances should be frequently inspected and tested by a “competent person”. The regulations apply equally to small companies and the self employed as to the larger organisations.
Information on which electrical appliances require PAT testing:
• Information on PAT testing hand – held appliances: these are appointed to be held during normal use, e.g. a hair dryer.
• Information on stationary PAT testing: these are appliances which weigh over 18kg and are not provided with a carrier handle, e.g. a refrigerator.
• Information on fixed appliance PAT testing: equipment which is fastened or secured to a specific location, e.g. a bathroom heater.
• Information on PAT testing for Appliances for Building in: This is equipment which is to be installed in a prepared area, such as a cupboard.
• Information on I.T PAT testing: such as computers and mains powered photocopiers.
Information on frequency of PAT testing: The frequency of PAT testing depends on the usage, environment and location of the appliance which requires PAT testing. Equipment which is in a dangerous environment is more likely to be damaged. If users are aware of information regarding hazardous appliances, this will reduce the amount faulty appliances. The type of equipment determines the frequency of PAT testing because a hand-held appliance is more likely to be damaged than a fixed appliance.