In: PAT Testing

PATTESTING is an important sector of health and safety policies which contain legal and technical requirements. It has been recorded by the Health & Safety Executive that 25% of all reported electrical accidents are a result of a faulty portable appliance, which is why PATTESTING is required. The Electricity at Work Regulations apply legal responsibilities on employers and employees in order to act accordingly with the provisions of the regulations and take reasonable steps to ensure that no accidents result from the use of a portable appliance, which is why it is important to complete PATTESING. It is imperative that PATTESTING is completed in order to maintain the health and safety at work. PATTESTING depends on the risk of the appliance becoming faulty.

The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) recommend that PATTESTING is required for “any electrical item which is intended to be moved whilst connected to an electrical supply”. The IEE Code of Practice highlights regulations on which type of PATTESTING a certain appliance requires because the type of test carried out varies depending on the size and usage of an appliance. An appliance which weighs less than 18kg requires PATTESTING to ensure that an appliance is able to move from one place to another whilst in use, this includes:

Hand – Held PATTESTING – appliances appointed to be held during normal use, e.g. a hair dryer.

I.T PATTESTING – computers and mains powered photocopiers.

How is PATTESTING done? PATTESTING is completed by a qualified portable appliance tester/trained portable appliance tester and there are several procedures involved in PATTESTING.

One way how to complete a PATTESTING inspection is where the PATTESTING tester visually scrutinizes an appliance, in particular the plug and cables will require PATTESTING in order to recognise signs of hazard. This is an affective method of PATTESTING because according to the HSE this approach to PATTESTING can find more than 90% of faults, thus, it is a vital mechanism for the maintenance of a portable appliance.

An additional approach of how to complete PATTESTING is through user checks. This procedure is where users are advised on how to avoid any potential danger, for example, a frayed cable or cracked plug. If this is the case then an individual partaking in PATTESTING is advised that the plug is not to be tampered with.

PATTESTING can also be completed through combined inspections which are done at periodical intervals and it is important to measure the degree of safety to maintain adequacy. During these intervals a formal visual inspection is completed. When PATTESTING it is essential that the interior of the plug is checked (unless it is moulded or sealed), in this case of PATTESTING bad internal wiring or an unsuitable fuse would classify the item as hazardous.

In the formal inspection of a PATTESTING there are certain signs to be aware of:

• Wreckage of the mains plug
• Overheating
• Damage to external casing of the equipment, or loose parts and/or screws

The formal PATTESTING procedure should also contain removal of the plug cover and an analysis of:

• The cord grip has a tight hold of the outer part of the cable
• The Live, Neutral and Earth wires are attached to the correct terminals
• No visible bare wires
• Tight and secure screwing of the terminal screws
• Signs of internal drainage