In: Portable Appliance Testing

The Electricity at Work Regulations apply legal responsibility on employers and employees in order to act accordingly with regulations and take reasonable steps to ensure that accidents do not result from the use of a portable appliance, which is why it is important to complete a portable appliance test (PAT). It is highly recommended that a portable appliance test (PAT) is completed in order to maintain health and safety at work. A portable appliance test (PAT) depends on the risk of the appliance becoming faulty.

The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) defines a portable appliance as “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 portable appliance test (PAT) a certain appliance requires because the type of portable appliance test (PAT) carried out varies depending on the size and usage of an appliance. An appliance which weighs less than 18kg requires a portable appliance test (PAT) to ensure that an appliance is able to move from one place to another whilst in use, this includes:

Hand – Held portable appliance test (PAT) – these are appointed to be held during normal use, e.g. a hair dryer.

I.T portable appliance test (PAT) – e.g. computers and mains powered photocopiers.

A portable appliance test (PAT) is completed by a qualified portable appliance tester or a trained portable appliance tester and there are several procedures involved in completing a portable appliance test (PAT). A portable appliance test (PAT) can be completed through combined inspections and are done at periodical intervals where it is vital that a portable appliance test (PAT) is measured at the degree of protection to maintain adequacy. During these intervals a formal visual inspection is completed followed by a portable appliance test (PAT). When completing a portable appliance test (PAT) it is essential that the interior of the plug is checked (unless it is molded or sealed), in this case of appliance testing bad internal wiring or an unsuitable fuse would classify the item as hazardous.

In the formal inspection of portable appliance test (PAT) there are certain signs to be aware of:

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

The formal portable appliance test (PAT) should also contain removal of the plug cover and an analysis of:

• The sufficient value fuse being used
• 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