Portable appliance testing ensures that electrical appliances are safe to use and are not at risk of electric shock or fire. It is the company’s/ landlords responsibility to see that portable appliance testing is carried out regularly and thoroughly. A portable appliance can be anything from a photocopier, to a microwave, a computer, to a vacuum cleaner. An easy way to determine whether the item is considered to be a portable appliance is that it is hand-held or can be moved while connected to an electricity supply, via a lead and a plug.
The IEE Code of Practice states that anyone carrying out a visual inspection and portable appliance testing must be competent and have due regard of the safety of themselves and others. It is essential that portable appliance testing is only undertaken by someone who is fully trained and will do a professional job. This is to ensure that there will be no dangers arising at a later date as a result of using equipment that has not been tested properly.
Once portable appliance testing has been carried out you will be issued with an Equipment Test Record, this indicates the test results and is proof that testing has been undertaken.
A combination of visual inspections and portable appliance testing results are recorded on the form along with details about the appliance and how often they would require tests being completed.
There are many different types of appliances, some of which will require portable appliance testing more frequently than others. This will depend on how likely they are to be damaged whilst being used and how often the appliance is used. The following are the different categories of equipment/ appliances and their risk/ requirement for more regular portable appliance testing from highest to lowest:
Another factor influencing the regularity of portable appliance testing requirements is the environment. Below are the risks of damage from highest probability to lowest.
Equipment used by the public
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