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    PAT Testing

    Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is a test completed regularly to prevent electrical accidents occurring. This is a process by which electrical appliances are routinely checked to see whether they are safe. Many people see PAT testing to be a simple procedure where it is about “sticking labels on every appliance they can find”. However the procedure itself, when completed correctly, is extremely important. This is done thoroughly, and forms an important part of any Health & Safety policy.


    According to the Health and Safety Executive, there are approximately 1,000 major electrical related injuries reported each year. These can involve burns and electrical shocks and of these injuries around 30 of them are fatal.

    The government in their latest Fire Statistics Bulletin, report that 5,391 fires were caused by “other electrical appliances” in 2006. Of these fires, 907 caused some kind of casualty and of those, 12 were fatal. A proper program of PAT Testing is essential to help ensure that electrical related accidents are prevented.

    As Lord McKenzie, Minister responsible for Health and Safety, said recently:

    There is a strong business case for responsible health and safety at work and some employers clearly fail to take seriously the risks that many of their employees face each day. The government is committed to tackling the toll of workplace ill-health, injury and death and call on all employers to ensure that their workforce stays healthy.


    The Electricity at Work Regulations state in Regulation 4(2) that:

    As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger.

    This regulation concerns the need for maintenance to be done as a precautionary measure to ensure safety of the system if danger would otherwise result. Maintenance should be performed on a regular basis in order to be sufficient to forestall any dangerous situations from occurring so far as is reasonably practicable.

    The equipment should be examined regularly and electrical testing should be carried out for the purposes of preventive care. Real-world experience on the use of equipment and conditions prevailing can indicate a change to the frequency at which preventive maintenance needs to be done. This is an issue for the responsible person to judge. They need to locate all data needed to make the right judgment on pat testing, including referring to the manufacturers guidelines.


    In order to prevent danger, all electrical equipment and systems should be maintained on a regular basis. Each and every piece of electrical equipment must be examined and tested according to the IEE Code of Practice recommendations. This includes equipment both permanently connected, and equipment connected by a plug to a socket outlet. All electrical systems and equipment should be maintained if danger would otherwise arise. Other than the fixed installation, all electrical equipment in an installation, whether permanently connected or connected by a plug and socket outlet, should be inspected and tested in accordance with the recommendations contained in the IEE Code of Practice.


    J.R  Building and Maintenance Services provide the requirements of the Electricity at Work Regulations and can be met by:

    • Performing P.A.T. testing, also known as Portable Appliance Testing.
    • Performing maintenance or, if necessary, replacing the defective item of equipment (depending upon the results of P.A.T. testing).
    • Keeping up-to-date records that can be a means of showing compliance.

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