Why Your Business Needs Regular PAT Testing

by | Apr 22, 2024

If you run a business using any kind of electrical appliances and equipment, you should already be aware of PAT Testing.

 

Simply put, Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is a routine inspection of electrical appliances to check they are safe to use, with the main purpose being to prevent electrical accidents in the workplace.

For any business, maintaining a safe workplace is not just a regulatory requirement, but a critical component of a successful operational strategy. One key aspect of ensuring safety in the workplace involves the regular testing of electrical appliances through PAT (Portable Appliance Testing). Regular PAT testing is essential not only for compliance with legal standards but also for safeguarding your employees, customers, and business as a whole.

There can be some confusion about PAT testing, as not all electrical appliances need to be fully tested. Some will only need a PAT insulation test; some items will need to be fully PAT tested and some items don’t need to be tested at all. Here’s why PAT testing should be a non-negotiable part of your business maintenance routine.

 

How do I know which appliances need to be tested?

Electrical items can generally be categorised into 3 groups – Class 1 appliances, Class 2, and Class 3.

Appliances in Class 1 will need to be fully PAT tested. These include:

  • Photocopiers
  • Desktop computers
  • Toasters
  • Kettles
  • Microwaves
  • Dishwashers
  • Extension Leads

 

Equipment that falls into Class 2 will require a PAT insulation test and include:

  • Desktop Printers
  • Drills
  • Lamps
  • Televisions

Items that fall under Class 3 don’t need to be tested at all, and these include appliances such as mobile phone chargers, torches and cameras.

 

Is PAT testing a legal requirement?

PAT Testing is not a legal requirement for businesses to undertake, however, the current UK legislation states that ‘businesses must maintain electrical equipment in a safe condition’.  As PAT testing of appliances is the best and most effective way of maintaining electrical equipment, it has now become the standard way to meet the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and other legislation.

In many regions, including the UK, businesses are required by law to ensure that all electrical equipment they use is safe. Regular PAT testing helps businesses comply with these regulations, avoiding potential legal issues and fines.

 

How often should PAT Testing be carried out?

Whilst this is no specific requirements for how often PAT testing should be carried out, the regulations and legislation say that the ‘level of precaution taken should be appropriate to the risk’. There are 3 main criteria to look at when determining how often Pat testing should be performed:

  • The risk level of the working environment
  • The electrical class of the appliance
  • The category of the appliance

Equipment that is used a lot should be tested more frequently, for example, office computers that are being used every day will need testing on a more frequent basis.

 

Who can carry out PAT Testing?

It is always advised to use an experienced and qualified professional with expertise in PAT Testing. They should be well-trained, professional and have all the correct equipment to carry out the testing.

MeKo Electrical have been providing expert electrical advice and testing for over 20 years. Our experienced and professional electrical engineers can carry out these vital electrical tests during your operational hours, without causing any disruption to your normal pattern of working. Once the testing has been completed, we will provide you with a PAT Test certificate which can be used to prove compliance to regulators, insurers, customers and staff.

Regular PAT testing is a critical procedure that supports not only regulatory compliance but also operational efficiency, workplace safety, and business reputation. It is an investment in the long-term success and security of your business. Ensuring that you have a scheduled PAT testing plan in place is integral to managing risk and demonstrating your commitment to maintaining a safe and efficient working environment. Remember, the cost of regular testing is minor compared to the potential human and financial costs of neglecting such a crucial aspect of business maintenance.

If you would like to find out more about PAT Testing or would like to discuss having your electrical equipment tested, call our team of experts today on 01453 764531.