Every company has to abide by a multitude of national rules and regulations when it comes to occupational health and safety. Just as every business requires working fire alarms for the safety of everyone on site, they are also required to ensure that their portable appliances are safe to use. Portable Appliance Testing (or PAT) is a service offered by many electrical companies and is a requirement for every registered business.
What Are the Risks?
So, what are the inherent risks of using electrical appliances that have not been professionally tested by a quality PAT test company? Consider the following:
- The risk of electric shocks through usage of the tool or portable appliances to the user
- The risk of electrocution that causes serious injury or worse
- Failure of the equipment at critical times
The truth is that no employer wants to have to deal with a lawsuit or work cover claim due to the injury of a staff member. Likewise, no employee deserves to be injured on the job due to the negligence of the employer in the context of contacting a PAT testing company and having their electrical equipment regularly tested.
What Does an Inspector Do?
It is necessary to hire a qualified and experienced electrical engineer to conduct PAT testing. Such a technician will assess all portable electrical equipment, test it thoroughly, repair if required, and then produce a full report of any faults, findings, and repairs conducted. This process ensures compliance with rules and regulations around the usage of electrical equipment and also minimises the risk of injury on site.
Technicians will often find the following kinds of issues:
- Short circuiting and circuits that are overloaded
- Damage to electrical circuits and equipment through heat, indicating a fault
- Earthing issues
- Non-working appliances
- Fire and safety hazards
Who Would Hire an Inspector?
It is easy to imagine that employers on large industrial and commercial sites would require extensive PAT testing but portable electrical devices and appliances are also used in other areas. Landlords, for example, need to ensure that the portable appliances at each of their properties are fit for purpose and fit for use by tenants.
Apart from the fact that having portable electrical equipment PAT-tested reduces the very real risk of harm and injury to the user and others on site, it also has the potential to reduce insurance premiums. Indeed, most companies these days are required to have proof of regular PAT testing in order to meet the requirements for insurance.
The good news is that PAT testing can be organised through a local electrical company that specialises in it. They can advise how often an inspection needs to be carried out in order to meet national rules and regulations and remain compliant.