Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment: PAT Testing

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Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment: PAT Testing

Why carry out portable appliance testing?

Portable appliances account for 25% of all reportable electrical accidents according to the Health & Safety Executive. Employers, employees and self-employed persons have a legal responsibility to comply with the provisions of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, which state that reasonable practical steps must be taken to ensure that no danger results from the use of electrical equipment. Regulation 4(2) of The Electricity at Work Regulations states that “as may be necessary to prevent danger, all [electrical] systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger.”

In order to ensure compliance with Regulation 4(2), the Health and Safety Executive advises an ongoing programme of “formal visual inspection” and “formal visual inspection and safety testing”. What this means in practice is the implementation of a systematic and regular program of maintenance, inspection and testing, carried out by competent persons.

Maintenance by Global's Testing Policy

Annual Visit to Inspect and/or Test Items Due in accordance with the IEE Code of Practice.

A suitably qualified engineer will carry out full inspection and testing of all portable appliances, according to the IEE Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment 2008.

Formal Visual Inspection

  • Equipment is suitable for the environment and the nature of the work being undertaken.
  • Cables are located where they are unlikely to be damaged and no unprotected cables run under carpets.
  • Means of disconnection or isolation from the mains supply is readily accessible.
  • Space around the equipment is adequate for ventilation and cooling.
  • Protective covers are in place

Testing

  • Earth Continuity Test
  • Fuse Rating Test
  • Run/Load Test
  • Earth Leakage Test
  • Insulation Test
  • Flash Test (where applicable).

Any damage or faults to equipment should be recorded and action taken by the User for repair or replacement of equipment as recommended.

All portable appliances should be catalogued and labelled to indicate; the current safety status of equipment, i.e. pass or fail; the date for re-testing and the unique identification code, to help with the location of specific items of equipment.

Inspection and testing should be carried out at the intervals recommended in Table 1, (below); but may vary depending on the type of premises, the equipment type and construction, the type of person who uses the equipment, as well as environmental factors. The frequency of inspection and testing should be reviewed regularly by the User or Owner of the Premises.

We also recommend that the User carries out visual inspection, on a regular basis, to determine any faults such as signs of overheating, loose fixtures or non-functioning equipment. Any faults should be logged and the appropriate action taken.

  Type of Premises Type of Equipment User
Checks
Class I Class II
        Formal Visual Inspection Combined Inspection and Testing Formal Visual Inspection Combined Inspection and Testing
               
1 Construction
Sites
110v          
equipment 
S
IT
M
P
H
None
None
weekly
weekly
weekly
1 month
1 month
1 month
1 month
1 month
3 months
3 months
3 months
3 months
3 months
1 month
1 month
1 month
1 month
1 month
3 months
3 months
3 months
3 months
3 months
               
2 Industrial including commercial kitchens S
IT
M
P
H
weekly
weekly
before use
before use
before use
None
None
1 month
1 month
1 month
12 months
12 months
12 months
6 months
6 months
None
None
3 months
3 months
3 months
12 months
12 months
12 months
6 months
6 months
               
3 Equipment used by the public S
IT
M
P
H
Note 1
Note 1
Note 1
Note 1
Note 1
monthly
monthly
weekly
weekly
weekly
12 months
12 months
6 months
6 months
6 months
3 months
3 months
1 month
1 month
1 month
12 months
12 months
12 months
12 months
12 months
               
4 Schools S
IT
M
P
H
weekly
weekly
weekly
weekly
before use
None
None
4 months
4 months
4 months
12 months
12 months
12 months
12 months
12 months
12 months
12 months
4 months
4 months
4 months
48 months
48 months
48 months
48 months
48 months
               
5 Hotels S
IT
M
P
H
None
None
weekly
weekly
before use
24 months
24 months
12 months
12 months
6 months
48 months
48 months
24 months
24 months
12 months
24 months
24 months
24 months
24 months
6 months
None
None
None
None
None
               
6 Offices and Shops S
IT
M
P
H
None
None
weekly
weekly
before use
24 months
24 months
12 months
12 months
6 months
48 months
48 months
24 months
24 months
12 months
24 months
24 months
24 months
24 months
6 months
None
None
None
None
None

Table 1 - Suggested Initial Frequency of Inspection and Testing of Equipment.

S - Stationary Equipment
IT - Information Technology Equipment
M - Movable Equipment
P - Portable Equipment
H - Hand Held Equipment

Note 1 - For some equipment such as children’s rides a daily check may be necessary.

Maintenance by Global's maintenance policy for the testing and inspection of portable appliances fulfils the requirements of The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974; The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999; The Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. Our Work Method Statements are devised according to the IEE Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment 2008.

Regulations

As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger. (Regulation 4(2) Electricity at Work Regulations 1992)

The Regulations recognise a responsibility that employers and many employees have for electrical systems:

  • Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair. (Reg 6 Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992)
  • It shall be the duty of every employee while at work to co-operate with his employer. (Regulation 3 Electricity at Work Regulations 1992)

Previous inspection and test results should be provided to persons carrying out in-service inspection and tests. (IEE Code of Practise 1994)

The User should report any faults in a log book, maintain the records of inspection and tests and manage the re-inspection and testing at appropriate intervals. (IEE Code of Practise 1994)

Equipment must be regularly inspected. Faulty equipment must not be used. Faulty equipment must be labelled, reported and withdrawn from service. (Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Electricity at Work Regulations 1992)

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