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What exactly is
a Portable Appliance?
For the purpose of the legislation, a portable electrical appliance is taken to be an item of equipment which is not part of a fixed installation but is, or is intended to be, connected to fixed installation, or a generator, by means of a flexible cable and a plug and socket. Basically this means that any electrical item with a plug on it is a Portable Appliance. This would include electric drills, kettles, PCs, printers, monitors, extension leads and even some large items such as vending machines, fridges, freezers and photocopiers.
So why do I
need to PAT test?
Electrical appliances start their life perfectly safe, but with use can deteriorate to an extent where there is a risk of an electric shock or a fire. Its like having an annual MOT check on your car, which ensures your car is safe to use on the road, Portable Appliance Testing (or PAT Testing which it is more commonly known) ensures that electrical appliances continue to be safe to use.
Is it law to have my appliances PAT tested?
Portable Appliance Testing (Pat Testing) is a statutory requirement and many insurance companies require the insured to comply with all current regulations. This includes the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, which state "As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, such danger" (Regulation 4(2)). "Electrical equipment includes anything used, intended to be used or installed for use, to generate, provide, transmit, transform, rectify, convert, conduct, distribute, control, store, measure or use electrical energy." (Regulation 2(1)).
responsibility on the employer to ensure work equipment is safe is also
covered by The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. This
states "Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is so constructed
or adapted as to be suitable for the purpose for which it is used or
provided." (Regulation 4(1)). This includes all work equipment (fixed,
portable or transportable) connected to a source of electrical energy."
to comply with Electrical Regulations can lead to a maximum penalty of a £5,000
fine and/or up to six months imprisonment. For breaches under the general
duties of the Health Safety at Work Act 1974, penalties of up to £20,000 were
introduced in 1992 and offences heard on indictment in the Crown Court attract
unlimited financial penalties and up to two years imprisonment.
current legislation side of things?
Current legislation demands that employers ensure portable appliances are safe. Here is a selection of some of the relevant regulations.
Electricity At Work Act 1989
- To meet the requirements of the 1989 electricity at work regulations, it is
widely regarded to be necessary to implement a programme of planned inspection
and testing of portable appliances, as may be necessary to prevent danger all
systems shall be maintained so as to prevent so far as is reasonably
practicable such danger.
Provisions & Use Of Work Equipment
- Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an
efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.
Provisions & Use Of Work Equipment
Regulations 1998 -
Every employer shall ensure that the result of an inspection made under this
regulation is recorded and kept until the next inspection under this
regulation is recorded.
How often do I
have to have my testing done?
Frequency of Pat Testing depends on the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used. The frequencies I recommend are based on the guidelines by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) and our own professional experience. In most circumstances it is every 12 months but with IT equipment, you may not need testing for 24 months, call us to find out more.
How long will
the tests take you to do?
Typically, based on fully testing each appliance, I can test between 15 and 20 items per hour.
Do I have to
have the testing done in work time?
No, I can work with you and around you. If you need out of hours, weekends or even over night testing done etc, I can accommodate that at no extra charge.
I have seen
offers of testing from 50p per item, can you match that price?
I used to price match, but then realised that I donít need to get into a bidding war. I believe my prices are fair and justify the time and care I take in testing each item. Prices will vary on location and type of items tested (110v construction equipment will take twice as long as conventional 230v appliances). If you are getting your testing done for 50p, the chances are, you are only getting a" sticker jockey" for your money, not a PAT tester as well. Just remember, you pay for what you get.
would love to list the pricing on this page but it isnít as easy as that.
Every location is different so the pricing is based on each individual
location. That price will also depend on quantity of the appliances to be
tested. Some items take longer to test than others so are priced accordingly. Please
contact us for pricing OR a no-obligation site visit to determine a
more accurate cost and testing regime.
PAT Testing companies will insist that ALL your appliances need testing every
year, this isnít true. I could save you a whole lot of money!!!
no extra cost are the following:
wont get into a bidding war so please donít ask. If you get quoted a cheeky
low price, then please make sure that there are no sneaky added extras to take
into account. (like VAT not included, a minimum of 500 items will be charged
for, plugs and fuses not included in the price etc) And if you take up the
cheaper offer, watch the tests being done and make sure that PLAT is carried
out. Thatís Plug, Lead, Appliance and Test. If not, you may just be paying
for an expensive sticker!
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