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What is PAT Testing?

PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) is an essential process for organisations that involves checking over anything that is deemed to be a portable appliance for electrical safety.

Since countless accidents happen every year at home and at places of work because of faulty portable appliances, the process of carrying out PAT testing ensures that any portable appliances that will be used by human employees are designated as being safe to use.

Legally, PAT testing is not a requirement. However, it is often an essential testing procedure to ensure that an organisation adheres to the regulations of several governing bodies related to the workplace, as it is an organisations’ legal responsibility to ensure all electrical equipment used by their staff can be used safely, and are regularly maintained to promote safety.

Think of PAT testing as basically like an MOT for your appliances. Just like cars, appliances can degrade over time because of a number of contributing factors, and it is essential that they are regularly checked over to ensure that the appliance in question has not been damaged in some way due to the passage of time.

PAT testing first started as a means of companies complying with their obligations under the Electricity At Work Regulations 1989.

Guidance notes have been issued over the years by the Institute of electrical engineers in their “Code of Practice for In Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment” We are now on to the third edition.

PAT testing is carried out in other countries such as Australia and New Zealand under the name ‘test and tag’ or ‘Testing and Tagging’. It is mandatory and legislative under AS/NZS 3760:2010.

Written by Barry Atkins