Portable Appliance or PAT Testing is not currently compulsory but, as an employer, you have a duty to maintain electrical equipment to ensure that it is safe to use, particularly items that may suffer abnormal use or abuse.
Electricity can be dangerous. 1000 major injuries in the workplace, caused by electricity, are reported each year and around 28 fatalities. Around 25% of all electrical injury accidents are caused by portable electrical equipment (PEE)
Check your insurance policy
Check your commercial insurance policy to see if there are any conditions relating to Portable Electrical Equipment. If there are, make sure you comply to any specific requirements and raise any concerns with your insurance broker.
Keep records of PAT Testing
We recommend that you keep a record of your visual inspections of equipment in the form of a log to help demonstrate that regular checks exist.
Faults to look for
• Damage to the plug. e.g. cracked case or bent pins
• Illegal joints in the cable. e.g. taped joins or ‘choc block’ connectors.
• Equipment being used in unsuitable conditions, e.g. wet or dusty
• Signs of overheating e.g. burn marks or stains
In low-risk environments such as offices, shops, some parts of hotels and residential care homes, you may decide this is sufficient. In different environments, formal visual inspection and testing by a competent person, at appropriate intervals, may be the best solution.
Always Use A Qualified Electrician For Repairs
Employees should be made aware that they must not use any equipment that is found to be faulty and report all possible faults to their supervisor. Where there is reason to suspect that equipment may be defective, a qualified electrician should carry out inspection and repairs.
Here is a link to the guidance issued by HSE on Portable Appliance testing:
You should seek professional advice before taking any steps based on the above. If you would like advice on this, or an insurance quote, please feel free to call Breathe Insurance Brokers on 01622 620531.