Why Pat Test
Some companies and individuals question the need for PAT Testing in the workplace.
Electrical appliances start off perfectly safe, but with use can deteriorate to an extent where there is a risk of an electric shock or a fire. Just as car would have a regular MOT check to ensure the safety and road worthiness of the vehicle, PAT (Portable Appliance testing) ensures that electrical appliances continue to be safe to use. For example a vacuum cleaner would be heavily used in a school or a hotel. In time it is likely that the cable may start pulling out of the plug or the wire could start fraying.
If we don’t have a system of maintenance where these types of faults are picked up and put right there is every possibility that someone could get an electric shock.
An another example could be a risk of fire from lets a fuse has blown and has been replaced with one of the wrong value or even worse, by a nail of piece of tin foil. As shocking as this may seem, there are many examples where this has been done to save time. The intention is to replace the tin foil with the correct fuse at a later stage but somehow this never gets done.
If the appliance were to develop a fault then the tin foil will not blow and there is a risk of a fire breaking out.
Business insurance policies
Increasingly, insurance companies are stipulating portable appliance testing as a necessary condition of insurance on most businesses. If there was a fire and the management in a company could not show that regular PAT testing had been carried out, some insurance companies could take this into account when arriving at settlement figures.
In addition to the above reasons, there are a number of health and safety regulations that are in place to protect employees from danger. These imply directly or indirectly that employers have to ensure that electrical appliances do not cause any danger to staff.
Some of the regulations below offer more information.
The health and safety at work act 1974
The management of health and safety at work regulation 1999
The provision and use of work equipment regulations 1998
Electricity at work regulations 1989
More info can be found on the above at www.HSE.gov.uk
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