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PAT Testing Explained

What Does PAT Testing Involve?

PAT or portable appliance testing is a policy in the UK in which safety checks are routinely performed on electrical appliances. Essentially, this is a common sense safety regulation to ensure that any people, employees, or tenants who may come into contact with portable electrical appliances are not at risk of injury.

The Portable Appliance Testing rules are detailed in the 1989 Electricity at Work Regulations, that: “All [electrical] systems shall at all times be of such construction as to prevent, so far as reasonably practical, such danger.” Thus, it only makes sense to have any organization perform testing on appliances on a consistent basis.

For all types of organizations, from a small office to a large corporation an outside testing company is the best course of action, Integrated Compliance can provide competent and certified PAT Testing professionals who are best suited and able to observe the appliances and look for an obvious signs of wear.

Although the law does not specifically state how often PAT Testing should be performed, it is reasonable to at least do an observational check yearly. This includes checking for frayed wires, ensuring the casing around the appliance has no damaged or is coming undone, as well as checking plugs for cracks or damaged. From there, our PAT Testing professional will be able to recommend the next course of action, repair the appliance if possible, or provide guidance on the next steps for the ensuring all appliances are safe.

Our qualified PAT Testing specialist will be able to perform tests and checks on a variety of appliances using calibrated equipment that will be able to show if the appliance has passed or failed including earth continuity, lead polarity, and insulation resistance, among others. This is a relatively quick and easy process, generally showing if the appliance passed or failed and it should not take very long to determine how safe your portable appliances are. On completion of the appliance test, it will be labelled with a safety sticker with a barcode for ease of tracking in the future.

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What is portable appliance testing?

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect can’t be detected by testing alone.

A relatively brief user check (based upon simple training and perhaps assisted by the use of a brief checklist) can be a very useful part of any electrical maintenance regime. However, more formal visual inspection and testing by a competent person may also be required at appropriate intervals, depending upon the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used

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