Why is PAT Testing Important?

Wednesday, 22nd May

Portable appliance testing or PAT testing is a frequent source of confusion for businesses, who get tangled with trying to work out what the tests are, what needs to be tested and why it’s so important.

In this blog post, we’re going to clarify all three of these areas and hopefully leave you with some next steps for getting your equipment PAT tested.

What is PAT Testing?

PAT testing is the process of examining electrical appliances to make sure they’re safe for use in the workplace and other public settings. The tests are carried out by a Health and Safety Executive-recognised ‘competent person’ and need to be renewed regularly to ensure devices remain safe.

Which Devices Need to be PAT Tested?

The name PAT testing is now effectively a misnomer, as updates to policy mean that all devices need to be tested, regardless of portability. What this means is that all of the following now need PAT testing:

  • Fixed or stationary appliances – Electrical items that are either fixed in place or otherwise don’t move such as white goods and printers.
  • Computers – All laptops and PCs will need PAT testing.
  • Portable appliances – This includes equipment that would normally be stationary but can be moved easily, such as kettles or aircon units.
  • Cables and chargers – All wires, cables, chargers that are used to give power to devices or plug into a wall.
  • Handheld devices – This includes everything from power tools and hairdryers to work phones.

Why is PAT Testing Important?

There are several reasons why PAT testing is so important for workplaces, including legal obligations, staff and public safety and preserving appliance lifespans.

Legal Requirements

You’re not legally required to conduct PAT testing specifically, however, as an employer, you are required to ensure that electrical equipment is maintained to prevent danger, risk of electrocution and fire.

The HSE states that ‘employers should take a risk-based approach’, and testing should be part of a regular maintenance routine. While it’s not mandatory, PAT testing ensures that you’ve covered your back in terms of fulfilling your legal obligations to protect your employees, rather than sitting in potentially grey areas of less formal maintenance.

Safety Standards

PAT testing is a vital part of ensuring employee safety. Faulty electrical devices can cause shocks or even fires that can put staff in serious danger. It’s your responsibility as an employer to ensure that all devices are checked and maintained regularly. Routine PAT testing is your belt and braces and will go a long way to safeguarding your workforce as well as any visitors.

Product Lifespan

Finally, PAT testing can also help you save on equipment costs in the long run. Having your appliances routinely tested will help you spot emerging faults and tackle them early, rather than waiting for devices to completely fail and having to pay for replacements.

This way, you’ll only have to tackle smaller repair jobs and not shell out for new equipment. Additionally, you can reduce your carbon footprint by limiting the amount of new items you need to purchase.

Fulfil Your Testing Requirements with ONCO SES

Thankfully, getting your equipment regularly tested is easy with ONCO SES. Talk to us today to book your next tests and help meet your legal obligations, protect your staff and extend your appliance lifespans all in one go.

Just reach out to us using our contact form, by calling us on +44(0)7496010310 or emailing us at enquiries@oncoses.co.uk.

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