PAT testing frequency in the workplace

PAT testing frequency – how often does electrical equipment need to be tested in the workplace?

From business to business, the PAT testing frequency will likely change due to differences in electrical installations and appliances that are used on a daily basis. Electrical safety in the workplace is a highly important topic that needs to be seriously considered by the management team. As part of a business’ health and safety policy, there should be considerations for all employees, customers, visitors, contractors and maintenance workers.

PAT testing frequency in the workplace

In the workplace, there should also be appropriate measures in place to ensure electrical installations and portable appliances are maintained correctly and regularly to reduce potential risks.

In general, it’s good practice to spot signs of damage or deterioration early on to help prevent any further impact. However, it’s also highly recommended to have an experienced engineer thoroughly test portable appliances on a regular basis with the hope that any chances of the equipment becoming damaged over time can be avoided.

The basis of these tests will differ per business and the PAT testing frequency should be determined by the professional who will decide based on a range of factors:

  • Age of the equipment
  • The environment in which the equipment is in
  • How often the equipment is used
  • Manufacturers recommendations
  • Whether it is hand-held or not
  • If the equipment has had any modifications or repairs

What do the regulations say about PAT testing frequency?

According to the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 businesses are required to maintain electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury. However, the regulations do not specifically say what needs to be done, by whom or how often.

This being said, there is a duty to care by the employer to ensure that the appropriate measures are taken to maintain electrical equipment and frequently PAT testing portable appliances is a widely recommended procedure. Regular PAT tests demonstrate that the equipment has been tested and deemed ‘safe’ for continued use.

PAT testing basics

PAT testing is the process of performing visual and circuit tests on portable appliances to ensure they are safe to use. The test scores the appliance either a pass or fail which indicates whether the appliance can be used or need to be fixed or replaced. Learn more about PAT testing here.

PAT testing frequency for typical businesses

  • As previously mentioned, the PAT testing frequency will differ for each business and this will be determined by the type of equipment and the factors noted above. As a result, the following workplaces could expect certain equipment needing regular checks in these periods.
  • Office environment – Items such as computers, printers and photocopiers pose a minor risk to users and therefore may need testing every 1-2 years.
  • Construction site – Equipment on a site such as power tools and drills will need to be checked more frequently (monthly) due to the high risk involved in using the equipment. The environment the equipment is used in is high risk due to exposure to weather, water and dirt and it’s also likely to be frequently moved around.
  • Shop – Although a shop with tills, TVs and display lighting does not pose many electrical threats and typically need to be checked every year, there will need to be certain considerations when customers are involved e.g. appliances which customers can use in store.
  • Restaurant / Cafe – Due to the use of ovens, microwaves and other heat forming large appliances, restaurants will need to get most of their equipment checked every 6-12 months. Again exposure to customers the risks involved will increase.

This is only an example and should not be used as a guide. Please contact a PAT testing professional to determine PAT testing frequency for your appliances.

Contact Reaction Group for your PAT Testing

If you would like to organise frequent PAT testing for your workplace, please get in touch with our experienced team. We have worked with many high profile clients across the UK including Coca-Cola, Samsung and Amazon.

We can provide comprehensive maintenance on a one-off or scheduled basis for your business. Call 0203 961 5855.

Resources:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg107.pdf