Electrical test certificates – guide to UK regulations covering electrical equipment in the workplace

Electrical test certificates – guide to UK regulations covering electrical equipment in the workplace

If you are responsible for a workplace environment in the UK where electrical equipment is used, you are required by UK law to ensure the electrical equipment is safe. Having regular electrical test certificates conducted, by appropriately qualified professionals, is the most effective way to meet your electrical safety obligations.

Regular electrical testing also ensures that you are keeping the staff, customers and any other relevant parties who use the electrics in your environment(s) safe. In addition to complying with regulations, electrical test certificates enable you to fulfill your duty of care.

Which UK laws cover electrical safety in the workplace?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 stipulates that employers are responsible for health and safety in the workplace. Ensuring that electrical equipment and fixed wire electrical installations are maintained in a safe working condition is an important aspect of meeting those safety responsibilities to staff and customers.

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that measures are taken to control and reduce the risk of death or injury from electricity in work activities. The stated requirement is:

“All reasonable and practicable steps to prevent danger from electrical systems must be undertaken”.

Electrical test certificates, performed by qualified engineers, demonstrate that you are taking the necessary precautions to identify any issues within the electrical system in the workplace.

What are electrical test certificates and why do I need them?

All electrical installations and portable electrical equipment used in the workplace should be tested regularly. The reports produced during the fixed wire testing and PAT testing safety checks are commonly known as electrical installation condition reports or electrical test certificates. During the electrical testing process, a qualified electrical engineer will check the condition of wiring and equipment against BS 7671, the UK standard for the safety of electrical installations, IET wiring regulations (2015).

If you choose Reaction Group to carry out your electrical testing, you are instantly provided with detailed test reports:

  • Fixed Wire Test Reports – The Electrical Installation Condition Report documents the fixed wire tests that have been carried out on the electrical installation at your premises, as required by the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and in line with Guidance note 3. The report identifies any faults and non-compliance within the electrical installation and notifies you of the said faults so that any potential danger can be removed. The faults identified are coded in severity and likelihood of danger.
  • PAT Test Reports – Reaction Group also instantly provide a detailed PAT Testing Report, following any PAT tests performed. The report documents the portable appliance tests (PAT) carried out, as per the guidance and regulations set out in The IET Code of Practice for The Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment.

The reports provided during electrical testing are also commonly known as electrical test certificates. They serve as evidence that a qualified electrical engineer has tested the electrical installations and equipment in-line with relevant legislation, industry standards and guidelines.

What type of electrical test report do I need?

There are two primary types of electrical tests which are fundamental to ensuring electrical safety in the workplace. Fixed wire testing involves the inspection, testing and reporting of electrical systems within the workplace or premises. Examples of fixed wire systems that should be tested include distribution boards, lighting points and socket outlets. Portable appliance testing (PAT testing) involves the inspection and testing of any electrical equipment which is portable, for example, computers, TV’s and electronic cash registers.

  • Fixed wire tests – check any hardwiring within the building that are not portable. Fixed wire installations can deteriorate over time and may become unsafe to use. To avoid potential danger, and to meet the Electricity at Work regulations, it’s important that regular fixed wire testing is carried out by a competent, professional and qualified person. Reaction Group recommend that fixed wire testing is carried out every 3 – 5 years depending on the type of premises and the daily use of a premises.
  • PAT tests – involve the inspection and testing of portable electrical equipment, which tends to require the user to plug the equipment into a power socket. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, employers have a duty of care to ensure that portable appliances are properly maintained.

Why choose Reaction Group for electrical testing certificates?

Reaction Group provide testing and inspection of workplace electricals for businesses across the UK. As a uniquely nationwide electrical testing specialist, we are able to provide organisations of all sizes with an efficient, centralised service.

Reaction Group are a leading choice for UK electrical testing because they offer:

  • Unique nationwide coverage – for a cost-effective, centralised electrical testing services for businesses of all sizes
  • Fully accredited electrical engineers – our engineers have the skills, accreditations and experience to complete your electrical testing to the highest safety standards
  • Full-service electrical testing, Nationwide – with Reaction Group, you can have all of the necessary tests conducted by a single provider, including PAT testing, fixed wire testing, emergency light testing and more. As your ‘one stop shop’ for electrical testing we can reduce costs and limit any disruption to your operations, whether you have a single site or multiple locations.