PAT Testing

42 posts
3 June 2014
oceanova
Photographer
oceanova
I love the advice which gets dished out on here, stolen faces is quite correct he went to the HSE website and copied and pasted what it states. The problem is in the workplace if you are being investigated after an accident you have to prove due diligence, so to say the HSE website states it's not a legal requirement is a false attitude. There are different time scales for different items and how they are used however the cost far out weighs the inability to prove you have maintained your electrical equipment safely. I can just picture someone saying your website states it's not a legal requirement when they are being investigated. And as for risk assessment policies thats another mine field.
I'm a CIEH Health and safety at work instructor and this is the advice we give.

Posted 8 June 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Not forgetting of course that many venues/businesses will simply not allow contractors to use equipment without recent PAT certificates.

Posted 8 June 2014
EdT
Was ... the IEE hasn't existed since 2006. The IET says that there is no set requirement for frequency, but that the owner must ensure that the equipment is safe.
Yeap very true. That was an iPhone autocorrect that I missed. When posting
Posted 8 June 2014
mph
Photographer
mph
EdT

Was ... the IEE hasn't existed since 2006. The IET says that there is no set requirement for frequency, but that the owner must ensure that the equipment is safe.


By getting it PAT tested perhaps! 


Posted 8 June 2014
Plymjack
Photographer
Plymjack
PAT testing is easy money for many companies - especially when it can easily be done by internal staff who can be "suitable" qualified. If the equipment is "double insulated" (look on Google for logo) the it only needs a visual check which anyone can do! - But many companies are stung £5 per item per year for this, take a look around next time your in an office at how many items it can be - we had over 200 in one open plan office.

Phone charger for instance are all double insulated so do not need a test - but many companies will insist they do - now I wonder why! - and the clue is in the word "Portable" so why do the insist on testing photo copiers and fridges every year!!!

So yes it is a requirement but so is common sense and that is often overlooked.


Posted 8 June 2014
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
Plymjack
PAT testing is easy money for many companies - especially when it can easily be done by internal staff who can be "suitable" qualified. If the equipment is "double insulated" (look on Google for logo) the it only needs a visual check which anyone can do! - But many companies are stung £5 per item per year for this, take a look around next time your in an office at how many items it can be - we had over 200 in one open plan office. Phone charger for instance are all double insulated so do not need a test - but many companies will insist they do - now I wonder why! - and the clue is in the word "Portable" so why do the insist on testing photo copiers and fridges every year!!! So yes it is a requirement but so is common sense and that is often overlooked.
This seems a reasonable summary and is in line with the HSE publication: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg236.pdf but that explains what is counted as a 'portable or moveable appliance' and does include fridges or photocopiers. The publication shows the symbol that confirms double insulation.
Posted 8 June 2014
Allinthemind
Photographer
Allinthemind
RedChecker

Not forgetting of course that many venues/businesses will simply not allow contractors to use equipment without recent PAT certificates.

I've been asked for PL insurance proof by hotels before..
Posted 8 June 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Allinthemind

I've been asked for PL insurance proof by hotels before..


I know of a couple of wedding venues in my area (NT houses) that insist on PAT testing on top of PL insurance.
Posted 8 June 2014
Plymjack
Photographer
Plymjack
stolenfaces

This seems a reasonable summary and is in line with the HSE publication: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg236.pdf but that explains what is counted as a 'portable or moveable appliance' and does include fridges or photocopiers. The publication shows the symbol that confirms double insulation.


Indeed but the guidence also suggest that testing can be as extended as 5 years.  A fridge is portable if it is moved around for events etc, likewise a photcopier can be, but for most locations such items do not get moved so the periodicity for checking can be extended.


Posted 9 June 2014
Plymjack
Photographer
Plymjack
RedChecker

I know of a couple of wedding venues in my area (NT houses) that insist on PAT testing on top of PL insurance.


Depends what "proof" they require,  a log is normally maintained as signed by the "responible person" so a copy of that should suffice.  Some PAT testing companies insist that unique coding is required and so they bar code everything (at a price) and also so that you have to get them to return each year! 

I would suspect that most items are double insulated - so it is only the mains cable that needs testing in many cases.  Not forgeting that if an item is new it does not need testing for at least a year.  So just needs to be logged in.


Posted 9 June 2014
The double insulated sight means it's a class 2 item which would still need to be pat tested. It's a class 3 item that you can just do a visual inspection .

Posted 9 June 2014
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
howie2293
The double insulated sight means it's a class 2 item which would still need to be pat tested. It's a class 3 item that you can just do a visual inspection .
HSE guidelines say it doesn't [as linked above]
Posted 9 June 2014
Edited by stolenfaces 9 June 2014
Plymjack
Photographer
Plymjack
howie2293

The double insulated sight means it's a class 2 item which would still need to be pat tested. It's a class 3 item that you can just do a visual inspection .


Double insulated equipment
Class II equipment is sometimes referred to as ‘double insulated’ equipment. This 
means that there is extra insulation within the construction of the equipment to 
prevent accidental contact with live parts, even if there is a fault. 
Class II equipment does not need an earth connection to maintain safety. It will not 
need a portable appliance test, although you should ensure that user checks and visual 
inspections are carried out as the integrity of the equipment casing is a key safety feature. 

Extract from HSE http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg236.pdf which also gives guidelines on time scales.

We have spend a weekend repeating ourselves becasue some people dont know what they dont know!  
Posted 9 June 2014
HeadSnipper
Photographer
HeadSnipper
Plymjack
err not true....  the time scales for PAT testing are down to the "qualified "  person to determine .  It depends entirely on how the item is used.... if it is on a building site it can be every 3 months, if it is a computer under your desk it can be every 5 years.   If it is double insulated (look on google for logo)  it does not need testing only a physical cable check. - So to the OP please at least be a qualified person before you make such inaccurate and misleading statements. The person inspecting/testing does not have to be qualified (there is no qualification) just competent.
Posted 12 June 2014
Mje
Photographer
Mje
EARTHING IS YOUR FIRST LINE OF PROTECTION

PAT Testing is very important - there are many parts to testing equipment.
Visual checks - does the mains plug pins have plastic insulators (if not - failed)
Is the sleeving loose on the exit point of the 3 pin plug or the entry to the kettle end (failed)
On cheap leads the live and neutral can be reverse (very dangerous -failed)
Check all the lenght of the cable for any cuts
Continunity of all live,neutral and earth wires. Resistance of wire relative to the lenght
leakage current between wire.
Many of the above should be part of your visual inspection every time you use the equipment

Test equipment is arround £1000-00 and a coarse several hundred pounds.

Posted 12 June 2014
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