Why PAT Test?
Put simply if your equipment is not PAT Tested and someone has an
accident resulting in a faulty electrical item then you can end
up in serious trouble - by PAT testing you cover yourselves, have
peace of mind that the equipment is safe and no harm will come to
any users. In many cases you will not be able to carry out work
at clients premises unless your equipment has a valid pat test certificate.
Examples of portable appliances include computers and their accessories, photocopiers, printers, heaters, televisions, VCRs, hairdryers, food mixers, kettles, cleaners, fans, drills, work tools, fridge / freezers and extension leads.
The Health & Safety Executive states that 25% of all reportable electrical accidents involve portable appliances. The Electricity at Work Regulations place a legal responsibility on employers, employees and self-employed persons to comply with the provisions of the regulations and take reasonably practicable steps to ensure that no danger results from the use of such equipment. This in effect requires the implementation of a systematic and regular program of maintenance, inspection and testing. The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) places such an obligation in the following circumstances:
- Where appliances are used by employees.
- Where the public may use appliances in establishments such as hospitals, schools, hotels, shops etc.
- Where appliances are supplied or hired.
- Where appliances are repaired or serviced.
Pat testing or portable appliance testing is an important part of any health & safety policy
Failure to comply with the Electrical Regulations may constitute a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 which carries a maximum penalty on summary conviction of a £5,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonment. Landlords and letting agents could also be sued in Civil Law under the duty of care for failure to ensure the tenants safety and as a result, face punitive damages.