PAT Testing: Keep your business compliant

The electrical equipment around your premises should be checked regularly so that your business is fully compliant and you are doing everything possible to keep your business and staff safe. 

When we set up a PAT testing regime with a business we review each appliance, its level of use and environment to decide which items should be tested most frequently.

As a responsible employer, you will be expected to have a system in place that checks equipment at reasonable intervals to safeguard the welfare of your employees or service users. 

Why is PAT testing important to small businesses?

PAT testing is used to verify the safety of all sorts of portable electrical appliances such as kettles, vacuum cleaners, fans, photocopiers, desktop computers and vending machines.

Faulty electrical equipment can cause shocks, burns or fires and employers are responsible for maintaining any appliances that are in use on their premises.

How to draw up a testing plan

When we set up a PAT testing regime with a business we review each appliance, its level of use and environment to decide which items should be tested most frequently. Computers and printers, for example, will need less frequent testing than more portable appliances such as drills because they are rarely moved and therefore have less stress placed on their leads and plugs.

The first step is to carry out a risk assessment of each piece of electrical equipment. Factors such as whether the appliance is earthed or double insulated, hand-held or static, its age and frequency of use will all be important to note.

Once the risk assessment is complete, an action plan can be drawn up detailing which appliances are most hazardous and require more frequent testing.

The testing regime should set out timings for frequent checks by those using the equipment, formal visual inspection by a specified person at an agreed time interval and regular PAT testing by an electrical specialist.

Encourage your employees to use appliances correctly and underline to them the importance of making any faults known to you, making sure you remove faulty or damaged equipment immediately.

To find out more about PAT testing and planned maintenance for your organisation contact the technical team at Orchard Facilities Management on  01422 880 180