Whilst PAT testing is not strictly compulsory, it is generally regarded as being the best way of meeting the electrical regulations that exist to protect employees, customers and tenants. Without it you could be in a very difficult situation if an electrical accident were to occur.
All portable electrical equipment is subject to getting damaged during use, and this damage could render the equipment dangerous to the user. Without a regular programme of testing and inspection, you have not taken reasonable steps to ensure the safety of users.
Tests and inspections should be made at reasonable and regular intervals, bearing in mind the rate of use of both portable and fixed appliances.
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.
Portable appliance testing includes a thorough visual check of the appliance and a series of tests on professional PAT testing equipment.
In accordance with the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the new 17th Edition Wiring Regulations and your company’s Fire Risk Assessment, tests and inspections, the appliance or lead being tested is checked for a variety of faults. It either passes or fails and given a pass or fail sticker as appropriate. A certificate of testing is also provided for the business showing the results of all tests. We will affect minor repairs at the time of testing (for example an incorrect fuse rating or damaged plug or IEC lead) in order that the equipment is safe to use and can be passed; more significant faults or damage will be reported to the business manager.
The testing will involve switching items off if they are already on. To minimise disruption to staff and customers, the testing can be done out of hours in most circumstances.
All testing is carried out in accordance with The Institute of Electrical Engineers’ (IEE) code of practice, with full public liability insurance. ACE Testing is an NICEIC registered Portable Appliance Testing Company and all our engineers are qualified to City & Guilds 2372-200.
You can find out more about the Acts and Regulations that may affect you on our PAT testing information page.