Category Archives: Electrical

Is PAT Testing a Legal Requirement?

PAT Training Course

PAT, or portable appliance testing is, for many, a blurry issue. In legal black and white, PAT testing itself is not a legal requirement. In a private, residential setting, one can keep electrical appliances regardless of their condition, and not have to ensure that they work properly (however, if something were to go wrong and cause an accident, the onus would be on the user to explain why such an appliance was being used.) But in a work environment, there is a requirement for employers to demonstrate that the equipment that they are using is safe and legal to use. This includes the self-employed, even if working as a sole trader. In legal speak, any electrical appliances used for work purposes (even the coffee pot in the kitchen) needs to be safe, compliant and fit for use. This is where PAT testing comes in.

So Why PAT Test?

PAT testing, whilst not legally required as a protective step, is considered by many government bodies and legal entities to be the benchmark by which an appliance can be tested and deemed fit for use. The Health and Safety Executive advice that all appliances must be tested as fit for use, but they do not say what constitutes an effective check. PAT is, quite simply, the demonstration that an employer has checked the appliance and deems it suitable, and can demonstrate that these checks have been effective and had a positive outcome.

This testing can take many forms, however, recommended steps include:

Hiring an electrician or qualified PAT tester (many safety companies offer a PAT testing course for prospective testers)

Visually checking new appliances

Purchasing electrical test equipment (including voltage and surge meters)

Put quite plainly, if the employer feels that they can justify steps taken, then they have performed a success PAT test.

What Can Companies Do?

There are many companies in the UK today that will contact companies to advise them that a specific type of testing must be undertaken to comply with the law. This is simply not true. Similarly, the notion that PAT testing must be undertaken annually is a myth. Indeed, the HSE’s own website informs companies that it is up to them to ensure PAT testing is effective. If an appliance is stored away for two to three years and is in a safe, dry environment, then there may be no need to test it every 12 months (although this will certainly do no harm.)

Many larger companies will bring in external testers to perform rounds of PAT testing which can take days or weeks to complete if working in a large building. Employees may see electricians applying stickers to their computer monitors and be under the impression that these are qualified PAT testers; however, there is no such thing. What many companies consider the bare minimum as a precautionary measure is to hire a qualified electrician to effectively give their opinion that the appliances in the building are safe (and in many cases, insurance companies will stipulate as a requirement that the electrical testing is performed by a qualified electrician.)

So in summary, as long as an employer takes a common sense approach, and can document this, they have fulfilled their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and related legislation.

It is important to note, as well, that this requirement for testing also applies to landlords in order to protect their tenants, but similarly, the law does not state what constitutes a compliant check. In common sense terms, a visual check upon commencement of a tenancy and precursory checks during it, if documented, are sufficient.

What If I Don’t Bother with PAT Testing?

It is a requirement for appliances to be tested. Failure to carry out sufficient checks breaches:

Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974

The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999

Penalties can be financial (it is not unusual to receive a fine of £5000, and sometimes in excess of £20,000) and in severe cases, offenders have received prison sentences exceeding two years in addition to fines.

If an untested appliance leads to the death of an employee, the person responsible for testing can be charged with corporate manslaughter, as well as causing the company to be shut down whilst investigations are carried out. Furthermore, insurance policies may be invalidated.

Again, whilst testing is a requirement, what constitutes the test is open to interpretation. As a best practice measure, is generally advised to hire a qualified electrician to not only perform the tests but provide comprehensive documentation, as well as safe destruction of any unsafe appliances. The cost may be higher but both the company and employees are much safer as a result.

Finding Best Electricians

Jacksonville Florida Electrician

People are too familiar with the modern facility which makes everything easier nowadays. Of course they are very familiar with various kinds of technology from transportation technology to the communication and information technology. However, this great technology development cannot be found without the invention of the electricity which is used for lighting a bulb for very first time. In fact, lighting becomes very important support for modern people because there will be various kinds of activity which cannot be done problem after the sun set. The electricity becomes important support for proper lighting at night for sure. People must not forget that there are many electronics which need the electricity to work. Every modern home will be supported with the electricity installation. One thing for sure, people should not deal with the electricity installation if they do not have expertise and also experience in this field. It can be dangerous to deal with the electricity installation without proper skill. If people cannot do it properly, it can bring future danger in the house. People will also find that the right installation of electricity can also be a good start for saving money on electricity bill.

That is why it is very important for people to find the best Jacksonville Florida Electrician for any purpose including for their residential electricity installation. People should find the professional service when they have to do some things associated with the electricity installation in their home after all. The professional electrician service will offer people with the help for inspecting the electrical safety of the house. It must be very important for ensuring that there will be no one who will get damaged due to bad or broken electricity installation at home. There can be a time when homeowners think that they need to upgrade their home electricity installation for better electricity support with efficiency. In this circumstance, they surely need to find the best electrician for doing the job. Anytime people need to change the panel in their home, it is necessary for them to hire the electrician as well. In every home, having the heat and air conditioning system must be crucial for keeping the house comfortable. The electrician service will be needed for handling the circuits of the heating and air conditioning system. The circuits of the hot tub can also be handled by the electrician properly.

There are still other services which people need from the professional electricians after all. The electrician service will needed when people decide to add room in their home. The service is also required for maintaining or repairing the generators for the whole house. Specific installation in the house such as home theater will need special electricity installation and it means that the professional electrician service is needed as well. Of course the electrician service is important when people decide to take the complete electrical contractor for their home. The professional electrician will not only offer professional service for residential purpose but there will also be great service offered for commercial electricity installation and also lighting service.