The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 puts a duty of care upon both employer and employee to ensure the safety of all persons using the work premises, one way of complying with this regulation is to regularly test your equipment used by employees.
The ‘Inspection and Testing of In-Service Electrical equipment’ (usually referred to as Portable appliance testing or PAT), was introduced to enable companies & organisations to comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations. To meet these regulations it is necessary to have in place a program of inspection and electrical safety testing of portable appliances. Other legislation of specific relevance to electrical maintenance – The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
Do I need my portable electrical appliances tested?
To comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations all portable electrical appliances should be routinely inspected and tested by a competent person. The regulations apply equally to Landlords, small companies and the self employed as to the larger organisations.Injury or injuries caused by faulty electrical equipment under the Electricity At Work Regulations 1989 may be liable for £20,000 fine for each offence in a magistrates court or unlimited fines/prison sentences in Crown Court.
In addition to this it is now becoming a condition of most insurers that your business is compliant with all relevent legislation. In the event of claims for personal injury, fire or damage to property your insurers will request for evidence of electrical appliances being regularly inspected and tested. This evidence will also be requested by any investigative bodies such as the HSE.
What electrical equipment needs to be tested?
The regulations cover all items of in-service electrical equipment, this includes all movable items connected to the mains supply by 13A BS1363 plugs, BS EN60309-2 industrial plugs or hard wired via a fused connection unit.
The requirements are based on principles of risk assessment and reasonable practicability. The frequency of inspection and testing required will vary depending on the type of appliance, its location, and its use. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) publish advice and guidelines.
What do the tests entail?
The testing consists of two separate activities; A visual inspection to check for damage and poor electrical standards and a series of instrument tests to check for less obvious electrical faults.
Each year about 1000 accidents at work involving electric shock or burns are reported to the Health Safety Executive (HSE) Around 30 of these are fatal!
Portable electrical appliances are a major cause of fires both in the home and at work.
A sobering fact:- Over 2,500 people are killed or injured as a result of electrical fires every year!
An important and often overlooked aspect of portable appliance testing is the frequency of testing required. Test frequency is dependent on the type of equipment, typical usage and the environment in which is likely to operate. Advice on inspection and testing intervals are available in the HSE document ‘Maintaining Portable and Transportable Electrical Equipment’, this gives some broad advice based on business types. The IEE provide a more detailed guide on testing frequencies based on equipment types and workplace locations in the ‘Code of Practice for the In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment’. However the individual circumstances will vary and it is here that the advice offered by JC Electrical Solutions can assist in helping the Landlords and employers determine the correct course of action for their own electrical safety needs.
PAT Testing Records
Due diligence must be proved in any proceedings for an offence in contravention of the EAWR. Detailed test records are the most effective method for the duty holder to prove that appropriate measures have been taken to avoid accidents. All Portable Appliance testing performed by JC Electrical Solutions is carried out using Megger’s PAT 4 tester and comprehensive test results are collated in the Certificates provided.
We can provide a customised service for large and small commercial businesses and Landlords. Although we are based in Bexleyheath and primarily cover the Kent area, we are happy to discuss contracts is other areas. Please do contact us, we would be happy to discuss your requirements.